Martin Belam gives a walkthrough of his experience using the DRM-as-turd UltraViolet system:

After the 404 error I took control of the user experience myself. I Googled “Doctor Who S07E01 torrent”, and I very much doubt I’ll ever attempt to use UltraViolet™ again.

That probably isn’t the business goal they were hoping to achieve.

How many more months of total turdage do we have to endure before Hollywood gives up on this dog?

[via @patrickhmason]

Smart idea…

…if any Apple devices were compatible with UltraViolet.

…or if anyone had any idea what UltraViolet was.

I wonder if Apple does something like this eventually as well. It’s like “Rip. Mix. Burn.” — except you pay for it. But I actually think that’s fine if you get an upgrade to HD along the way and automatically get your movies into iCloud (to access from any iDevice).

As someone who has tried to rip their entire DVD collection for several years now, I can tell you what a pain in the ass it is (hence, “several years now”).

The MPAA scumbags have hired a new weapon for their piracy fight, as Mark Milian reports for Bloomberg:

During Strahan’s tenure, Neustar developed the cloud infrastructure for UltraViolet, an initiative that won support with most of the major studios. The system lets consumers register the movies they’ve purchased to an online account providing streaming or downloading of copy-protected files to various devices.

Well, great. At least the MPAA knows she’s fully capable of shipping half-baked turds that no one wants.

Michael Cieply on Fox’s new plan for digital movie releases:

The new system is an aggressive bid to revive consumers’ interest in the purchase of movies, by giving them an earlier shot at films for about $15 each, down from a purchase price that is currently about $20.

Three thoughts:

1) This is really just another windowing system. But smartly, the studios are playing it as “we’re moving the release on this format up!” rather than “we’re pushing the release on all other formats back!”

2) I do like the notion of lowering prices in this new windows from $20 to $15.

3) At the end of the day, it still all comes down to if the movie is worth owning or not. In our age of massive amounts of content spread across many different channels, the answer, sadly, is increasingly “no”. That’s a problem no windowing solution is going to fix.

The article also plays up that fact that Fox is going the don’t-call-it-DRM UltraViolet DRM movement. But they’re leaving out an important tidbit: Fox is also experimenting with this new windows on iTunes, which is not a part of UltraViolet. If you load up iTunes right now, you’ll see Prometheus available for pre-order on September 18 for $14.99 in HD.

Ryan Lawler:

This is pure speculation, but here’s my bet: When Amazon announces the newest versions of its tablets on Thursday, it’ll also be announcing wide support for Hollywood’s UltraViolet initiative, which is aimed at allowing users to buy once and watch anywhere.

Not a bad guess. On the surface, it seems to make quite a bit of sense for both sides. The problem is that UltraViolet remains a giant shit sandwich. And that’s unlikely to change anytime soon. It’s a non-starter until Apple signs up. And Apple isn’t signing up. 

Nathan Ingraham on the new Paramount app for Xbox:

As with most of the other Xbox 360 media-playing apps, you’ll need an Xbox Live Gold membership, and you’ll also need to get Paramount and UltraViolet accounts set up (if you’re planning to purchase). Of course, the movies are still quite pricey (most films are $19.99 for the HD version, though rental prices are a bit more in-line with the rest of the market), and the app won’t play any UltraViolet movies you may have purchased from other studios. You also can’t buy or rent anything directly from the app itself — you’ll have to do all of that on your computer. 

Sounds wonderful. I’m confused — do studios think that people care which studio the films they watch came from? Why would anyone use this app over Xbox’s built-in movie store? Why would anyone use this, period?

And man oh man is UltraViolet a turd.

For once, a bit of upbeat news for UltraViolet, the awful idea that Hollywood seems dead set on implementing: Amazon and Samsung are now on board.

That’s good news for the don’t-call-it-DRM newfangled DRM, which has been swimming in a sea of shit since it launched last year. 

Of course, the one name still not on board remains the most important: Apple. Wake me up when that happens — which given the customer response to UltraViolet seems unlikely anytime soon. 

For quite some time, I’ve enjoyed making fun of UltraViolet, the new form of DRM wrapped in an extremely lame name (which calls to mind the shitty movie of the same name). But it was hard to know just how shitty it would be because it wasn’t out yet. Well, now it’s out. And apparently it’s even worse than I imagined.

As NewTeeVee points out, the Amazon reviews for the first discs featuring UltraViolet focus on the technology, calling it “awful”, “bogus”, and a “joke”. Even better is the review from a customer explaining what a nightmare it was to get it to work with Flixster, the supposed streaming partner. 

But the key remains what’s missing. Namely Apple. Writes Janko Roettgers:

Many consumers took issue with the fact that they couldn’t download the digital version onto their iPad.

There’s supposedly a way to get it to work on iOS machines with Flixster, but no one is going to do that. And well, see above. It also doesn’t play nice with Amazon’s soon-to-be-larger ecosystem. Disney is not on board either.

As I suspected, the system sounds like a total fucking nightmare. The fact that Hollywood thought this would work just shows how utterly clueless they are. 

It’s a complete TOA (turd on arrival). You can say you’re going to wrap a piece of shit in a pretty bow, but if the bow actually looks like shit, and the shit still smells like shit, you’re not going to fool anyone. 

I’m not sure how this post managed to skip over the one big hole in the plot, but it did. APPLE IS NOT ON BOARD.

Hollywood has a new version of DRM wrapped in a fancy name with some new (admittedly compelling) features such as the ability to transfer films between devices. Great. But without Apple’s devices on board, will anyone give a shit?

The answer is “no”. 

God I hope so. My 2TB hard drive is now almost stretched to the max due to movies and TV shows alone. The system as it stands is totally untenable. The more popular iTunes video content is, the less space people have for it. Unless the cloud enters the picture…

But article author Greg Sandoval forgets one important thing. He cites Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes as being open to the cloud idea because he’s bullish on Ultraviolet, a new form of DRM with studio/device involvement. 


The only major player not involved with UV? Apple. If the studios did a cloud deal with Apple, it would seemingly undercut Ultraviolet.