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back to article Warner, Sony commit to UltraViolet in UK

Warner Home Entertainment has revealed that all its future Blu-ray Discs will tap into Hollywood's UltraViolet cloud-based movie locker to provide punters with downloadable copies of films they buy. Warner said it will make UV the standard for double- and triple-play BDs that offer a digital copy. Sony said it will offer …

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Anonymous Coward

Bait and Switch

Just you watch - they would rather sell you pay-per-view with no media production costs rather than have to sell you Optical Media that denies them further sales, especially if the media is sold on second hand.

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Re: Bait and Switch

Yeahmaybe.... but remember that this is an effort to give legitimate viewers a similar level of convenience to that previously only enjoyed by those who torrent / rip movies illegally.

It defeats the purpose of the exercise to 'bait and switch'; If the studios abuse UltraViolet, people will just go back to torrents.

Sidenote: Why is it that you have to sit through a tedious "You wouldn't steal a car, WOULD YOU?" anti-piracy ad every time you watch a shop-bought DVD, but not if you download it off teh interwebz? Talk about preaching to the choir!

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Re: Bait and Switch

RE:Sidenote - because the idiots producing those adverts for those DVDs were trying very hard to present downloading films as being 100% equivalent to stealing a physical object (mistake 1), that they directly funded terrorist organisations (mistake 2, particularly since most film downloads don't involve money changing hands in the first place) and that the quality of downloads is always inferior to that on original media (mistake 3, because it made people realise the advert writers were talking bollocks).

Eventually they realised, possibly when the IT Crowd satirised their adverts, that they'd gotten it massively wrong and managed to come across as a bunch of entitled pricks along the way. They're better now than they were before, but there's still a lot of bellendery present in DVD mastering - whether it's deliberate insertion of corrupt menu segments ("To hamper pirates" - and substantially inconvenience anyone trying to watch a legit DVD using VLC or on Linux, you %^&^s!) or unskippable trailers/adverts (again I say, you $%^&s!), some folks seem to think that "We used to do that in the old days and people put up with it" is a good enough reason to keep doing something. %^&* those people, quite frankly. They are the reason I buy DVDs and rip them to a media centre.

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Re: Bait and Switch

"(mistake 2, particularly since most film downloads don't involve money changing hands in the first place) "

Not quite: You don't pay, but advertisers whose ads appear on the link and download sites do pay. Google takes their cut, the hosting company is given their cut, and the remainder goes to someone who may or may not be up to no good.

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Re: Bait and Switch

@Kristian:

Yeah, but absolutely no link between those sites has been demonstrated with any of the Scary Crims that were intimated repeatedly by the adverts (ironically enough, given that it's relatively easy to show such links with the physical DVD pirates - probably where they got the idea). More importantly, someone selling knock-off DVDs in the pub for £5 a go is going to very quickly bring in a lot more money than someone running TVshack, though it's arguably more labour-intensive.

There's a hell of a difference between "The money you are handing over is going to criminal gangs, drug trafficking networks and terrorists" and "by looking at that site a tiny amount of money from the advertisers goes to the site owner, who may or may not be dodgy". Not to mention that the availability of legitimate DVDs at reasonable prices makes buying knock-offs more obviously a stupid idea, whereas for many films there's still no legitimate way to buy a digital copy (especially if you don't want DRM). If the vendor won't offer you the product you want in a format you want, it's far less straightforward for them to complain that you won't instead buy the product they *did* offer that you don't want.

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Anonymous Coward

Sounded great until i saw DRM...

Seriously, would you rather have DRM'd media or no-DRM....

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Well

Whilst I'd prefer no DRM, if it's a choice between doing something illegal, or a drm system that lets me do everything I wanted to do anyway, then I don't see the problem.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Well

That is the question, WILL ultraviolet allow me to watch the film on my PC, TV, iPad and Mobile?

Will it give me the same flexibility I get if I rip a DVD?

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@Chad H. Re: Well

"a drm system that lets me do everything I wanted to do anyway"

There is no such system in existence - DRMs by definition is a system to prevent you from doing what you want.

When you watch a DRMed movie you are not doing it when you *want" it but when they *allow* you to.

This kind of difference makes the choice easy for me - DRM or illegal? I'd take illegal, thank you.

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Re: @Chad H. Well

Vladimir, your comments make no sense.

