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DECE settles on UltraViolet media DRM, still lacks Apple

updated 08:30 am EDT, Tue July 20, 2010

DECE gets closer to launch with name, new partners

The Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem edged closer to an actual launch today by settling on a new name for its copy protection scheme, UltraViolet (UV), and unveiling new partners. In addition roughly 60 major electronics, content and software firms, the Internet media locker standard now has support from Korea's LG as well as the ARM chip designer Marvell and LOVEFiLM. The group now expects UV to enter the test phase later in the year.

The technology is designed to ease cross-portability of media across different devices while still giving the content providers security against easy piracy. With UV, a customer can buy or rent content such as a movie and have access to it just by signing into a digital rights locker that, if necessary, lets the owner download the content again.

Notably absent from the group are Apple and Disney. The studio is developing its own equivalent, Keychest, and may have had support from Apple for its development. Apple chief Steve Jobs sits on Disney's Board of Directors and is the company's largest individual shareholder.

In recent years, Apple has insisted that it be in control of most technology that determines its fate and has been extremely resistant to having to use copy protection it doesn't own. It prefers to go without copy protection altogether rather than use a standard like UV, which would force it to wait on agreements with dozens of other firms to act on changes. Apple is rumored to have its own cloud-based iTunes movie service in development and would likely use it to drive customers to the upcoming Apple TV as well as the iPad and other video-friendly Apple mobile devices.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. WiseWeasel

    Junior Member

    Joined: Apr 1999

    +3

    Meh

    The studios apparently have still not learned their lesson, and they're still trying to "sell" downloaded movies with DRM on them. DRM works for rentals, and this might even find some success for such, but when I'm buying content, I expect it to work on any device I want to play it on for all eternity. This does not give me such a capability, and so it's not even a consideration. Instead, I'll keep buying shiny discs whose copy protection has been completely defeated, and ripping them to standard video formats that play everywhere.

    If these studios were smart, they'd sell standard format video and rent the DRM'd stuff, simply so there is less justification for people to break the DRM, since it would only be useful to steal rented content. Instead, they're pushing people to crack these DRM schemes to get access to the content they bought. So in the end, either this DRM system gets cracked wide open and it's completely ineffective (the most likely outcome in any case), or it stays secure and fades into obscurity, eventually shutting down and taking everyone's purchased media down with it, like every other failed digital download DRM system before it.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -3

    Re: Meh

    DRM works for rentals, and this might even find some success for such, but when I'm buying content, I expect it to work on any device I want to play it on for all eternity.


    And did you miss the part that the whole point of this DRM was to have one DRM that would work across devices? So that you're not stuck for life buying iPods because half your music and video is Fairplay constrained, or stuck buying Zunes to watch your ZuneMovies.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -4

    Apple and DRM

    In recent years, Apple has insisted that it be in control of most technology that determines its fate and has been extremely resistant to having to use copy protection it doesn't own.

    Of course they're resistant. If they don't own it, then they don't control it, and they can't control who gets to use their media files. And if they are going to use DRM, they want to make sure they lock people into their system.

    It prefers to go without copy protection altogether rather than use a standard like UV,

    Of course. If there was a standard like UV, then people would have choice of what they could put their music and video on. At that point, Apple loses it's device lock-in, and, accordingly, there's no benefit to having DRM, so then they can come out and say "Hey, there should be no DRM!" and be touted as a hero of the fair-use crowd, like they did with music. (you'll note Apple has done nothing to push for DRM-free video: No public letter, no industry pressure, nothing - I guess they need more time to build up a customer base with DRM content).

    which would force it to wait on agreements with dozens of other firms to act on changes.

    What changes would it need to agree on? It's a DRM system, not a licensing agreement or something to tell Apple what they can and can't sell. They can't do anything to how it works without approval of the content providers anyway, same as with Fairplay now.

    Apple is rumored to have its own cloud-based iTunes movie service in development and would likely use it to drive customers to the upcoming Apple TV as well as the iPad and other video-friendly Apple mobile devices.

    Wow, there's an upcoming AppleTV? I thought it was released years ago...

  1. WiseWeasel

    Junior Member

    Joined: Apr 1999

    +3

    Re: Re: Meh

    First of all, I don't buy DRM'd music, and major digital music distributors sell DRM-free content, so it obviously plays on any device. Second, this new UV DRM scheme will work across devices which have licensed access to it and been approved for it. This means that there will be a large number of devices, including all those already out on the market, which will not support this new DRM format. Why would I buy into this limited ecosystem of devices when I could just rip BluRays to standard format h.264 mp4 files that will play anywhere, or are at most a simple conversion away? The fact that all playback devices require net access also makes this hugely impractical in a number of cases. There is nothing good for me as a consumer coming out of this. It's foolish to purchase content for permanent ownership if you can't even access it on your own terms.

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