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UltraViolet DRM will close on July 31, 2019 (myuv.com)
134 points by evanweaver on Jan 31, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 133 comments

The term DRM usually evokes keyservers, but in that sense UltraViolet is meta-DRM, because it has no content-decrypting keyservers of its own. Instead, it's basically a big list of content you currently have rights for, designed solely for interop. You get these rights by using UV unlock codes, or pairing a "retailer service" which then imports its unlocked items into your UV one, and vice versa.

The linked 'retailer service' is the one that has the actual content, and that service runs its own content-decrypting keyservers.

With UV shutting down, the ongoing library interop between the UV partners will go away and further gains to any of those libraries will not be propagated to others.

The concerns about DRM keyservers going away is a real one, but that's not what's happening (this time).

This is correct, but then what happens when the UV partner closes up too?

The whole point of UV was to de-risk committing to a specific streaming service because your purchases were portable, like being able to put a DVD you own in a different brand of DVD player.

Yeah, you're right. But in some sense that never materialized, because sometimes the place where UV synced your rights doesn't itself have rights from the studio to stream the movie [1]. It's a tangle of voluntary bilateral agreements among competitors whose gaps result in a landscape that's user-hostile, but UV rationalized some of it. Disney didn't join UV, and eventually pivoted their own digital locker storefront 'Movies Anywhere' into a US-only UV competitor that lured some studios and content sellers away.

Since the news about UV is fresh, it remains to be seen whether the remaining studios migrate too, and whether the negotiations between the competing rights databases, the studios, and content sellers can result in a user-fair migration. As for non-US users -- shame on all players in this game -- they're always an afterthought to where piracy offers a superior UX, but other video platforms are proving this need not be the case.

The DVD comparison is illustrative, and proves that decent UX with DRM can be achieved despite a dizzying array of rights, but the permissions are materialized into hardware and frozen in time. Online, the industry has been using malleable rights for both 'rent' and 'own' semantics, but for the latter case it's user-hostile. This is why more and more content platforms are missing the 'own' option entirely: you can stream whatever is available, but the selection may change at any time.

For now, Vudu and FandangoNOW are two services that supports both UV and Movies Anywhere. If one pairs one these to both of UV and MA, the maximum amount of entitlements will sync across.

[1] https://forum.vudu.com/forum/movie-and-tv-talk/movie-talk/61...

This is why I only buy disks and rip them. My Plex server will never close down or tell me I can't watch a movie anymore.

While my eBook library is pretty something, the storage costs to rip my movie library onto hard drives would be cost prohibitive. I do keep physical discs of the movies I really enjoy, and generally only buy digital during sales. Most of the "value" in my digital movie collection comes from digital copy redeems.

Vudu does $5 sales all the time, and the way I see it, that's less than a movie ticket. So if I see it once, it was like going to see a movie, but with the theoretical hope of long-term persistence. The fact that MA insulates the risk of losing your titles across every major tech company adds to the comfort level now too, and as noted, nobody is losing their UV library when UV shuts down.

How many movies do you have? A 5TB hard drive is slightly over $100 and will hold a minimum of 100 Blu-ray rips, assuming they use the entire disk capacity and you don't reencode them to something smaller.

Well, for one, hard drives also fail. So I need backups, unless I want to have to sit and re-rip everything when it happens. I'm a big fan of RAID 1 since I don't have horrific rebuilds, and I offsite my data as well. (Most of my data is stored on five hard drives currently.) So take your estimate drive costs and start multiplying.

Second, my Vudu library contains over 600 movies and significantly more television shows than that. And before you calculate the cost of the storage, bear in mind there's another, secondary cost: The much higher cost I'd have spent to have built that library solely on ripped discs. I never paid full price for a digital purchase. (And specifically, never more than it would've cost to acquire it via disc.)

Third, time. I'm also significantly backlogged in organizing my ebooks, which I do store on drives. Blu-ray ripping time just isn't something I want to dedicate a big chunk of my life to.

I totally feel your pain. I have been slowly building a local search engine for navigating the ebooks, PDFs, and other documents I've got stored on my NAS device.

