How are UV integrated streaming services like Vudu and Flixster making any money? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 32 Old 04-21-2012, 09:53 AM - Thread Starter
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I currently have both Flixster and Vudu linked with my Ultraviolet account. This means any UV-related movie I purchase shows up in both of those services without any extra charge (whether it be a Bluray movie with an access code or if I decide to buy it directly from one of those streaming services). For instance, I just redeemed a free movie from Flixster and afterwards I checked my Vudu account, and sure enough that movie was there. I can now stream that movie as much as I want from Vudu, and they aren't making any money off of that movie from me. And vice versa for Flixster, as I went to Walmart and did a disc-to-digital copy of a few of my DVDs and now they show up in Flixster. I can't see how this could go on for too long as-is, because they would end up losing money on all this free streaming. Not to mention when I do actually buy a movie from them, I'm only paying once, but streaming many times, which I'm sure cost them in bandwidth. Are they making money in other ways that I'm not seeing?
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post #2 of 32 Old 04-21-2012, 04:09 PM
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How do you know they aren't making money off you? Are you sure there is not an agreement with the studios to give Vudu or Flixster some money everytime a UV title is viewed? Or to give them a discount for other titles they stream from those providers in exchange for letting people view their UV titles?

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post #3 of 32 Old 04-21-2012, 07:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Possibly, I'm sure there's all kinds of things going on behind the scenese on this stuff. And maybe they're counting on a massive amount of people getting in on this to bring in a significant amount of profit. Although neither the studios nor the streaming services are doing a very good job of advertising this new format. I only found out about it through Engadget. Of course then again, I cut the cord a long time ago, so maybe they are advertising it on TV and I just never see it.
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post #4 of 32 Old 04-22-2012, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by rdross80 View Post

...Not to mention when I do actually buy a movie from them, I'm only paying once, but streaming many times, which I'm sure cost them in bandwidth. Are they making money in other ways that I'm not seeing?

They will make their money 2 years from now when you have built a decent "collection" and then they say you have to pay maintenance fees to keep your "collection" active and available.

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Some retailers or streaming services might charge a fee (kind of like a "shipping and handling" fee) or require a subscription for you to stream or download additional copies from your digital library, but in general there is no cost other than buying videos and players.

http://uvdemystified.com/uvfaq.html

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What are UltraViolet Rights?
UltraViolet Rights are the guaranteed minimum benefits that you, as a consumer, get with every UltraViolet movie or TV show at-no-charge above the original purchase price. UltraViolet Retailers and UltraViolet Streaming Services may, over time, charge additional fees for additional benefits (such as additional downloads or more streaming).

http://www.uvvu.com/faqs.php

They only truly guarantee 1 year of unlimited streaming "UltraViolet Rights include streaming from the selling UltraViolet Retailer, at no extra charge above the original content purchase price, for at least one year after purchase. "
http://www.uvvu.com/uv-offer-details.php

Furthermore they allow 6 people to share 1 account. So one person can buy a movie and 5 others freeload off of it.

So not only do they have to maintain all of the servers, but they theoretically just gave consumers a 5/6 discount, if the one person that buys movies shares it with 5 others.

You could easily see college kids buying UltraViolet codes on the internet for $2 or less and sharing one account. If they don't just download for free anyway.

I also don't see how UV is sustainable unless they severely lock up some of the loop-holes or current features that not only diminish value of the movies but allow for all sorts of exploitation.

I mean, with new disc purchases they include the UV code on a piece of paper that anyone can use. You would think they would at least require the code be mailed to the email address you have synced with your UV account.

It is like they are encouraging misuse.
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post #5 of 32 Old 04-22-2012, 08:18 AM
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We will see what happens as time passes. I am not sure UV is truly ownership. It seems more like an indefinite rental.

