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back to article What is UltraViolet™ and why should you care?

UltraViolet is the most important media service you've probably never heard of – a grand plan for Hollywood to get everything right that the music business has got wrong. All the major studios are members of the DECE consortium behind UV, apart from Disney (You can probably guess why). Cable companies and telcos are already …

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FAIL

competition - old story

They've tried that with cable TV and it didn't work. Gave access to all and sundry to dig up the roads. Thousands of miles of green pipe, dozens of different companies and it all ended up with just a few majors. Someone got Virgin installed next door yesterday, the footway box and ducting were both pretty much empty - and it's been like that for years. Where are all these customers?

The infrastucture is already there - how about LLU on the green boxes -- Virgin? anyone?

BT already invested in local infrastucture and it was 'liberalised', where are all those companies that were given free rein to provide cable?

Why the fuck should BT do anymore when they actually were forced to give up local UG some time back and with that came all the redundancies and shit that went with it.

Anyway - which bit of BT do you mean, the 'liberalisation' that the rest of the industry cried out for gave us the split. Opensore doesn't have many workers left, Wholesale Chaos has been stripped of staff and subbed out to India. It's what 'the public' demanded and got.

Now, how about going for the real leeches - those who demanded changes and failed to act once they got them?

BT is a private company, it's what you all demanded, you've got it, now stop acting as if it's still part of HM.Gov 'cos it ain't.

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A house too far

NTL (or a predecessor) cabled my road many years ago. Except they stopped at the end, and the houses subsequently built further down can't get cable, and VM show no signs of wanting to expand their network to bring them within reach.

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Ultra Violet?

How on earth did they manage to trade mark Ultra Violet? I'm sure that it's been in the Public Domain for years. Or is it that all you have to do is leave out the space?

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Boffin

Re: Ultra Violet?

"How on earth did they manage to trade mark Ultra Violet? I'm sure that it's been in the Public Domain for years. Or is it that all you have to do is leave out the space?"

Wrong way round, actually. The word "ultraviolet" is the common one, being as it is the descriptive term for a range of wavelengths of light (outside the range of human vision). The version with a space between the words doesn't actually mean anything. And yes, there are 'brands' based on colours or similar concepts, such as Pink, Blue, and so on. Since it's merely a general descriptive term for a 'colour', then I really don't see why not.

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Black Helicopters

So what's the deal

with my existing vinyl, CD and DVD library?

Will there be the option to UV-ize them to stop me buying everything again in this new forever format?

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Black Helicopters

now why would they do that?

First they'll make you pay to UV-ize your current content library. Then they will have full control over it as it is on their servers. Look at what Amazon managed to do with 1984: remotely triggered deletion.

Once they have full control they can "invent" new and "improved" formats. What will happen then is you can move to a new format ... at a cost. The old format will be phased out, by making it impossible to use access your content with old software. Although they might not need that given the cloudification of most apps. Don't tell me the government will stop this, they're doing exactly the same with tv and radio, obsoleting pretty huge mountains of perfectly functioning equipment.

When all this is in place, the phase-out rate will be determined by the need for content-exec bonuses.

Don't come crying I didn't warn you ;)

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Analogue Forever!

I'll just stick to my record player and tape deck, it cant be digitally traced!

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Happy

Hmmmmm, we'll see....

I'd love to get on the streaming band-wagon but it's all still too flaky here in the UK, without even starting on the ISP bandwidth argument! So for the time being I will continue buying DVDs where I know I can bang a copy out in any format I need and store it on my own NAS ready for use anytime and on any device I choose without needing permission, as such.

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Anonymous Coward

The Fuzzy Wotnot

Believe it or not but doing that is against the law in the UK, thanks to Europe

It used to be legal to make personal copies of anything until they stuck their big stick in to screw it all up.

Yes you can do it, yes many many people do do it, but that doesnt make it right in the eyes of the law. Of course it is just one of those uninforcable laws which begs the question of why they changed it in the first place....

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Paris Hilton

Uninforcable(sic)

"uninforcable laws which begs the question of why they changed it in the first place"

Who says it's unenforceable? If PC plod decide that you don't quite look right and bash your front door in at 1 AM they will be quite pleased to discover a couple of hundred illegal DVD's in your lounge room.

Breaking news! Major DVD piracy ring busted by our ever vigilant boys in blue! News at Eleven!

Where the hell is the Guy Fawkes Mask icon I've seen other ppl using? I don't see it on my PC, I guess I'll just fall back on to Paris, aaaagh, comfy.

