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back to article Fox to release movie downloads weeks before discs

Fox is to offer movie downloads up to three weeks before the films arrive on disc and in video-on-demand services in a bid to boost digital sales. The studio's scheme will take place in the US, and push product - starting with Ridley Scott's Alien prequel, Prometheus - through the UltraViolet cloud movie service. Prometheus …

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Silver badge
FAIL

DRM will be it's downfall. People don't want DRM encumbered content, freedom to move the file around and play on any of their devices (without limitation) is a must.

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Bronze badge

I don't want it and I am sure most Reg readers don't either but punters in general may well not care.

iTunes seems to do very well.

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iTunes...

...No longer has DRM I believe. How did that happen if it wasn't for the punters?Apple became all generous and benevolent? I don't think so.

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Unhappy

Re: iTunes...

Still DRM on Movies/TV Shows I believe - only music has lost it

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Nope, can't see anything that can possibly go wrong with giving pirates the opportunity to pirate films weeks before the actual release, nope, not a thing, won't dent sales at all........

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Unhappy

I Second that

When will "they" learn that we live in a connected world and people on this side of the pond are tired of being treated like second class citizens? I mean if a film is released that I'm going to buy then why can't I have it at the same time as my American cousins?

Like you say, if there is ANYTHING designed to encourage piracy (I know, it's not right) it's staggered regional release dates, it's not like there is anything delaying them launching worldwide is there?

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Pirates already get the films weeks before the actual release, so this will make zero difference to sales.

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Trollface

That's probably why they're starting with Promethius

Who'd want to pirate that in the first place?

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Re: That's probably why they're starting with Promethius

Has Ultra Violet been cracked yet? Otherwise, as the next reply stated- pirates will already have had their hands on it anyhows. I was on a cross channel ferry last week, and thought I'd watch Prometheus in their 'Cinema*'- I don't know what the source was, but would imagine that once films are distributed to these smaller set-ups (optical disc or proprietry DRM'ed watermarked format?) pirates will waste no time in snagging a copy.

*Don't bother. The projector mount resonated with the vibrations of the ferry, there was a green hue to the right of the image, dark areas (of which there are many in Prometheus) were barely visible, and the screen, though a fair size in 4:3, was used in 16:9 and appeared no bigger than most people's TVs these days. A dodgy copy on my laptop would have been a more immersive experience, so I walked out for a refund before the main title credits started.

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Re: That's probably why they're starting with Promethius

Ripley, Ellen: Just tell me one thing, Burke. You're going out there to destroy those DVDs, right? Not to study. Not to bring back. But to wipe them out.

Burke,Carter J: That's the plan. You have my word...

Ripley, Ellen: Then I'm in.

***

Burke,Carter J: It was a bad call.

Ripley, Ellen: BAD CALL???? THESE VIEWERS ARE DEAD BURKE!!!! DONT YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT YOUVE DONE HERE?!?!?!

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Will do anything

To promote their DRM. Sign of desperation? I really wish it was so...

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Actually a genius idea

Given that the high quality pirated versions generally get circulated as the discs get near repo (1-2 weeks before retail availability), this 4 week lead time above physical media could potentially lead more people to buy the legitimate version vs. take the torrent then not buy the disk.

Of course, they have to get the pricing attractive, but none the less this is a solid strategy.

UV is by far and away the least contained approach to DRM usage, its built around how MOST people will actually want to consume/use the media. UV in combination with accelerated release time could be a winner.

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Re: Actually a genius idea

If it were a worldwide release, that is... But no, this goes back to the old days of bending the rest of the world over a table and forcefully rogering us.

All they're doing, as others have pointed out, is giving pirates yet another medium from which to obtain a DRM-free digital copy (that is, assuming they can break the DRM employed by this system, which is likely a correct assumption).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Actually a genius idea

Except that given the apparent ability to break encryption that some people seem to have all that will probably happen is that the pirated version will also be available earlier. Minus the DRM of course, the presence of which would be a deal breaker for me.

*ANY* DRM system that relies on accessing external accounts could end up with people having to buy stuff again if those accounts ever disappear (as has already happened in the past). The wide range of companies supporting this scheme in this case might make that unlikely in the short term, but given the media industry's fondness for us buying VHS videos, then buying those same videos in DVD format, then again on Blue-ray I personally wouldn't put it past them to abandon one scheme in favour of a 'better' one, especially if this one ends up being shown to be insecure (you only need to look as far as the publishing industry and the issue of forcing libraries to re-purchase ebooks to know what sort of thinking is going on inside the minds of the executives in terms of how they regard the users of their products).

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Silver badge

Sounds more like two fingers to Netflix than it does anything USEFUL for consumers.

