updated 06:30 pm EST, Wed December 14, 2011
Amazon may put Instant Video on UltraViolet
Movie studios are trying to get Amazon Instant Video on to the new UltraViolet cross-platform movie rights system, insiders divulged Wednesday. At least Sony and Warner Bros. were said by Bloomberg sources to be negotiating a deal. In ideal circumstances, a viewer could buy a Blu-ray or a digital format movie and have rights to play it on the Kindle Fire or another Amazon-friendly device.
The goal might be to use Amazon as leverage, according to the tips. While a number of online services and most studios are onboard, Apple and Disney have held out. Both have their own self-developed copy protection formats and have resisted what they see as ceding control. Apple is unlikely to ever bend, since it has taken an all-or-nothing stance where it would rather go without any rights system to give more flexibility than support a universal, but potentially slow-to-adapt, protection system.
Neither Amazon nor studios have commented on the rumor.
UltraViolet is intended to help alleviate the jitters over using Internet video as well as to keep physical disc sales up by offering an Internet version as a bonus. The early implementation has limits on how long users can hold a digital copy, though, and has encountered technical problems. In unintentional irony, Warner has had to hand out iTunes codes following problems.