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because nothing about UltraViolet is about actually "buying" anything. You're still renting -- and if things ever went to court over, say, your first sale rights to resell a movie you "purchased" using UltraViolet, you can bet that Warner Bros. would be first in line to claim that the license shows you're merely renting the movie, and not buying it. It's just that you're renting it on an open-ended timeline, basically until the studios bail on UltraViolet and shut down the servers.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/201...ill-rent.shtml

It is just a matter of time before the Hollywood studios start to charge digital maintenance fees for the movies you "own".
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post #6 of 32 Old 04-22-2012, 09:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Well as long as it's not an outrageous amount I don't mind paying for a great service. I'll still always have my original discs to fall back on if something ever happens that I would lose the digital copies. Although both Vudu and UV does give you the option to download the copies instead of streaming, so that may be a way of getting out of paying for any streaming fees. Until the tech progresses more, I will never just straight out buy a digital copy without owning the disc.
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post #7 of 32 Old 04-22-2012, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by bt12483 View Post

It is just a matter of time before the Hollywood studios start to charge digital maintenance fees for the movies you "own".

Agreed. It seems many think once they have a UV title it means they will have continuous access. I bet after a given length of time there will be additional fees to continue to have access to your UV titles and those fees will be reoccurring. IMO, just another form of DIVX.
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post #8 of 32 Old 04-22-2012, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by rdross80 View Post

Well as long as it's not an outrageous amount I don't mind paying for a great service. I'll still always have my original discs to fall back on if something ever happens that I would lose the digital copies. Although both Vudu and UV does give you the option to download the copies instead of streaming, so that may be a way of getting out of paying for any streaming fees. Until the tech progresses more, I will never just straight out buy a digital copy without owning the disc.

Smart move.

Discs, being tangible, hold more weight than a purely digital "copy". You have more rights with the disc.
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post #9 of 32 Old 04-22-2012, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by rdross80 View Post

Although both Vudu and UV does give you the option to download the copies instead of streaming, so that may be a way of getting out of paying for any streaming fees.

How so? I would wager there are DRM associated with any title that can be downloaded. One would have to be pretty naive to think otherwise.
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post #10 of 32 Old 04-22-2012, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Well yes, I realize the DRM will still be there, but iTunes had DRM on their music tracks for a while too, but they never charged a service fee for it.
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post #11 of 32 Old 04-22-2012, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by rdross80 View Post

Well yes, I realize the DRM will still be there, but iTunes had DRM on their music tracks for a while too, but they never charged a service fee for it.

iTunes TOS ≠ UV TOS. Two completely different types of service. UV clearly states there may be additional fees with the continued use of a UV title.
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post #12 of 32 Old 04-22-2012, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Wendell R. Breland View Post

I bet after a given length of time there will be additional fees to continue to have access to your UV titles and those fees will be reoccurring.

How could one expect anything else? Do you think they should provide a costly service for free perpetually? Try giving your bank ten bucks and see how long they will provide a safe deposit box for free... gee I paid ten bucks I should have free access to it for 100 years. Sure... As I posted in the other thread UV is simply the first step in dropping discs. Plain and simple. The related charges will be what the market will bear going forward. Hopefully some type of monthly subscription for catalog titles (movies and TV series) and a per-viewing fee for first run stuff.
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post #13 of 32 Old 04-22-2012, 12:34 PM
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How could one expect anything else?

How? Usually when I buy something to own I don't want to have to pay to access it in perpetuity. Even my mortgage has a 30 year limit. Are you saying I should expect to pay for UV content that I supposedly "own" for well past my mortgage end date?

Is that what one should expect?

I have a shelf full of movies that require no perpetual fees to own or watch. I would think the expectation for a digital movie would likewise be that if I buy a movie I shouldn't have to keep paying for it 5 years into the future.

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Do you think they should provide a costly service for free perpetually?

Do you think they should snooker people into believing they won't have to pay?

Do you think in a year or twos time if people have to start paying for things they "own" and were "free" there won't be a backlash. No doubt if you don't pay the fee they will simply delete your content, you know, the content you supposedly owned.

Tell me, what should a user expect when they read the following:

Does it cost anything to set up and manage my UltraViolet account?
NO! Your UltraViolet account and Collection is included FREE with your UltraViolet movie & TV show purchases!


Will my UltraViolet Rights expire?
Your rights to the movie or TV show you purchase do not expire. For a more detailed description of the UltraViolet Rights, click here.


http://www.uvvu.com/faqs.php#question-8

What it should really say is your content is free, for one year (maybe), and the rights never expire, if you pay additional fees in the future.