Digital goes first, so again customers waiting for the DVD get screwed. How about this: SIMULTANEOUS RELEASE. I know it's a hard concept but I'm sure you can work it out in 2012, what with Google Calendar and everything.

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Anonymous Coward

The netflix catalog in the US is different to the one provided to UK customers. Try establishing a VPN connection to the US and you'll see the difference (what's even more irritating is the presence of certain BBC programs that are available on Netflix in the US, but not the UK - such as the new Sherlock for example).

Given the abysmal state of the programs available in the UK I wonder how much longer we'll have to wait to be able to watch it on Netflix over here?

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endless rental

I passed on the chance to see this in the cinema because the reviews were mixed. I'd like to see the film but I don't want to buy it. I'll probably watch it once.

I don't need it before the DVD release either, I'll happily wait.

Just let me watch the film once, in HD with decent sound for a reasonable (£2-3) cost. If I can buy the film to watch as much as I like for £10 this seems reasonable to watch it once.

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Re: endless rental

If you've waited a few months after the cinema release for it to be available to rent for £3, why not give it a few months and buy for £3 from a major supermarket chain?

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Thumb Up

Re: endless rental

If you have an Xbox 360 you can do exactly this with the Zune service; 1080p (yes, p) downloads (and streaming with a >6Mbit/s connection) with 5.1 DD sound. Have to say it's absolutely fine for most of *my* viewing needs, and only costs ~£4 for a HD rental.

As a result, I have more Bluray drives in the house than I do discs - I just don't feel the need to buy films these days...

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Re: endless rental

Quite. Today's £19.99 'premium release' is tomorrow's £3 bargain bin item, the next day's £1 charity shop find, and the next week's newspaper cover disk.

Oh, the only way I'm paying anything for Prometheus is if it's a proper 'director's cut' edit and has a commentary with Ridley Scott saying "sorry" a lot to anyone who paid to see the theatrical release.

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Anonymous Coward

So it's the pirate bay for the rest of the world then.

Business (or lack of it for Fox) as usual.

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Anonymous Coward

Sweet! :) I'll be able to download that on the 19th then!

As a UK viewer I'm sure that Fox will give me the opportunity to actually buy it eventually. Any news on a UK release date?

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Promethethius.... straight to DVD...

.... perhaps straight to download is even worse!?

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FAIL

If anyone actually wanted the downloaded version rather than the disc(s) then they'd already be obtaining it. The fact that there has to be a 'special incentive' to get the downloaded version tends to indicate it's not really wanted ...

I'll stick with my carefully produced packaging and ability to store a long-life copy of my films on a convenient shelf please.

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Anonymous Coward

I'm getting tired

Personally, I am tired of all this madness. The endless debates, the arrogance of the studios (and of many of the consumers). The "you must consume it only in the way we serve it" approach.

As a matter of personal choice, I just decided to consume less of that. There are so many books - many even out of copyright, so free.

I'm reading more and watching less. I am happy with that. It's my choice.

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Re: I'm getting tired

Well said, sir or madam.

Hollywood doesn't have a piracy problem - it has a problem with shitty moronic Recycled Cliche Part 29 OMGCGIBBQ!!1!! craptacles.

It's obvious management has total contempt for audiences. So it's not a surprise if audiences return that contempt and go find something interesting to do instead.

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Iv got to the point where I cant even be bothered to make any effort to watch films anymore. Last time I went to the cinema there were so many adverts (nearly half a bloody hour of the things before the film started) that by the time the film started I was bored and disinterested. Then, halfway through the film, another 20 mins of adverts.

I will probably never go again, it cost a tenner and compared to watching at home, the experience was utter shite.

Judging by the empty seats (only 4 of us in the entire cinema 2 days after the film opened) a lot of other people felt the same.

As for this, no thanks, Il wait till its on telly or available via torrent. No way im paying for a drm infested file that probably has so many restrictions as to render it pointless, and probably unusable in a few years when they shut off the drm servers.

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Anonymous Coward

I've never seen an intermission in the middle before! I must admit I tend to get in to the cinemas fairly late these days to try and avoid adverts, if it's a new release.

That said, that's about the only time I ever see any advertising... all the rest is adblocked on the PC. I never watch TV, or read papers (done online). About the only things I occasionally see are on public transport but I tend to phase that out as well.

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Anonymous Coward

You may share your UltraViolet account with up to 5 other people (Account Members), and each Member can have their own username/password log-in information.

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Each Member of your UltraViolet Account will also be able to see the activity of each other Member of your UltraViolet Account (including you), and that activity may include information on which digital content you and other Members have obtained UltraViolet rights to, where those rights were obtained, and what UltraViolet content particular Members have viewed or are viewing at any given time.