I ended up replacing my NetApp StorVault (6TB (4TB usable), RAID6) with a FreeNAS box from iXSystems (24TB (20TB usable), RAID6) which cost me a bit more than $2500. (it is also much quieter than the StorVault was :-)). And on that 20TB I've stored a bit more than 200 book volumes that I had digitized at 1DollarScan, probably close to 1000 magazines (scanned generally manually with my ScanSnap 1500), and perhaps as many PDF documents that were never printed to begin with (like data sheets). I also have my music collection, and I have recently looked at putting movies on there as well since the streaming services are letting me down here as well.

At the end of the day it is the 21st century version of one's personal library.

I have had a FreeNAS mini for 5 years now. Best 2K on tech I have ever spent. So much better then rolling my own (which I used to do). 4x4TB (2 striped 4TB mirrors). Thinking about replacing the drives with 8TB ones. I had one drive fail in 5 years.

Currently I can only really do metadata search, but I'd really love to set up fulltext at some point. I have this dream where someday I can do things when the Internet is down.

The other thing I'm interested in, and wonder if you have thoughts on: When you pass, your personal library is inherited. Will people know what to do with your digital library? Will it be useful? Will people want it?

My goal is exactly that, usability without me present :-).

The tools for processing PDFs into searchable text have a lot of warts. For a while IBM was offering a free Watson service to do this (now its part of Watson Discovery) which has some warts. I did manage a set of perl scripts that would post process the statements that I downloaded from the bank into CSV files, but I would still like to pull tabular data out of PDF book scans to make the data they provide more useful.

I have a simple frontend based on the perl Mojolicious module which Blekko had developed as part of another project but my indexing tools are still quite primitive. Simple bi-gram and tri-grams, and a growing synonym index. I don't give it enough queries to use my own traffic for ranking feedback. So basically everything is nearly equal rank. Basically I am about to the AltaVista level of search capability :-).

The vision is it just runs as a server and anyone on the same network can access it like a web service an pull up documents (and in the future media) of interest.

For my eBooks, I use a java app called DocFetcher. It's indexing and word search capabilities are pretty nice, and I've had great luck with it, especially as I can set it up portably.

Did you get very far with other enterprise stuff like Sharepoint?

I didn't try Sharepoint, although I looked at Elastic Search on AWS briefly. The goal though was to have all of this stuff on premises both for latency reasons and to maintain a credible defense should someone come after me for copyright infringement.

A bit of a tangent, but if you use a Mac, I've found that Dash is really great for getting things done without internet access. It's main purpose is to pull in local copies of docsets and search those, but it can also pull in sections of stack overflow (such as all Python questions, or all Pandas questions), and it integrates with things like Alfred, so you can do scoped searches without any GUI interaction.

So do you have ~19TB still free? It doesn't seem like your items would take too much space.

I do still have a lot free, when I replaced the StorVault it was about 75% full (3TB out of 4TB), I'm up to about 5TB now. But there are more things on there as well. The Postgres data for my local gitlab instance for example, and time machine backups of my Macbook pro. So it isn't all library stuff.

There's actually great tools to help you build and organize that library... assuming you pirate everything.

I'm just hoping the movie/TV industry gets the picture soon and goes the way the music industry has with streaming.

I don't pirate everything. In fact, I don't pirate anything. For instance, with regards to eBooks, I hit Humble Book Bundles hard. They're bloody incredible for the discerning legitimate DRM-free digital content purchaser.

I was more just making the point that it's actually easier to do library organization for movies and TV as a pirate than it is as a legit owner of Blu-Rays for example.

Sad state for the industry, really.

Meh, it isn't that difficult with ripped blu-rays either. Plex can do it quite well.

I've found Plex great for movies, my ripped television shows on the other hand tend to be weird. Since the order of DVDs, BRs don't always match up to the airing order there can be a lot of manual work in cleaning that up. Plex is also not super great with music yet. It's getting better but it's definitely having problems with a lot of my music since I've got a lot of local/indie bands.

You have backups.

You don’t have to throw away the disk after you rip it. The disk itself is a great backup.

Personally, I prefer everything to be in my Plex server, but I’m in no rush and just rip as I go. I’ll probably never actually rip every one. By the sounds of it, I don’t even have anywhere close to the number of disks to rip as you, so I get it no being appealing.

Backblaze is $5 a month for unlimited storage. If your hard drive fails, you can order a hard drive with your data.

You better store encrypted if you're pirating movies/music.

It's rather easy to get TOS'ed even if you match filenames of common pirate name signatures.