When I watch a DRMed movie of course I am doing it when I want. Otherwise I wouldn't be watching the damned movie would I? DRM does not force the disc into the player and force my eyes to watch it.

DRM by definition is not a system to prevent you "Doing what you want". It is a system to prevent you "Doing something illegal". A DRM system *can* let me do everything I want (presuming I don't want to do anything illegal - which I'd rather not) if its implemented correctly. Steam does this pefectly most of the time - I have a great backup system in Steam as well as can play most titles offline.

Your comments just appear to be anti-DRM fanaticism, and really do not contribute anything to the greater DRM debate.

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Go

Re: @Chad H. Well

The two sets of "what the DRM allows me to do" and "what I want to do" aren't necessarily that disjoint. Sure, if i want to rip off a copy to play on a highly customised Linux box, edit or use clips off a film for satirical or educational purposes or even to sell or otherwise make available bootleg copies, then sure, of course you would take the DRM-free version every time.

I suspect that for the vast majority of users, being able to watch a film on multiple devices including TV, blu-ray, computer and tablet pretty much covers 100% of their use case scenario, in which case what they want to do and what the DRM allows them to do is a perfect match.

For me personally, I think the only 2 things missing are

(1) a complete 2nd-hand market (technically I think this could also work for the vendors if they can get the system to rescind rights from the seller and give them to the buyer, while taking a small transaction fee, it would work similair to App stores and I predict as long as it's convenient and easy, people won't mind the small fee)

(2) a formal mechanism that allows ripping and editing for fair use. Currently the fair use is theoretically there for the film but to be able to exercise it I have to rip / decode the DVD, which is technically circumventing DRM and therefore technically illegal. The part of copyright law that says it's OK to use limited parts of a movie for fair use (parody, educational etc) should also automatically extend to 'it's OK to circumvent DRM as long as it's for fair use.'

I think Ultraviolet is a huge step in the right direction, the studios have (very belatedly) started to see this from a consumer point of view, so credit to them for finally getting their thumbs out of their arses. There's still a way to go yet, and I'm not going to diss them for making what is a pretty good first attempt

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Re: Well

The Flixster app allows one to access the Ultraviolet service so you would be able to access it easily via PC, iPad and mobile. TVs will probably have a UV app in the future if the manufacturers sign up.

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Aside from the legality issue, if all your devices can access the DRM'd copy then why is there an issue?

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Re: @Chad H. Well - sigh...

"DRM by definition is not a system to prevent you "Doing what you want"."

Oh, but it is. When you want to watch your DRMed movie all you can do is ask the DRM provider nicely and hope it will kindly let you. One day it won't and you won't even be able to complain.

"It is a system to prevent you "Doing something illegal"."

I don't need a system to prevent me from doing something illegal. If I do something what you think is illegal - sue me or ask the state to sue me. The court of law will decide whether it was illegal and if yes, how I should be punished. This due process is a cornerstone of a "free" society.

With DRM that determination of illegality becomes extrajudicial. By submitting to it you undermine the very fabric of the society your are living in.

Illegality is not black and white - no law is ever perfect. It is subject to interpretation depending on circumstances and context. With DRM this interpretation is automatically biased towards the DRM provider. The same DRM then creates practice, which then leads to new laws. What was legal but undesirable to DRM provider has now become illegal. No one should have such power to subvert the legal system, yet they possess it.

It is sad that these basic concepts elude you...

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@varsas

"Aside from the legality issue, if all your devices can access the DRM'd copy then why is there an issue?"

1) because you may want to use a device that doesn't

2) because the DRM'd copy may no longer be there

3) because the DRM'd copy may be made to expire

4) because the DRM may require you to pay or do something else if you want continued access to the DRM'ed copy.

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Re: @Chad H. Well - sigh...

Oh, but it is. When you want to watch your DRMed movie all you can do is ask the DRM provider nicely and hope it will kindly let you. One day it won't and you won't even be able to complain.

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Please let me know how they will be effecting the big DVD shutoff.... oh wait they can't. This is only an issue if the DRM is not done correctly. It is not an inherit flaw in DRM per se, but one from flawed implementation.

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I don't need a system to prevent me from doing something illegal. If I do something what you think is illegal - sue me or ask the state to sue me. The court of law will decide whether it was illegal and if yes, how I should be punished. This due process is a cornerstone of a "free" society.