Only if you read the fine print do you see:
Streaming of a given title from the selling UltraViolet Retailer more than a year after its purchase, or at any time via Streaming Services other than the selling UltraViolet Retailer, may incur fees and if so any such fees would be presented to the consumer in advance of streaming titles, with the consumer having the option to accept the fees or not use that Streaming Service
http://www.uvvu.com/uv-offer-details.php

Sounds great. Two years from now I want to watch Horrible Bosses. I go to stream it, and a message pops up telling me to pay another $2 to be able to stream the movie I bought for $20 two years ago. Which makes it a $22 purchase. Then maybe another two years it becomes a $24 purchase. Hell, owning UV for as long as I have owned some DVDs, I will end up paying double my original purchase price. And you say that is to be expected???????????????????????? Wow.

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Try giving your bank ten bucks and see how long they will provide a safe deposit box for free... gee I paid ten bucks I should have free access to it for 100 years. Sure...

We are talking about buying movies that are marketed as being free with your disc purchase. Most normal consumers don't consider "free" to last only one year, and then have to pay money to access the content.

You can even buy UV directly from the studios. They do not make it abundantly clear that in the future you might have to pay just to access the movie you "own."

Hell, the Paramount UV FAQ never once mentions the possibility of future fees:
https://www.paramountmovies.com/support.html#PURCHASE

Not very forthcoming. But hey according to you such fees should be "expected."

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Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

As I posted in the other thread UV is simply the first step in dropping discs. Plain and simple. The related charges will be what the market will bear going forward. Hopefully some type of monthly subscription for catalog titles (movies and TV series) and a per-viewing fee for first run stuff.

Hopefully? So you are hoping to have to pay money to access titles that you already bought? Wow. The studios must love you. You are more than happy to pay twice (thrice...who knows how many times), and pay an unknown amount for an unknown period of time, since UV nor the studios explicitly state if or how much fees will be.

I've had some DVDs for 10 years. I imagine if I had to continually pay to use them for the past 9 years, I would have stopped buying them about 9 years ago. Call me crazy, but if I buy something, I don't want to have to pay additional fees on it FOREVER.
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post #14 of 32 Old 04-22-2012, 01:23 PM
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Either way a UV disc is a free add on right now. The main reason to purchase a title would be for the disc. But having instant digital access to it is just a benefit. I certainly would not expect access to it for life for free.

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post #15 of 32 Old 04-22-2012, 01:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bt12483 View Post

Sounds great. Two years from now I want to watch Horrible Bosses. I go to stream it, and a message pops up telling me to pay another $2 to be able to stream the movie I bought for $20 two years ago. Which makes it a $22 purchase. Then maybe another two years it becomes a $24 purchase. Hell, owning UV for as long as I have owned some DVDs, I will end up paying double my original purchase price. And you say that is to be expected???????????????????????? Wow.

This is where the free market comes into play. Since the UV right itself never expires if the streaming service you're using at that moment starts charging more than you want to pay, you can go find a different service that's either free or cheaper. Now I'm talking for myself and other people interested in this type of service. Obviously this isn't something you'll ever switch over to. Yet another great thing about the free market, people have choices. But as someone else already said, these licences are coming with discs themselves, so it's not like the digital version is the only copy you'll ever have. So there's really not much to worry about.
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post #16 of 32 Old 04-22-2012, 01:46 PM
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Either way a UV disc is a free add on right now. The main reason to purchase a title would be for the disc.

They are sold as a bundle. I would expect anything I bought to be mine forever, not just some things.

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But having instant digital access to it is just a benefit. I certainly would not expect access to it for life for free.

But you do expect to access your disc for life for free?

What if you bought a UV only copy from Paramount (no disc)? Would you expect to have that forever for free? Or would you expect to have to pay more money on top of the initial cost somewhere down the road?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

How could one expect anything else?

I have no dog in this hunt . I was just pointing out to others that they MAY incur additional fees to continue access to UV titles.
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post #18 of 32 Old 04-22-2012, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by rdross80 View Post

This is where the free market comes into play. Since the UV right itself never expires if the streaming service you're using at that moment starts charging more than you want to pay, you can go find a different service that's either free or cheaper.

But there are limitations as to what studios allow streaming on what services, etc. It isn't as fully open as they imply. Paramount is restrictive.