Backblaze insists that your data is encrypted and that they can't see it. It's supposedly not like Box/Dropbox/Google Drive.

Do you have any examples where someone's Backblaze account was terminated for backing up pirated media?

I can comment on this - it's flawed. They encrypt locally and only send encrypted data to their servers, true, but they deduplicate that data between customers meaning they know file hashes or something similar and could remove pirated content if they so desired. Second, in order to get your data back their solution is to go ahead and type your "private" encryption passphrase into their site so their servers can then decrypt it and send you a zip or hard drive full of decrypted data.

I still suggest it for friends and family because it's cheap and damn sure that encryption is better than nothing, but if you have a lot of sensitive data I wouldn't recommend it. If you demand privacy, use Restic and Backblaze's B2 service, you're paying per GB then though.

> I still suggest it for friends and family because it's cheap and damn sure that encryption is better than nothing, but if you have a lot of sensitive data I wouldn't recommend it. If you demand privacy, use Restic and Backblaze's B2 service, you're paying per GB then though.

First, though, find out if your friends or family have an Office365 subscription. A lot of people get one because they want the Office apps, and don't make heavy use of the 1 TB of OneDrive storage that it includes. Restic vis rclone should be able to use that for backups.

Backblaze is cheap, but using something you have already paid for is even cheaper. :-)

How many of your friends are going to know how to use rclone?

You'd only need rclone if you wanted to use OneDrive with restic, because restic doesn't have direct OneDrive support.

Several other cloud backup programs do have OneDrive support built in, including Arq, duplicity, duplicati, duplicacy, and GoodSync. There are probably others.

Luckily passive commercial scanners don't require much; tossing it into an encrypted zip with everything set to fastest still runs over everything passive that's not nationstate

It makes more sense to encrypt the entire data store and just sync the entire data store. This is proof against anyone who isn't willing to hack your computer or break into your house while its open.

You'll want 2 copies there --- 100 blu-ray rips will take some time to rebuild if that drive dies.

You'll probably want 2 (or more) drives since even if you have the original discs the time needed to rip them again will justify the investment. On top of that you will most likely want a NAS to make the setup practical.

This adds up to a few hundred dollars that you wouldn't need to spend if the DRMs implemented were sane and reasonable with legal owners. And I don't even factor in the cost of the time, electrical power, or computing power involved to make it happen.

You are right, but just recalculate with 8 TB drives (more modern, quite cost effective) and 3 disks at minimum (RAID5) and you reach $600 for ~ 14 TB usable and safe storage. Add a CPU, MB, RAM and you reach $1000.

Can't you just plug an external HD into your existing wifi router's USB port to make it into NAS and invest in a paid off-site backup service for failures?

A dedicated NAS is useful, if only for keeping hard drives together. Any good NAS build will be primarily hard drives for your cost.

5TB to 8TB hard drives are cost-efficient in my experience. 6x 8TB Hard Drives for 24TB of storage (RAID1 like redundancy. Use ZFS btw) is $1200 (~$200 per 8TB hard drive).

> invest in a paid off-site backup service for failures

What's your recovery plan? If you want to recover 5TB of data off of a 100 MBit connection, that's 140 Hours. Local is the only thing that makes sense if you're at the point of filling up hard drives.

Having 1Gbps or even 10Gbps (local "fiber" with Direct Attached Copper) connections locally is relatively cheap. And it seems like 10Gbps is getting cheaper.

Accessing a hard drive, even a sped-up RAID set of drives, over 10Gbps is going to have the same bandwidth as a local SATA connection. (SATA is only 6Gbps). Your NAS is practically a "local drive" at that point.

> What's your recovery plan? If you want to recover 5TB of data off of a 100 MBit connection, that's 140 Hours. Local is the only thing that makes sense if you're at the point of filling up hard drives.

It's a media archive. As long as you can recover specific files on demand, it doesn't really matter if it takes two months to download the entire thing.

My $2k NAS holds over 2,000 movies and 20k tv episodes. The cost per is negligible.

DVDs are usually less than 5GB. 1TB drives cost $40 these days, less if amortized over larger disks.

Which means $100 buys you enough disk space for two redundant copies of 200 movies assuming you vobcopy them; about twice or thrice if you convert to h264 or h265 or av1; and half again if you have BD quality rips.