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Great. I take from that I can find your house unlocked and the keys in your car. I'll just take what I want and let the courts decide if its illegal or not, I don't need a lock to stop me doing something illegal, its up to the cops and courts to decide that later on... Oh, whats that, you do have some basic protections on your property? You do keep the locks, locked? Well, I guess its different when its your property isn't it?

You're right, YOU don't need a system to stop you doing something illegal. The owner needs it to stop you, in this case, the copyright owner.

Saying they can come after you is all well and good, but that predisposes that they catch you. Are you saying its only wrong if you're caught?

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With DRM that determination of illegality becomes extrajudicial. By submitting to it you undermine the very fabric of the society your are living in.

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You need a court to tell you that you shouldn't steal, and only after the fact? Interesting morality.

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Illegality is not black and white - no law is ever perfect. It is subject to interpretation depending on circumstances and context. With DRM this interpretation is automatically biased towards the DRM provider. The same DRM then creates practice, which then leads to new laws. What was legal but undesirable to DRM provider has now become illegal. No one should have such power to subvert the legal system, yet they possess it.

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Actually, I don't think you can get much more black and white than breach of copyright. Do you own the copyright? No. Did the copyright owner give you permission. No. Therefore, you don't have the right ro copy it. We're not exactly talking complicated concepts here.

DRM doesn't lead to new copyright laws because the law as it is is pretty damned clear. The copyright owner controls the right to copy. clue is in the name.

Sorry law is such a complicated concept for you.

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Re: @Chad H. Well - sigh...

Oh, dear! Imagine for a second that you do live in your cloud cuckoo land of black and white, where laws written before invention of computers should still be applied literally and anyone who has ever taped an album from a vinyl record or ripped a song from a CD is an outlaw who must be tracked down and shot on sight.

But then why should your copyright (i.e. right to make copies) prohibit people from skipping a trailer on a DVD, where does your law say that a game can only be played if you have a live internet connection or that it should only be installed no more than 5 times. Where in your copyright did you get a right to price-fix your products in different regions (which in every other industry counts as crime)?

I'm glad you use the door locks example although you got everything totally wrong - a proper example will be if you buy a BD from me and have to give me your door key so that I could pay you a visit whenever I feel like it to check in case you're up to no good and, maybe, take my disc back. What, you paid for it? That's just tough, mate. My DRM, not yours.

If I get me a law that says that I can draw a line across a public road wherever I want and charge people for crossing it - what would you say? And put a gun turret on the side to shoot you if you try to cross the line without paying - nice? You can't complain - the turret will just protect you from accidentally breaking the law. That's DRM for you.

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Unhappy

Probably an obviously dumb Q but...

So, how will this work with secondhand discs?

Bet it doesn't. (Though I'd rather have the media than an online thing I have no physical control of, anyway)

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"Buying a movie on a UV-enabled disc gives you free access to the film for streaming and downloading, once you've created a UV account."

Free streaming rights are for one year only, after that they may be charged for, it's up to the streaming provider the retailer is using at the time. From uvvu.com

"UltraViolet rights include streaming from the selling UltraViolet retailer, at no extra charge above the original purchase price, for at least one year after purchase. This no-extra-charge streaming will be offered to specific apps/devices, and via streaming means, to be determined by the selling UltraViolet retailer. Streaming of a given title from the selling UltraViolet retailer more than a year after its purchase, or at any time via streaming services other than the selling UltraViolet retailer, may incur fees and if so any such fees would be presented to the consumer in advance of streaming titles"

The downloads may well be crippled as well, so don't automatically assume you'll get a 1080p image to view on your telly if you cannot, or choose not to, stream when you wish to watch it (480p seemed to be used on early WB titles). From http://www.uvvu.com/uv-offer-details.php again

"UltraViolet titles will soon be available from all UltraViolet participating retailers in a standard downloadable file format that will work on all UltraViolet-compatible media players apps and devices, and which can be copied from one UltraViolet-compatible app/device to another."

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Ho hum

They really know how to sell stuff, eh?

Sounds like the mother of all lock-ins plus the chance to eventually pay rent on your own purchases, maybe...

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Re: Ho hum

Except that if you've bought a UV triple play you've got a couple of disks, which you could rip, disable your UV login, and happily use your purchase in any way you see fit.

Yes, I'm against DRM, but at least the studios are doing something to make using their products more convenient. to use. I for one will carry on buying BluRays and DVDs, and if they let me stream and download them to my laptop or iPad then great. If they don't, I'll carry on ripping those I've bought for use on my devices of choice.

