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Hollywood Studios Tip UltraViolet as Solution to UK Internet Film and TV Piracy

Posted: 08th Dec, 2011 By: MarkJ
ultraviolet movie licenceThe chances are that many of you won't have heard about Hollywood's latest solution to its UK and world internet piracy woes, UltraViolet, which does in fairness conflict with the name of an incredibly bad vampire movie and an important type of light (good name choice then). But you should care because it will soon allow you to buy one movie and watch it on almost anything (physical or digital media).

Until now one of the biggest driving forces behind digital piracy has been the insistence by big studios that we must all buy extra copies of a film in order to play it on different devices. The age of digital distribution has begun to improve that but a lack of HD content; restrictive use of Digital Rights Management (DRM) and high prices remain a hindrance.

UltraViolet claims to help solve this by offering an "online digital library that frees you to choose how and where you want to enjoy your movies and TV shows". According to The Register, customers will effectively be buying a universal and lifetime right to watch a film or TV show in any format you want. For example, you could buy a UV-enabled Blue-Ray (HD) film and redeem its code online in order to download or stream it in different formats. This could even be shared between family members.

ultraviolet film distribution

At ISPreview.co.uk we often spend a lot of our time examining the many flawed approaches to tackling piracy, such as suing individuals based on erroneous evidence, attempting to block websites or calling for "suspected" pirates to be disconnected from their broadband ISP.

The problem with all of the above approaches, aside from being costly, unreliable and easy to circumvent, is that they seek punishment without offering any real solutions for why people do what they do. Supply and demand is key, give people what they're looking for and they'll pay.

UltraViolet might not be THE solution but it is at least a huge leap forward and one that many readers will surely find attractive. It also still remains to be seen whether its price and value proposition will be attractive enough, but in principal the idea has a lot of merit.

The first UV-enabled UK movie will be Final Destination 5 from Warner, although all new theatrical releases will soon contain a similar UV code (except Disney because their deal with Apple's iTunes store is in conflict). Expect to see more about this from mid-2012 onwards, although its initial effectiveness might be constrained by a lack of UV hardware support (TV's, Smartphone's etc.).
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