@King Jack - buying something *is* a contract
A contract is not a piece of paper, it's a set of obligations. When you buy a Big Mac, you are agreeing to an obligation to give a valid payment to McDonalds, in exchange for which they become obliged to give you a Big Mac that matches your expectations of what a Big Mac is.
A quick search for "Contract Law" will give you more information, and it's useful to know if you ever get into a dispute with a retailer or service provider.
The contract you entered into when you "bought" a CD or DVD is that, in exchange for the money you handed over, the producer granted you the right to replay their work as many times as you wanted for the length of time you owned the media. If you sell on the media, you lose this right. A right you were never given was to make additional copies and give them away.
Copying always happened, but as long as it was only among a circle of friends, there wasn't any real issue: copies couldn't spread far, so the loss of income was limited. However, thanks to the net, users with no technical knowledge can use ripping software, upload sites and web forums. Once it's up there, the peer-to-peer networks get it quick enough, and one ripped movie can be distributed to thousands of people. And the excuse that these thousands wouldn't have bought it anyway is bogus - do you wait to see how a football match ends before deciding to buy a ticket? Do people who actually *enjoyed* a fileshared movie really go and buy it legitimately? The figures say they don't. That's why we're in this position.
I don't have a particular love of DRM, but, unlike many people here, I recognise it as a necessary evil - the producers of the content require some protection from widespread piracy. The DRM proposed by UltraViolet allows sharing, as opposed to copying, of media.
There seems to be an unquestioning black-and-white view on this issue, that DRM is evil, full stop. It isn't. There are degrees of rights, and degrees of DRM, and this system gives the customer as good a deal as they get from purchasing the physical media, without the hassle of ripping and re-coding it. Like a book, I can share this, but not redistribute copies.
I hear lots of arguments against DRM, but they boil down to wanting something without having to pay for it. Well, I want a Maserati Quattroporte, but it doesn't mean I'm going to get one. If you can come up with an adequate reason why you require the right to make an unlimited number of copies of a copyrighted work that doesn't involve profiting from someone else's efforts, then fire away, I'm all ears.
And yes, the industry does need more people like me: customers who want the convenience of downloads and are willing to pay for them -- provided the deal I'm getting is fair. Where you and I differ is on what constitutes "fair"...