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Pirate

@Dazzza

"Believe it or not but doing that [format shifting] is against the law in the UK, thanks to Europe"

Can you point me in the direction of the EU directive enforcing this? I was under the impression the UK's stance of keeping format shifting illegal was out of step with the rest of Europe.

http://www.pirateparty.org.uk/blog/2011/may/10/format-shifting-difference-between-illegal-and-wro/

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I have recently bought my first movie online

It was from a legit source. I was able to pay via PayPal among other things, what I got was a torrent file which I used to download the movie.

The movie obviously was DRM free.

The big point is that the music industry has shown that convenience only helps so far. Sales soared on iTunes once they removed the DRM, even though iTunes was already fairly usable.

I will pay a reasonable price for content, provided it's DRM free and there is open source software to play and convert it into other formats.

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Go

+1

"I will pay a reasonable price for content, provided it's DRM free and there is open source software to play and convert it into other formats."

This is the only possible way it can end, only question is how long.

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£15 per month

For all I can eat media and you've got yourself a sale.

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FAIL

It'a ALL about the DRM

They're NOT getting rid of it.

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Blurays you say?

Will it mean that I can play my Blurays in my Bluray player? Will I be able to play them on my Bluray laptop connected to my TV and actually have sound too?

Apart from that, I'm speachless. WTF happened?

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Pirate

If the RIAA is in favor of it....

I should probably oppose it, shouldn't I??

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Devil

Sony Beta & <explitive> Disney

The commentary above saying Sony would be first to try and throw a wrench in the works is probably fair. My hope is that rather than chosing not to participate they chose to release a competitive solution that ends up on the BETA (vs. VHS) side of the compeition (as opposed to them winning the Blu-Ray argument).

RE: Disney they might end up having no choice, but to change their distribution practices if UltraViolet took off and became the defacto standard for distribution.

I'm cautiously optimistic that some of the media companies have finally figured out that not screwing the customer af every turn leaves them more amenable to you turning a profit....

On second thought, nah they've got a secret plan to screw us.

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I'm going to say this quietly

But Disney are one of the more enlightened DVD distributors. A recent Blu Ray not only came with a DVD, but a download licence through iTunes for only a quid or more than the bare bones DVD. And then, it had the rarest of things - skippable ads and trailers.

Compare that to Momentum who put a completely unstoppable Maltesers ad on their disk.

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(Written by Reg staff) Bronze badge

Re: Sony Beta & Disney

See below: DECE originated at Sony.

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Linux

You're joking...

Disney an "enlightened" DVD distributor. They are they reason I started ripping all of my DVDs. Their alleged no-ad approach to DVD menus was anything but. Just about any generic non-blockbuster movie is a lot more "enlightened" in this respect.

Disney is not "enlightened". They practice artificial scarcity with their whole "vaulting" thing and are always screwing around with the formats on their DVDs and adding out-of-spec forms of copy protection.

An iTunes download is just more DRM forcing me to deal with a vendor I don't want any part of.

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FAIL

Yeah... no

Yeah... no.

Here is what will happen;

Already its locked to X number of devices.

X will be shrunk down to a pathetically useless number over time.

You will be able to watch it X amount of times, before you have to pay more again.

Sooner rather than later, adverts will be added into the stream.

All streams will be Standard Def, you will have to pay more if you want to watch high def... every time you want to watch high def.

Servers will be hacked, and services will be taken down, rendering all disks useless in the mean time.

Yeah..... DO NOT WANT !

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Pirate

This is all very well...

But what about my Chinese cartoons?

(Pieces of eight? Just One Piece for you, young Jim me lad)

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WTF?

Bundle of rights?

I too am having enormous trouble believing the large media companies could be this sensible. Casting about for something to find wrong with it, how about this from the linked interview:

“I have suggested that in music we come up with a package where what we are actually selling is a licence – a bundle of rights – and the disc we are putting it with is an incidental free gift."

I wonder how this affects the consumer-protection laws that people will assume apply when they "buy" the CD. Can you return a "free gift"? What happens if it doesn't work, or they aren't able to use the service?

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Stop

I've got a bad feeling about this

Companies giving us what WE want, not what THEY want?

What is it they're not telling us...

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Paris Hilton

So I did bother and read the interview.

“I have suggested that in music we come up with a package where what we are actually selling is a licence – a bundle of rights – and the disc we are putting it with is an incidental free gift. And I think that might prolong the life of the CD.”

And a very, very smart cop-out because it justifies having kept CDs Far Too Expensive for, well, decades.

Also interesting what he doesn't say: The suggestion that this buy-once-play-everywhere regardless of platform should be done for games too triggered a memory. I do recall certain people complaining and casting resales of games to be worse than outright not paying for the game at all but copying it. Well, this can be looped back to music and movies too.

