Hollywood Rolls Out ‘UltraViolet’ | A DRM Cloud Solution To Rival Apple iTunes and Save DVDs

1 min read

UltraViolet LogoHollywood has finally realized the Internet is here to stay, digital content is here to stay, and piracy is here to stay. So it’s doing all it can to stay in control of its own destiny. With mixed results. I’m not convinced UltraViolet is the answer.



is Hollywood’s answer to DRM. It’s an initiative that began three years ago but has only now seen the light of day. In theory it’s a system ensuring consumers need to buy content only once while still being able to watch it however and whenever they choose.

Horrible Bosses is the first movie to be released with UltraViolet enabled, with Green Lantern, One Tree Hill, and others joining later. Buy Horrible Bosses on DVD or Blu-ray and you’ll obtain a code allowing you to stream the movie to a range of devices. Sounds great, isn’t really.


There are two big problems with UltraViolet:

If the purchase of a physical copy of a movie or TV show is required for you to gain access to the digital copy on UltraViolet then this is doomed. As Peter Kafka at All Things D points out, this is missing the whole point of digital content and cloud-based services: that owning a copy, physical or otherwise, is no longer necessary.

If an UltraViolet digital marketplace is opened up then what advantage does it offer over Apple‘s or even Amazon‘s cloud-based solutions. Both of which are better placed, with stronger userbases and branding, to dominate the marketplace. Why introduce yet another DRM system rather than work with those already offering such services?

Again it’s the old problem of too many options. One unifying service with a reasonable pricing structure would be much more likely to benefit everyone.


Horrible Bosses

? Average film. UltraViolet? Average service. It’s taken years for this system to arrive and doesn’t seem to have been worth the wait or the time, money, and effort spent on it. Back to iTunes it is, then.

Related Ad

Buy ‘Horrible Bosses’ on Blu-ray on Amazon