That’s about 50cents/movie for two copies, half if you only keep one. Is this really prohibitive?

I assume people with blue ray want to rip at original quality - isn’t that 10s of gig per disk? (I have never bought blue ray so have no idea).

For me the problem was ripping my dvds just took so long, and wasn’t automatable (weirdly my bottom of the line Mac mini struggles with re-encoding ;) )

Yep, Blu-rays can store something like 25GB per layer; industry standard for movies is dual layer (50GB).

Rips can achieve comparable quality with lower bitrate than used on the original disk. Blu-ray dates to 2006 and (typically) uses inefficient high bit-rate H.262 ("MPEG 2", which DVDs used), H.264 (AVC), or VC-1.

Rips can use high-efficiency H.265 ("HEVC"). Typical for a 1080p H.265 encoding is 9-15 GB. (Lower for animated films.)

UHD Blu-rays do use the more efficient H.265 already, but are much higher resolution as well. I'm not sure how prevalent they are.

The vast majority of newer Blurays use H.264, which is pretty efficient (much more than the other two). In addition, if you're just wanting to back up the film, and not any special features on the disk, at least half of films fit in 25 GB with no reencoding required.

One big downside of reencoding in HEVC is that for a moderate gain in compression (0-50% depending on the film), you considerably increase your playback requirements. I use a Raspberry Pi 3 with Kodi as a playback device, and it's not capable of playing 1080p HEVC videos.

UHD Blurays are getting more common. They usually come on 66 GiB disks, and it's becoming more common to let the video take up most of that, and bundling a second disk of special features if necessary. So even backing up the main feature of a UHD can easily run you 50+ GiB.

> The vast majority of newer Blurays use H.264, which is pretty efficient (much more than the other two).

Right; still quite a bit less efficient than H.265, though.

> One big downside of reencoding in HEVC is that for a moderate gain in compression (0-50% depending on the film), you considerably increase your playback requirements.

Yes, although this is becoming less true as more hardware offload support becomes available.

For example, Nvidia 750, 950-960, and 1030 are all capable of HEVC offload[1]. The latter can be had new for ~$85; the others are probably a bit harder to find but given they're older midrange cards at this point maybe they're a little cheaper.

> So even backing up the main feature of a UHD can easily run you 50+ GiB.

Sure, I don't think there's any economical way to reduce storage requirements of UHD significantly without defeating the point. On the other hand, I don't think the extra pixels really matter as much as higher color depth (10 or 12 bit) and fewer artifacts at lower resolution, unless you've got a home IMAX or something.

[1]: https://developer.nvidia.com/video-encode-decode-gpu-support...

Depends on the movie and if its 1080p or 4K, but generally I anticipate a ripped Bluray to be around 60gb.

Re-encoding them is a PITA as well. Even on a HEDT gaming desktop with a brand new CPU, the process only proceeds at 8-10fps, if that, so at least 2x movie runtime. Maybe there are some ways to involve the video card which can speed it up, but I haven't tried it.

And even if you want to and can keep the originals, you'll want to re-encode it and keep both; most Plex clients (think: Apple TV, shitty laptop, etc) simply can't handle raw 4K bluray playback.

ffmpeg supports a variety of hardware encoders but supposedly the quality will be worse than a CPU-encoded video at the same bitrate

Pirated 4k videos are often 7-15GB. I presume this is optimized for size over maximum quality.

That seems too small IMO. Encoded BD rips average about 20-30 GB; remuxes (no compression/encoding) begin around 50 GB.

How big is your movie library and what would you consider cost prohibitive? Hard drives are pretty cheap these days.

I thought cost was a blocker too till I actually sat down and worked it out. A cheap microserver with about 15TB of disk space came in well under the thousand pound mark - the real blocker is sitting down and actually ripping the things. There's a trade-off between space and encoding quality to be made, but I'm entirely happy with libx265's results at 1080p.

Obviously your mileage may vary as to what's a reasonable cost.

When my kids were little and basically destroyed anything they touched, I started ripping their DVDs. Now there's over 200 of them on my media center PC. I had to upgrade from a 1GB to a 3GB disk at one point, but there's still plenty of room for more.

> The storage costs to rip my movie library onto hard drives would be cost prohibitive

The storage costs as well as streaming transmission costs are not only borne by but also provide profit to the provider. If they can profit off them, you can hopefully at least break even!

