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UltraViolet could mean you'll really 'own' that movie

James Niccolai | Jan. 7, 2011
The industry pushing a new system at CES for how we'll own movies and other digital entertainment

Doherty thinks it unlikely that Apple will join the effort, at least for now, because its iTunes system is working well for it. But the studios claim not to be concerned. They say Apple users will still be able play UltraViolet content on Macintosh computers,

"So on the device side it's not an issue. On the services side, Apple has been incredibly successful, but just as we have struggled with making digital ownership in video a big business, they have struggled too," said JB Perrette, president for Digital and Affiliate Distribution at NBC Universal, implying Apple will have some incentive to join.

Disney has its own competing technology, called Keychest, and it's unclear of the company will give that up to join UltraViolet.

As well as laying out the timetable Thursday, DECE said it had finalized the technology specifications so that manufacturers and service providers start building UltraViolet products.

UltraViolet isn't without precedent, and a Microsoft executive at the launch event was reminded that his company tried and failed with a similar initiative, called PlaysForSure, about a decade ago. He said PlaysForSure failed because Microsoft wasn't prescriptive enough with its specifications to device makers.

"The difference here is the technology specifications have been set," said the executive, Blair Westlake, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Media & Entertainment Group. "It's been a very long and tedious process but that's where the rubber met the road."


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