updated 04:15 am EST, Thu January 6, 2011
UltraViolet group says format ready
The Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) group on Wednesday completed the format for UltraViolet, its proposed cross-platform digital rights system. Under the finished model, users will have access to their content on 12 separate devices that support UltraViolet, no matter who made them. Viewers would also have rights to stream content and play a given title on a physical disc.
Devices using UltraViolet should come as soon as mid-2011, though brand new devices built with UltraViolet might not be ready until early 2012. Expansion to Canada and the UK should come later in 2011 and thus lead to a later ship date.
A large coalition of companies are behind UltraViolet and have been pressing for it as a means of extending DRM but to realistic ownership by users. In an ideal climate, customers would always have access to a track or movie they bought or rented and wouldn't face discrimination by shopping at a competing store if it supported DECE.
Two of the only holdouts against such proposals have been Apple and Disney. The former has regularly argued that any DRM applied should ideally be its own or else removed entirely. Disney has already developed its own system, Keychest, and has been skeptical of UltraViolet.