You must be kidding. I bought two external 4TB for less than $130 CDN each.

I used to buy apple videos and remove the DRM. But the tools that did that seem to have lost in there arms-race with apple.

I'm in the same boat. Disks it is, though they are such a pain.

Why can I buy music without DRM but video hasn't followed that path?

> Why can I buy music without DRM but video hasn't followed that path?

The movie industry has always been more paranoid about piracy, compared to the music folks. And that's actually quite reasonable for newly-released content - the stuff that gets shown in theaters or on premium streaming services, and that pirates compete to "rip" ASAP. But there's no sensible reason why their long tail content couldn't be made available in DRM-free form, long after it has stopped being "current" and heavily sought-after. It's only market concentration and lack of competition that keeps this from happening-- and this is why DRM is evil and must be shut down. It's the opposite of a free market.

I think the tools still exist. Probably not for 4K, but up to 1080p should be doable. However, unless you find something really rare on itunes that you can't get elsewhere, it's quite pointless.

Because of their relative file sizes, downloading audio became fast and easy to do much sooner than video. It created a problem for the music industry pretty abruptly. They didn't have streaming technology (and business structure) ready to go at the time to counter Napster et al. So they went with downloads.

By the time it became easier to pirate video, streaming was further along and the video industry went straight there because it's more friendly to them than the download option.

File sizes, basically. The marginal benefits of streaming music over downloading it are small. Consumers are willing to pay for streamed video over downloads.

No idea, its not as if DRM works. At the end of the day the movie has to be shown on a screen and pirates can just capture that easy peasy.

Applications and browsers have taken steps to prevent this. For example, you typically can't screen-capture a Netflix movie on Win10 unless it's running on a windowed virtual machine.

Well there you go; easy peasy. But actually, I just checked how long it took season 2 of The Punisher to appear on a particular torrent site; it was all up in 720p and 1080p in less than 10 minutes. There are better re-releases later[1], but that seems to imply that the pirates are just downloading it straight, no screengrab hacks needed.

[1] E.g. Marvels.The.Punisher.S02.1080p.NF.WEBRip.x265.10bit.HDR.DDP5.1.Atmos-DEFLATE[rartv] (30GB) (1 hour 38 minutes after release time)

WEBRip should mean that it's being screencapped somewhere. WEBDL means it's a direct download. But with that time to release, I have no idea how they're getting and uploading the content that quickly.

I will never buy a DRMed product. They don't deserve my money. Yes, that means I can't watch these movies but I assume it's just as bad as DRM anyway.

It appears you can still watch your Ultraviolet movies ,just not through Vudu. You have to link your account to another service.

You can definitely still watch them through Vudu. Even if you've purchased them elsewhere (at a different UV retailer), connect your UV account to Vudu and the titles will "import" to your Vudu account.

>My Plex server will never close

Plex is proprietary and can shut down any time. Although it runs locally, it contacts the plex servers for quite a lot of stuff. Granted, you won't lose your media and can replace plex easily.

Yes, but the underlying media is still yours. Just switch to a different media server and you're good to go.

It would be inconvenient for Plex to stop functioning. But with all the data stored locally, it will be pretty easy to move to another product. Worst case I might setup Samba and just watch from a laptop.

For example, my dvd/bluray rips have gone through a number of servers: pytivo, stream-to-me, subsonic, and plex. Each time it's just setting up the daemon and pointing it to the media directory. It's nicer when you don't have to switch, but the non-DRM nature of the rips makes it so pretty much anything can serve them up to me.

any good alternative? Kodi? Universal Media Server?

Depends on which features matter to you. If you want an immersive content library like Plex, it's harder to find substitutes.

If you just want a way to stream music and movies from your own server or home computer, with on-the-fly re-encoding to adjust to available bandwidth, I would recommend airsonic. https://github.com/airsonic/airsonic

sounds good, but i dont do anything java on principle.

> sounds good, but i dont do anything java on principle.

Since you're just running it and not developing it, what difference does the language make (beyond making sure you have mem/cpu to meet application requirements)?

Huh? What's wrong with Java?

You must have either:

1) insufficient knowledge of the source code behind the tools you use, or

2) a really dull and limited computing experience

I've never touched Java; do I have a dull and limited computing experience?