Since you're no longer owning any actual product but bought a licence, which will indubitably be legally locked to only you and be not resalable, that handily kills of the second hand market. So yeah, if this comes through your CD collection becomes effectively worthless.

It's smart and it's got a good & glossy veneer. But it's not /all/ "customer focused", no.

Interesting angle on the music industry, this time just how screwed up (and needlessly expensive) the logistics are done. Add the sue-the-customer attitude, the squeeze-the-artist contracts, the frankly fracked accounting, and so on, and so forth, I can indeed but wish I was rich enough to just buy out all those companies and blackball the executives, every single last one of them.

Paris, because "None" doesn't do what it says on the tin.

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So this Blinkbox...

It's actually legit? I've been linked to it from time to time, saw a site offering me downloadable movies in return for my credit card details and thought: "how daft do they think I am?" Time to update my expectations, apparently!

For the people saying it will fail because of poor bandwidth, that doesn't matter much if the movie or show actually downloads in some DRM'd format rather than has to stream with minimal buffering.

A service like this will definitely increase my impulse buying - want to watch a movie this evening but not one I've already got? Click "buy" and I'm done. So long as I can still buy a movie and actually own it, as I do with purchased discs, and that doesn't become some super-high priced luxury option, I think this sounds great.

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Go

steam model?

I will admit I did not throuley understand what they where aiming at but it looks like a simular modle steam uses and that seames to be working well after a few teathing troubles

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Pint

Ultra-apathetic

The abomination that was Microsoft Vista convinced me to have nothing to do with DRM encumbered media or systems. So I don't have Blu-ray or HD anything, why buy this stuff?

And why do Sky viewers pay loads of money to watch...adverts? WTF

I wouldn't touch UltraViolet with a bargepole, as mentioned above, it won't be long before someone hacks your UV account. There will be tears :(

I chucked my TV out years ago, if I want soap opera I just go to the pub - it's called real life and I am in it.

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Not going to work out

The biggest problems with all these media formats is the unreasonable regional lockouts. To you guys it's not a problem because UK is part of the "big 4" (North America, UK and Europe, Oceania and Japan). What about the rest of us? We can't have Zune, our iTunes Music Store stinks, and most streaming websites lock us out.

Unless this issue is rectified and region locking is completely killed off, nothing will change.

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Thoughts on this...

How open will they be to developers of playback equipment. LoveFilm told XMBC to piss off quite succinctly, but would UV allow them to add this functionality?

Would I be able to not only stream a movie, but download a copy to play locally? That way I could get full quality if I were prepared to wait for the download. Hell, I could be sitting at work, and request a movie to download to my machine at home.

How about those of us with home servers? Yup, I've ripped my DVDs; nope, I don't see a problem with that because I'm keeping the discs in the attic. Could I take these UV downloads and keep them in the same pool to playback on any device on my network?

I'd want a guarantee that whatever I bought could be downloaded in full, and could still be played on standard equipment even if/when the UV service was closed down.

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Devil

Re: Catch?

The price...

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Silver badge

Sounds like the got it right....

hold on a second while I call the red man to inquire about the weather in his neck of the woods. I'm certain that either it's snowing and the streets are frozen over in Hell or we're being lied to about how great this is going to be.

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Linux

RE: Catch?

The price, the lock-in, the DRM, the central hosting/management, presumably, the lack of wide platform support, etc. etc.

Glad to be proven wrong, but, I doubt I need to worry about that! ;) :(

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Pint

Well, I for one...

...am a stupid American, and let me sidestep the whole Ultra-Violet discussion and wholeheartedly thank you for just introducing me to the term "All and sundry". I'll be establishing this idiom here in the States from this day forward, and I promise to send you recurring updates on how it is taking root.

And, with obvious apologies, "The Korova milkbar sold milk-plus, milk plus vellocet or synthemesc or drencrom, which is what we were drinking. This would sharpen you up and make you ready for a bit of the old ultra-VIOLET!"

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Linux

Clockwork silliness

I recently bought that disk. Ripped it too. Plays quite well on my Linux boxes. Now I have this little digital copy certificate so I decided "what the h*ll, lets try this out". So I went rummaging around for these things. Turns out I have 3 of them. I redeemed the first 2 and got stuck with the last one.

IT EXPIRED.

So much for that "digital copy" thing. Gotta wonder if Ultra-Violent will have the same issues.

...wonder how that 1.75G digital copy will stack up to the real thing weighing in at 27G.

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Device limits

Well, back in the bin for this attempt. I own more than 12 devices on my sweet very lonesome.

Unlimited devices or GTFO.

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