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Re: Ho hum

@ekithump

So what you're saying is "hey, buy the triple-play pack" (where part of the point is that you're paying for an *additional* feature) and then *don't use the feature you've paid for* because once again, it turns out the big studio thinking on this was bellend-like?

No %^&*ing thank you, I'll stick to not buying the stupid %^&*ing "triple play" packs and not buying into their ridiculous idea of what I want. Time-limited access to a streaming-only DRM laden digital copy is not, and never will be, an adequate substitute for a digital copy of the film, presented as a file with no DRM or time limitations .This offering is basically swapping out the idea of a triple-play where you're given a file with a triple-play where you stream the file. It's still time-limited and DRM laden, and therefore pointless crap.

The horse has not only bolted, but at this point evolved into a beyond-human-intelligence space-faring species whose equine roots are not unlike the dinosuar roots of contemporary avians. If the film industry doesn't want to accept this, it's their problem.

If they want us onside, they know what we would like the opportunity to pay for - DRM-free files, with no time limitations. The music industry has understood this, why the $%^& can't the film industry grasp it?

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Re: Ho hum

Personally, I won't buy blurays until I can legitimately get software to play them or back them up on my choice of device.

So I guess that will be never.

Hollywood loves the DRM, but they haven't grokked that giving users the discs, the players and the keys will result in DRM getting cracked.

This means that DRM does not prevent unscrupulous people from ripping and pirating blurays, but it does stop consumers. Well done.

"You wouldn't steal a car. You wouldn't steal a handbag. We'll happily steal 5 minutes of your time watching these shitty trailers"

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@Captain UNderpants Re: Ho hum

"why the $%^& can't the film industry grasp it?"

That's because they don't want to. I am tired of repeating to people that DRMs are not about fighting "piracy" - it's about control. They want us to forget the meaning of words "buy" and "own". They want to charge you for everything 10 times and to achieve that they are more than happy to put up with some "piracy" on the way. "Piracy" is a pinprick for them comparing to the holy grail of "pay per play".

Unfortunately, most people seem to be too dumb to understand they are being lured into a trap...

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@Tom38 Re: Ho hum

"Personally, I won't buy blurays until I can legitimately get software to play them or back them up on my choice of device."

Same here.

Plus, to my amazement, even relatively technically literate people rarely realise that BD discs and players, which they think they have bought, are not theirs at all. Any new disc they insert into the player can disable it or any of your existing discs at the whim of AACSLA. The same thing can happen any time the player connects to the net, and it's all perfectly legal for them to do.

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Re: @Tom38 Ho hum

So... don't connect your player to the 'net?

BD live is mostly crap so you don't need to connect anyway

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Re: @Tom38 Ho hum

But in every few discs you get there will be one that will force you to connect if you want to play it. Internet connection is mandatory in BD specs for a reason.

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WTF?

Re: @Tom38 Ho hum

Mmmm..... but my BD player can't connect to the net...??

(Not that I ever use it mind you).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Tom38 Ho hum

"my BD player can't connect to the net...?"

It can, you know. It's called SneakerNet. Your BD player connects via SneakerNet every time you buy and then play a new disc. So given the amount of space on a BluRay disc what stops a bit of it being used for updates to data for the player (keys etc)?

Then where does that leave you?

Not saying that this capability exists in BD, I have no idea.

BUT it wouldn't be difficult, sneakernet's been done before, and best of all for the pigopolists it allows a mechanism for the pigopolists to distribute and install enforced updates (to keys, etc), even to those who in their naivete think they're not vulnerable to enforced updates.

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Mmmm... tech

Just a thought, not really thought through:

Now that many people have phones that can, via a cable or as a server, output HD video (which means everyone will in a coupla years), a DRM scheme that allows playback on all your devices (or that of your friend's) only needs only to work on one: Your phone. It is where you are.

It wouldn't even need to have the video stored on it- it would simply chuck out the licence daemon to whatever net-connected screen is present.

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Reminds me of DIVX, which Sony and Disney both backed, and sold by Circuit City. I'm glad Circuit City went under....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DIVX

I can't watch DRM videos with MythTV, and I can't watch them with mplayer on my Nokia N900.... how are my needs suddenly illegal?

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Anonymous Coward

Just boycott Sony

Like many others around the world.

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