I maintain my own Lisp implementation that has a decent object system, exceptions, delimited continuations, compiler and virtual machine, and a whole-document pattern matching language for easy text transformation.

I've worked on early versions of the POSIX threading library for Glibc, Linux device drivers, all sorts of middleware stacks in wireless, VoIP and such.

Code of mine is in e2fsprogs: https://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/fs/ext2/e2fsprogs.git/tree/li...

In Wireshark: https://code.wireshark.org/review/gitweb?p=wireshark.git;a=b...

I started working with 8 bit microcomputers in the early 1980's, writing games and utilities, and dial-up BBS's, using assembly language and BASIC. I had dabbled in 3D graphics and the "demo" scene. I used to code in Pascal and Modula-2 before C. I've worked as a C++ dev for many years.

Java simply isn't something that would interest me. Java programs look verbose and blubby. To be fair, a lot of what I use and have used is blubby, like the C language, Unix shell and whatnot. But I don't need more blubby. I have my fill of blub calories already. The Java platform bloated, and the ecosystem is self-absorbed. To its credit, it has a reputation for supposedly having good garbage collection and concurrency in its VM, that's about it.

I think it's admirable that you have such a wide experience with programming and open source. And I'm sure we could riff on Oracle and the Java platform all day.

But considering airsonic runs on Java, and you aren't developing for it, the only relevant issues with respect to the source language are performance and program size in terms of both memory and storage.

Considering you're storing videos on this server, storing a tiny Java app is a non-issue. And the memory the program itself takes up is meager compared to the memory usage from streaming and encoding/decoding media. If I had to guess, based on the lean interface, it has a lower memory profile than Plex. Performance, again on par with Plex.

So, if you don't have an ideological opposition to Java due to its proprietary nature, then I don't understand why you give a shit if the best media server for your needs runs on it.

I'm only responding to the idea that someone's experience is limited and dull if they don't work with Java.

We can hardly avoid using Java stuff in daily lives. If you use Android at all, you're using Java programs. Lots of web applications have Java back ends.

The premise wasn't that OP doesn't work with Java. OP's premise was that they won't even use applications that use Java. Which is basically everything.

Not really; OP seems not to want to install some server side thing written in Java, which is fair. I wouldn't want to muck around with it, either.

If someone else has done that (on the other side of an HTTP wall, for instance), I don't care.

> Which is basically everything.

Sorry to burst your Java bubble, but no, it isn't.

1. That was obvious hyperbole

2. I hate Java as a language but it is used in embedded systems everywhere. Oh look, another hyperbole.

Java doesn't even have a proprietary nature (anymore). It is licensed under the GNU GPL.

Correct, I was pointing out that there isn't grounds for such a position.

Linux server with Samba share. I used this setup with XBMC/Kodi for many years. Recently switched to Infuse on the AppleTV 4K without changing a single thing with the Samba setup.

> Linux server with Samba share. I used this setup with XBMC/Kodi for many years.

Ha! I use precisely this setup for my media needs: Kodi runs on an Odroid-XU4 SBC hooked up to a wired gigabit Ethernet LAN and my Big Display Device (the one with the ATSC tuner) and my server is my laptop. I even created some hinky shell scripts to play arbitrary video files:


I have the YouTube plugin so I can do things like

    kodi-play $YOUTUBE_URL

    kodi-play -y $YOUTUBE_VIDEO_ID
(When I was doing research on this project, it was kinda frustrating how many websites assumed I'd be making the SBC the server.)

You may want to follow the development of Jellyfin (https://github.com/jellyfin/jellyfin), which is a fork of the Emby Media Server when it became proprietary.

Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with Jellyfin's team, I just contributed one patch to the codebase.

Yes, kodi is good for the use cases it covers. It doesn't cover some of Plex's functionality though (mainly transcoding and the client server model)

Emby works well for me, better than Plex ever did. https://emby.media/

Emby became proprietary as well. So no real reason to choose it.

Didn't know that, thanks. The reason for me was that Plex kept corrupting it's database every few months, whereas I haven't had to touch Emby (other than upgrading via system package manager).

I use Kodi for the media center, paired with Kore on our phones.

mpd and icecast for in the go streaming.

I am pretty sad to see UV go because of the far more liberal policies it had regarding membership and sharing. UltraViolet supported a ton of smaller studios, television shows, etc. and their sharing system allowed you to share your library with up to five friends, who each had their own logins and ability to link all of their various retailers.