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including the titles of the UltraViolet content you stream and the time at which such UltraViolet content was streamed

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DECE also shares your personal information and UltraViolet usage information with the retailers from which you obtain UltraViolet content

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correlating your usage information with other data to gain a better understanding of usage patterns, and (v) unless you direct otherwise, make recommendations of UltraViolet content that may interest you.

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for the privacy practices of an UltraViolet Licensee from whom you may obtain products or services, you should check the website of that UltraViolet Licensee. An Ultra Violet Licensee may function as an Ultra Violet Service Provider.

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DECE may also use personal information to analyse Member behaviour as a measure of interest in, and use of, UltraViolet, both on an individual basis and in the aggregate.

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In particular, your personal information and usage information will be transferred to and processed in the United States where DECE is based. The data protection and other privacy laws of other countries, such as the United States, may not afford the same level of protection as the laws of certain other countries, such as the member nations of the European Union.

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due to the inherent nature of the Internet as an open global communications vehicle, DECE cannot guarantee that any information, whether during transmission through the Internet, while stored on DECE’s system, or otherwise in DECE’s care, will be absolutely safe from intrusion by others.

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Your UltraViolet Account is authorised to receive a total of three streams of UltraViolet content simultaneously. The UltraViolet content that is available for streaming and the devices to which it may be streamed will vary depending on which authorized streaming services you elect to use in connection with your UltraViolet Account. Depending on the type of streaming service you and the other Members of your UltraViolet Account elect to connect to, such streaming service may be available for use by all Members of your UltraViolet Account and without the need to separately log into your UltraViolet Account, or the streaming service may only be available to a particular Member after that Member logs in to his or her UltraViolet Account. Each streaming service supports its own devices so you will need to check with your streaming service provider to determine the devices to which you are authorised to stream UltraViolet content. In connection with your use of streaming services you may be required to comply with additional terms and conditions of such third party service.

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You agree that DECE may, in its sole discretion and without notice to you or liability, restrict, suspend, or terminate your access to part or all of UltraViolet if DECE believes you or a Member of your UltraViolet Account are using or have used UltraViolet in violation of the UltraViolet Terms of Use, or applicable law or regulations, or in any manner other than for its intended purpose and in accordance with all other guidelines and requirements applicable thereto. Without limiting the foregoing, DECE may restrict or suspend your access to your UltraViolet Account upon reasonable notice to you, which may be communicated electronically, for cause, which includes but is not limited to (i) requests from law enforcement or other government authorities, (ii) unexpected technical issues or problems, or (iii) if DECE reasonably believes that your UltraViolet Account has been created fraudulently, your UltraViolet Account has been accessed fraudulently, or a Member of your UltraViolet Account has otherwise committed fraud or is using your UltraViolet Account other than for its intended purpose and in accordance with all of the requirements applicable thereto. We also reserve the right, after notice to you, to terminate any UltraViolet Account that remains inactive for one year. In addition, you understand that DECE may modify or cease providing UltraViolet or any portion of UltraViolet at any time without notice. You agree that DECE will not be liable to you or to any third party for any such restriction, suspension, or termination of your access to your UltraViolet Account or rights to any UltraViolet content.

ON TERMINATION OF YOUR ULTRAVIOLET ACCOUNT, Whether terminated by you or by DECE, YOU WILL LOSE ALL RIGHTS TO ACCESS THE UltraViolet content IN YOUR ULTRAVIOLET ACCOUNT UNLESS YOU HAVE (A) DOWNLOADED THE CORRESPONDING UltraViolet content TO AN ULTRAVIOLET DEVICE, OR (B) if you obtained the rights to do so, OBTAINED THE UltraViolet content IN A FORM OF PHYSICAL MEDIA, SUCH AS A DVD, IN EACH CASE ONLY AS AUTHORISED BY DECE AND THE RETAILER FROM WHOM THE RIGHTS TO SUCH ULTRAVIOLET CONTENT WERE OBTAINED AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH DECE’S REQUIREMENTS AND SUBJECT TO ANY THIRD PARTY REQUIREMENTS.

Conduct In Connection with UltraViolet

In addition to any other requirements associated with the use of UltraViolet, you may not and agree not to:

post or otherwise distribute untruthful or incorrect information that may mislead others with respect to certain functions or features of the service;

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Bronze badge
Mushroom

Ultraviolet... Defective By Design...

also doesn't work on Linux PCs/laptops or rooted Android phones... (suspect borked on rooted iDevices as well)

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Silver badge

Bah!

I see Fox is hoping that the magic of teh intarwebs can turn pure crap into gold.

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