6 ways to make Ultraviolet DRM suck less

Face it, consumers loath digital rights management restrictions on content. Here are ways the latest DRM scheme can suck less

Face it, consumer loath digital rights management restrictions on content. Here are six ways the latest Hollywood DRM scheme, Ultraviolet, can suck less.

Dear Hollywood:

Word is that you're creating a DRM scheme called Ultraviolet, one that could prove beneficial for consumers by giving them unrestricted access to the content they buy. Good for you. We all know you don't have the greatest track record of squashing piracy without angering your customers (See the death of RealDVD, attacks on Kaleidescape media servers and hassles with HD movies on iTunes), but I'm a believer in second chances, or even sixth chances.

So maybe you're onto something with Ultraviolet, which will supposedly let users stream movies from a unified digital locker to a variety of devices. You get some control, and we get to access our movies from anywhere. It seems like a fair trade, in theory, but there are several things that Ultraviolet needs to win the hearts of consumers. I hope these ideas find their way to Ultraviolet whenever it debuts:

Make it Easy

Hire the best web designer or user interface guru you can find to design the streaming service. Clearly explain to movie buyers that registering an Ultraviolet account will let people stream their movies from all kinds of devices, and make the streaming process as simple as possible.

Promote the Heck Out of It

Even though the Ultraviolet service isn't a storefront like iTunes, your goal should be to make it just as recognizable. Okay, so Ultraviolet wasn't the best name -- not sure how the association with skin cancer is going to work out -- but at least it's short and punchy. The more people the know about it, and look for it on the DVDs and Blu-ray discs they buy, the more pressure other studios and hardware makers will feel to join up.

Families aren't Criminals

Ultraviolet will fail if it's tied to one PC, one game console and one portable media player per user account. My wife and I can use both our computers to watch different DVDs at the same time, so Ultraviolet should have no hardware restrictions either. Limit each film or TV stream to one device at a time if you must, but simultaneous access to Ultraviolet's locker should be allowed.

Make it Retroactive

Finding a way to add a consumer's existing Blu-ray or DVD library to the locker is essential. It may not be easy, but it's the best way to get your customers on board in a hurry.

Get Apple on Board

The bitter truth is that Apple wields so much influence through its iOS hardware that ignoring the company would be a major drawback. Getting Apple's cooperation may not be easy -- videos stored in a digital locker would be in direct competition with iTunes -- but if you do everything else right, you can ratchet up the pressure on Cupertino. Just do what Google did with Google Voice: Try to release an Ultraviolet iPhone app and raise a stink when it doesn't get through the App Store, and if all else fails, go with HTML5.

Don't Get Greedy

Even though Ultraviolet provides a service for consumers, Blu-ray discs and DVDs that use it shouldn't cost extra. Hollywood stands to benefit in a big way if this service takes off. Don't pin the investment on your customers.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags videosoftwaredrmUltraViolet

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?