MoviesAnywhere is far more restrictive. Only five major studios are participating, and smaller studios have actually so far been shut out. (STX has tried to get onto MA with no luck.) And obviously it doesn't yet support TV either. Their view on sharing is that you should use the sharing features of a retailer, but all of the retailers have the same, heavy-handed requirement for sharing: Apple, Google, and Amazon video library sharing requires sharing a single credit card for purchasing across linked accounts, which prevents their sharing methods from being used for casual/friend use.

That being said, with studios gradually pulling out of UV anyways, the number of titles you could get new UV rights on was really diminishing anyways, and if each linked Vudu account is going to get permanent copies of our shared UV library when UV shuts down, it'll be good to have confidence that we aren't going to lose those titles.

I was having trouble figuring out what UltraViolet did (even after reading the faq).. They seem to a rights management for video but didn't store them?

From there faq: UltraViolet is a free, cloud-based digital rights library for the movies and TV shows that you purchase or redeem at participating retailers. When you buy a movie or TV show that comes with an UltraViolet right from a retailer that you have linked to your UltraViolet Library, it's automatically added to your UltraViolet Library and you have options to stream it over the Internet and/or download it for offline viewing to a variety of devices.

Movies would come with UltraViolet codes, which you would enter into the website, and then you would be able to watch the movies on linked retailers (mainly Vudu). It's largely been replaced by Movies Anywhere, which Disney spearheaded and has much larger participation than UltraViolet.

Movies Anywhere also makes the basic idea a lot more trustworthy, because it's effectively a full cross-redeeming of licenses between a number of services rather than just a single service. To lose any of the purchases linked with it, every involved company would need to shutter their video services.

"Keychest" was always the better tech. It's been fascinating to see it actually win out over the "worse is better" first mover advantage UV quickly staked out. It's also fascinating that for the most part there isn't any scorched earth from the consumer side of this war; several key retailers seem to have made it a mission that most users wouldn't even notice the transition of all their old UV keys to MA unlocks. Things have mostly just worked out.

This is true, there’s also the aspect that if you bought a movie on Vudu and opened an account on Flixster or some other UV service, the UV compatible (all?) movies would show up there too (not just the code entered ones).

Movies Anywhere does this for supported movies (which is not as many movies as I'd like it to be, to be sure). I can buy a movie on Vudu and watch it on Amazon Video or Microsoft's video stores (Windows/Xbox) or I think on iTunes, so long as I link my accounts. It's not quite the vision I have where platforms, not retailers, handle the front end and make it transparent to me what provider is giving me the movie (if I want to watch a movie, I shouldn't have to care if it's on Hulu or Netflix or whatever, I should just be able to pick it and watch it), but it's a step in the right direction.

That is true, I just didn't want someone reading about it for the first time to think UV was limited purely to the codes in DVD/Bluray boxes.

Once again, having a massive personal archive drive (with backups) proves to be the better strategy.

All purchased and UV-synced movies remain in users' accounts. The end of UV simply means they can't sync their purchases to other vendors.

Odd. Under the "After the shutdown date:" section:

"Your UltraViolet Library will automatically close and, in the majority of cases, your movies and TV shows will remain accessible at previously-linked retailers."

I wonder what is a minority case?

We're referring to the same thing. By user, I don't mean a UV user, I mean a (for example) Vudu user.

Don't remember to backup. I've had multiple drives fail (within 6 months!), luckily I always have at least 2 copies of my data.

I'm curious if anyone here thinks it would be morally or ethically wrong to download all the movies that you've already paid for via bittorrent? I can't think of a convincing argument against it, other than being technically illegal.

i dont see any issues with it (unless you're also seeding a lot) but my ISP might.

i usually rent from a local library and use DVDFab & Handbrake/x264 to encode from scratch with excellent settings. Most of the stuff on torrent is lousy quality that's optimized for size first. The way I see it, i already pay huge property taxes that more than covers the few select movies i rip. sometimes i already own the DVD (720p) version but not the blu ray (1080p).

> The way I see it, i already pay huge property taxes that more than covers the few select movies i rip.

I can't comprehend how one would arrive at that reasoning.

