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UltraViolet set for failure in UK

By PETER WHITE

Published: 16 December, 2011

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UltraViolet (UV) the digital locker technology which was pioneered by Sony and which should change the entire online world of video purchase and play, is about to launch in Europe, specifically in the UK.

But the first implementation is from Warner Brothers, so it has insanely decided to hobble the entire idea by ensuring people are NOT able to purchase online, instead they have to get out of their chairs, drive to a store and buy a Blu-ray disk, and then customers will get the online service for free, copy-able to all online formats.

This is the antithesis of what the thing was designed for and hobbling it in this way dooms it. How are UV powered services going to sell against Netflix or iTunes? Or even the local LoveFiLM. The answer is they are not. This is a stab at keeping things the same, something the studios are great at - take a revolutionary technology and use it to make things stay the same. That's the spirit.

There is also some evidence that it just doesn't work, because what is supposed to happen is that users can either copy the content to an online device or get a new copy, and getting a code that gives access to a new copy involves streaming which takes up considerable bandwidth. Piracy is a better experience and so people will pirate instead.

For a full version of our analysis of both stories please go to www.rethinkresearch.biz/faultine and order this week's copy of Faultine and perhaps sign up for a trial.

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