Hollywood's Kinder, Gentler DRM: UltraViolet, Getting Slammed In Reviews
from the shocker dept
Remember UltraViolet? This was Hollywood’s plan for a new, kinder, gentler DRM for movies that would try to provide some additional features. Or, rather, it would (oh so generously) grant you back just a few rights that anyone could get with an unauthorized version of a file… and you were supposed to thank them for this. As we noted at the time, what consumer problem does UltraViolet actually solve? The answer is absolutely none. It only attempts (and fails) to solve a perceived studio problem. Meaning that it was destined to piss off customers.
And that’s exactly what’s happening.
Jeff Malfant points us to an amusingly satirical Wired article, pretending to be from the studios’ vantage point about UltraViolet:
UltraViolet will make purchasing a movie only slightly more of a pain in the ass than searching BitTorrent. Driving to a local video store and buying a copy on DVD or Blu-ray should only take about a half-hour more than downloading it, and I want to assure you that the legitimate copy will contain all the ads, auto-loading trailers and overproduced menu screens that even the pirates can?t figure out how to include.
Once you?ve bought it, all you?ll have to do is take the time to register it and give us whatever information we decide we need. We know pirates don?t have to do that, but we think you?ll find it fun. It?s sort of like Facebook, only instead of friends and family, you have a humongous powerful group of international corporations hanging on your every datum.
Once you?ve signed in, that?s when the fun begins. You see, the movies you paid for with your own money will be stored for you in your ?locker.? Just like the lockers you use at school or the gym, they?ll be convenient, somewhat secure, they won?t actually belong to you and we can do anything we want with anything in them.
Let the pirates have their boring old ?hard drives? and ?networked media servers.? With UltraViolet, you?ve got a locker!
But even more telling, as sent in by Keith, are some of the user reviews popping up on Amazon that appear to totally slam UltraViolet as ridiculous and annoying:
This review does not relate to the movie, but it is focused on the ridiculous process to download the digital copy. After creating accounts for both Flixster and Ultraviolet, linking the accounts, enabling WB to view my personal information, the system hangs and doesn’t download the movie. I contacted Ultraviolet first with the issues and error messages. After a day, I was told this is not an Ultraviolet issue, but a Flixster problem. I then contacted Flixster. They responded by sending me to the FAQ. To date, I have not gotten a proper response from Flixster on the error messages. I plan on canceling both accounts and will NEVER buy another DVD tied to Ultraviolet. This is a complete rip off and WB should be ashamed of this dreadful service. Please do yourself a favor and don’t buy the movie with the digital copy. If you want a digital version, just got to iTunes.
First off I really liked the movie, if I was just rating the movie, it would probably be 3 1/2 stars, however, I have spent 4 days now trying to get this so called “digital copy”. I knew what Ultraviolet was, and I thought it had promise to be used to stream to any device not locked to just one service (itunes), but it doesn’t work. First off you have to sign into 4 different services to even get this stuff to maybe work, […] some ultraviolet site and to “manage” your collection flixster collections…when in trying to link all of these useless accounts I can no longer access the movie to stream. So I am left with a product that does not work and customer service is a joke. I have been bounced around from site to site and from rep to rep who keep telling me to do the same thing over and over again, no matter how many times I tell them what has happened and what the issue is.
This flixster ultraviolet “suckloution” is the worst ever, you are better off ripping the DVD…
Warner Brothers has really pulled a fast one with this 3D edition that was supposed to include everything with this “UltraViolet” digital copy. It’s NOT a digital copy, but rather an authorization to access a streaming video of the original cut of the movie online. This is NOT the package I pre-ordered! When I saw the commercials for the “UltraViolet” digital copy, I thought there would be some special feature– I never dreamed that special feature would be WB promising me a digital copy that I couldn’t use in iTunes EVEN THOUGH EVERY OTHER DIGITAL COPY OF A MOVIE DOES. The digital copy you do get (IF you can get the website to work!) has to be played on some kind of Adobe player THAT WILL NOT PLAY THE FILE. So you’re stuck with their online streaming swill even though you were promised a digital copy.
And there are plenty more along those lines. When will the industry finally realize that DRM doesn’t help anyone?