> I can't comprehend how one would arrive at that reasoning.

definitely some mental gymnastics are required. the difference between owning and renting is largely inconsequential. i rarely watch the stuff i own, and since i can rent it for free from a library, i would never buy it. i just save myself a library trip the one time in 2 years that i want to watch it.

i guess i have little sympathy for ever-expanding media conglomerates, like Comcast-NBCUniversal, given how they've treated me as their loyal customer/prisoner for the past decade. i do pay for content from smaller studios, and as i said, most of the stuff i rip is older and i already own in crappier resolution on dvd.

Your ISP doesn't care. They just forward the message to you. which you can promptly ignore.

You could just link your account to a retailer and then after the shutdown of UltraViolet you will still have access.

When it comes to copyrights even if I don't own a copy I've taken the stance of "who cares, download"

Bittorrent in particular has the issue that you're not just downloading content (which has some pretty reasonable moral justifications and even a weird sort of pseudo-legality in some places), you're also sharing it far and wide (which is pretty hard to justify unless you just categorically reject the legitimacy of copyrights).

If I bought the DVD and download a copy off torrent. There is a case to be made that this download is not a copyright infringement. So, why should I have a concern about uploading?

That is, other people may have fair use claims to the access. So why should I be on the hook for uploading.

—yes, I know the position that RIAA takes on this. I just found it interesting seeing this from a different perspective.

This is no defense at all. You can't say "Yes, I knew there was great likelihood it was wrong, but I didn't know it for a fact that it was wrong, so I was actually in the right." It's a bit like punching somebody in the face and then saying, "Well, how was I supposed to know he didn't want to be punched? Some people like to be punched!"

If you can circumvent copyright just by not caring whether you have a right to copy, that's essentially the same thing as copyright not existing at all.

Unless you're using a private tracker with a minimum ratio requirement you don't need to seed to download something with bittorrent.

You’re facilitating people downloading who don’t own the media? Just by virtue of how BT works.

I feel like it's totally ok (although lawyers may think different).

Clear example why one should never to buy DRMed media.

And the Mouse Monopoly grows ever larger.

Disney did spin Movies Anywhere off into it's own company, and my understanding is that the five major studios more or less have equal authority over it. Of course, that five major studios is about to become four, and it does seem like they're gatekeeping out smaller players from participating at this juncture.

> it does seem like they're gatekeeping out smaller players from participating at this juncture.

Impending monopoly abuse lawsuit?

But there's 5 (Soon 4) studios, that doesn't sound like a monopoly. Oligopoly and immoral sure, but I don't think most laws will help here.

It could potentially be... I think a "trust" is the term? Basically, my understanding is that if you control the market by working with others, it still counts because you're still unfairly gaming the market by collectively leveraging your market share. Very much not a lawyer, so I might be mistaken.

Persistence of services like this, and true ownership of media you purchase are important concepts.

VidAngel is currently in court fighting Disney over their version of a system I invented to solve these problems.

A good start, but it's not enough. DRM schemes are designed to take away your fair and lawful rights as a participant in the media ecosystem. Every single one of them should be shut down.

I hate DRM and think it's a pernicious evil. I boycott DRM-ed media, with rare exceptions in cases where I can rip/re-encode and one vendor holds a monopoly.

That said, while the impact of DRM is a huge reduction in personal freedom, I don't think it's accurate or fair to say:

> DRM schemes are designed to take away your fair and lawful rights as a participant in the media ecosystem.

They are designed to protect the copyright holder from infringement in the form of illegal sharing. They just don't care enough about the impact on users to counteract their desire to fight "piracy."

> They just don't care enough about the impact on users to counteract their desire to fight "piracy."

Users rights are a subset of "piracy".

Paid money to have digital access to these movies, and after the shut down all of the content may not be accessible. I would like to buy an digital file like I can for music.

So in the future after Ultraviolet closes, I can redeem an UltraViolet code on one the listed retailers, and it'll still work?

Yes. The vast majority will redeem at Movies Anywhere or Vudu or both.

DRM is crippleware which has always been a terrible idea. Let's ditch the focus on corporate profits and instead focus on making society better. Which is indirectly good for corporate profit anyway.

Edit: I wish the Hacker in HN was real.

Vast majority of people employed in the tech industry (think any major hardware or software company) are implicitly contributing to and benefiting from DRM. So I'm not too surprised with the general sentiment.

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