"You can only stream Paramount Movies from the Paramountmovies.com site. You will be able to see your entire UltraViolet library from the My Movies tab however, to access and view movies from other studios you will be taken to another site to view or download movies from other retailers or studios."

https://www.paramountmovies.com/support.html

Vudu likewise does not have rights to all movies. Odds are you are going to have to rely on a plurality of UV services to get full open access all of the time.

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Yet another great thing about the free market, people have choices. But as someone else already said, these licences are coming with discs themselves, so it's not like the digital version is the only copy you'll ever have. So there's really not much to worry about.

Paramount sells UV without a disc. There is plenty to worry about if you buy the UV only version and then have to pay additional fees on a yearly basis to access your previously purchased content.
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post #19 of 32 Old 04-22-2012, 02:01 PM
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IMO, some folks will expect access to UV titles for no additional fees ever, others will expect to pay additional fees to continue access to UV titles.

Then there is the reality of the UV TOS. No need for bickering, just read the TOS and decide if you want to play.
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post #20 of 32 Old 04-22-2012, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Wendell R. Breland View Post

IMO, some folks will expect access to UV titles for no additional fees ever, others will expect to pay additional fees to continue access to UV titles.

Exactly. For some, the "fair" price will be $0 since they feel their initial purchase was enough. Others will be OK paying a "nominal" maintenance fee. If they want $2/$5 for a conversion from disc to a SD/HD copy now, how much will they charge to store and stream, say 10 HD movies? $1/movie/year? $2/movie/year? A flat yearly fee? No one knows. Which is kind of my point. I don't want some hidden fees of unknown cost and quantity just lurking out there.

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Then there is the reality of the UV TOS. No need for bickering, just read the TOS and decide if you want to play.

Yup. I would just add that actually reading your "rights" with UV shows that the system is not as open and free as it would appear to be on the surface.
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post #21 of 32 Old 04-22-2012, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdross80 View Post

This is where the free market comes into play.

Free market has nothing to do with UV titles, you have access to them via a license. In no way is this the same as a purchase of a physical title (DVD, VHS, Blu-ray, etc.) To gain access to a UV title you have to agree to the TOS. There is no guarantee, just try to buy a new title on a DIVX DVD, D-Theater or HD DVD.
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post #22 of 32 Old 04-22-2012, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bt12483 View Post

But there are limitations as to what studios allow streaming on what services, etc. It isn't as fully open as they imply. Paramount is restrictive.

Vudu likewise does not have rights to all movies. Odds are you are going to have to rely on a plurality of UV services to get full open access all of the time.

I expect this will probably change in the future if UV becomes more popular, but I could be wrong, we'll just have to wait and see.

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Paramount sells UV without a disc. There is plenty to worry about if you buy the UV only version and then have to pay additional fees on a yearly basis to access your previously purchased content.

Anyone who buys a movie in this way is an idiot, plain and simple. I haven't checked prices, but if they're anything like Vudu, it's way cheaper to buy physical disc online, whether new or used. Even if you can't get the license with disc-to-digital at this moment, I think there's a good chance that will change in the near future.
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post #23 of 32 Old 04-22-2012, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by bt12483 View Post

I would just add that actually reading your "rights" with UV shows that the system is not as open and free as it would appear to be on the surface.

IMO, the following is the most important phrase in the TOS:
Quote:


DECE reserves the right, from time to time, at any time, and in its sole discretion, with or without additional notice to you, to change the Website Terms of Use.

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post #24 of 32 Old 04-22-2012, 02:27 PM - Thread Starter
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IMO, the following is the most important phrase in the TOS:

Well, if it happens it happens. I'll be the one screwed over, and you can all laugh at me for being the fool. ;-)

I guess I'm willing to risk it for the convenience .
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post #25 of 32 Old 04-22-2012, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Wendell R. Breland View Post

I have no dog in this hunt . I was just pointing out to others that they MAY incur additional fees to continue access to UV titles.

I understand. I was just saying it's beyond belief to think a company would perform a service perpetually for free. So unbelievable it's not worth addressing as there is absolutely zero rational.
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post #26 of 32 Old 04-22-2012, 07:06 PM
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I understand. I was just saying it's beyond belief to think a company would perform a service perpetually for free. So unbelievable it's not worth addressing as there is absolutely zero rational.

You mean like PSN? That is hardly beyond belief. I've been using it for years.

