updated 09:35 am EDT, Fri July 15, 2011
Fox hints, doesn't know Apple will use UltraViolet
Fox's executive VP of Global Research and Technology Strategy Danny Kaye was hopeful Apple and Disney would both use the new UltraViolet media locker copy protection system. He noted in an interview that all but Disney among the studios had signed on, and that just that it was holding out "doesn't mean that [Disney] won't." He was also convinced in speaking to Pocket-lint that Apple was going to sign onboard and that it was just being conservative before leaping in.
"From my perspective, when you're well established you sometimes take a 'wait and see," Kaye said.
The comments appeared to be based more on optimism than actual knowledge. He noted that Android was larger now than the iPhone because of the plurality of hardware and software makers. He presumed an automatic repeat of this in tablets and that Apple would have no choice but to use UltraViolet if it was the only one not using the cloud system, which lets users 'own' a movie even if they switch services.
Historically, Apple has preferred an all-or-nothing view of DRM, where either it controls the copy protection format or there's no protection at all. CEO Steve Jobs has noted that generic copy protection is often slower to react to hacking attempts and doesn't address the real problems of interoperability.
Apple's decision to hold out also worked to its benefit in music. It had been pressured by an industry that assumed locked-down Windows Media music would eventually win, but the iPod's popularity and Apple's push to remove DRM led to the ultimate failure of Windows Media as a format and genuine interoperability through unprotected music.
Disney has fewer arguments of its own for its Keychest system, which only works for its own movies.