Google is Defective by Design

Google logo

Google has their hands everywhere, including access to your digital content. Whether it promoting DRM restricted content, or lobbying for more DRM-supporting standards on the web, you can find Google there.

Learn More

Much like the MPAA, Google is a member of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), using their status to push for DRM and Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) as a means to restrict access to a free and open web. In addition to their work against the web, Google incorporates DRM and other means of restriction to content from the Google Play store.


In addition to other content through the Google Play store, you can also access ebooks. When uploading an ebook for sale, authors have the option to not apply DRM software to digital file download. This may make Google seem better than other repeat offenders, but they are still playing the same games as companies like Amazon.

Google informs content uploaders that:

DRM is intended to protect the content owner and keep ebooks secure from unauthorized sharing. If you choose to make your book available on Google Play without DRM, then consumers will have more flexibility in using the content file.

However, they fail to mention that turning off DRM does not just offer readers more flexibility, but it respects their freedoms as consumers and users.

While we do not endorse using Google Play, we encourage content creators using it to turn off DRM!


DRM-free music is available on Google Play. Check out our DRM-free guide for music more options of music that respects your freedoms.

However, it is worth noting that there are other ways Google Play Music violates user freedoms.

  • Not all content is shareable with family members
  • While you can download music from Google Play, logging out of the associated Google account will remove the downloaded content from the device.1
  • You can save music to an SD card, but you cannot transfer it to another device.
  • When using a non-Chrome broswer, you can only download a given file twice.
  • If you cancel a Google Music subscription, you lose access to all downloaded content.2
  • Downloaded content can only be listened to using the Google Music app