The latest great white hope for DRM on Blu-ray is yet another pile of rubbish which probably will not succeed and will encourage people to pirate.
Ars Technica has just written a hatchet job on UltraViolet, which is a digital rights authentication system which was developed by the movie industry.
The idea of UltraViolet is fairly laudable. It aims to give people access to the content they have bought across a number of devices. But it turns out that the DRM is too tied up with proprietary apps and only allows extremely limited access.It also stuffs up the “viewing experience” which is supposed to be the whole idea of buying content.
The idea is that when you buy a Blu-ray movie, you get a piece of paper inside the case which provides you with a 12-digit code and directs you to a website. You have to face Flixster which is a multi-platform app which forces you to create an account with the website in order to redeem your various digital copy rights. You also have to download lots of programs in order to view the digital version of the movie.
While the apps are heavy on social network integration they are about as user friendly as a Great White Shark. You are also not allowed to upload higher res versions of the movie. Once you work out how to download the content it’s visible in your files and you can move it around, but you won’t be able to open it without the Flixster program agreeing.
UltraViolet rights gives you access to streamed and downloaded versions for “at least a year” which means you have no chance of making a decent collection. As such it is all pretty annoying. Which is why it will fail. Our guess is that instead of jumping through the DRM hoops people will just do something simplier, like pirate the content.