There is clear rationale. You provide a service for free when you want to have a talking point over a competitor and gain a foothold.

Anyone that denies such a tactic is used is quite foolish.
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post #27 of 32 Old 04-22-2012, 08:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bt12483 View Post

You mean like PSN? That is hardly beyond belief. I've been using it for years.

There is clear rationale. You provide a service for free when you want to have a talking point over a competitor and gain a foothold.

Anyone that denies such a tactic is used is quite foolish.

The same can be said about UV providers. You're acting as if companies like Vudu have already started charging for their services. For all you know, they could be just like PSN and offer an advantage over their competitors.
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post #28 of 32 Old 08-14-2012, 12:20 PM
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Hi.

From 2010 to 2012, I worked with the DECE on aspects of the interface to the UltraViolet service. I have been in hundreds upon hundreds of hours of meetings with the folks behind the UltraViolet service, and until I left my job (earlier this year) where I was working on the project, I was very involved as a consultant to firms that wanted to deploy UltraViolet in a retail or studio context. Aside from Jim Taylor (Author of UltraViolet Demystified) and other key leaders in the DECE, I probably knew more than anyone about the rules of the road for UltraViolet.

I'm no UltraViolet cheerleader, but this thread does have some points that I'd like to clarify, for no other reason than I know the very lawyers who wrote the documents many of you are quoting here, and I have deep familiarity with the user-lever experiences that are possible from DECE policy.

Jim's "UltraViolet Demystified" site is really the best go-to source for dry facts about UltraViolet, there's no marketing coloration there at all. I know Jim personally, and he's a forthright and smart guy. Before you go off and say what's true or not about UltraViolet, please do cross-check with his site.

A couple of biggies.

a) Even if UltraViolet goes away, your media will still play on registered devices. There's a key-pair exchange in the player app, and that's all that's needed for the player app to decrypt and play the content. Of course, once those devices die, you're stuck (if there's nobody else to provide device management). All of this is hypothetical, because the UltraViolet Common File Format (CFF) is not in market and there are no CFF player apps in market.

b) The WEB SITE Terms of Use (TOU) are not the same as the UltraViolet Terms of use.
This is the Web site TOU, it's just about how you use the web site and all that: http://uvvu.com/terms-of-use.php
The actual UltraViolet Terms of Use are visible while signing up for an account (it's one of those "click and agree" things nobody reads)

Key items from the actual UltraViolet TOU's are:

Changes to UltraViolet and the UltraViolet Terms of Use

DECE reserves the right to make changes to UltraViolet from time to time, with or without notice to you. Any description of how UltraViolet works contained herein should not be considered a representation or obligation with respect to how UltraViolet will always work. DECE reserves the right, from time to time, at any time, and in its sole discretion, with or without additional notice to you, to change the UltraViolet Terms of Use. You should review the UltraViolet Terms of Use frequently to understand the terms and conditions that apply to your use of UltraViolet. The most current version of the UltraViolet Terms of Use can be viewed at any time by visiting the UltraViolet Terms of Use page on the UltraViolet Website (Terms of Use). Such changes shall be effective and binding on you upon the earlier of your acceptance of the updated UltraViolet Terms of Use (i) via a “click-through” consent or other industry-standard mechanism, or (ii), except with respect to the section below entitled “Resolving Disputes”, by your continued use of UltraViolet after the date the updated UltraViolet Terms of Use are presented and available to you by posting on the UltraViolet Website. The most current version of the UltraViolet Terms of Use will supersede all previous versions. If you do not agree to, or cannot comply with, the updated UltraViolet Terms of Use, you must stop using UltraViolet.


and w/r/t Streaming

Streaming UltraViolet Content

Your UltraViolet Account is authorized to receive a total of three streams of UltraViolet content simultaneously. The UltraViolet content that is available for streaming and the devices to which it may be streamed will vary depending on which authorized streaming services you elect to use in connection with your UltraViolet Account. Depending on the type of streaming service you and the other Members of your UltraViolet Account elect to connect to, such streaming service may be available for use by all Members of your UltraViolet Account and without the need to separately log into your UltraViolet Account, or the streaming service may only be available to a particular Member after that Member logs in to his or her UltraViolet Account. Each streaming service supports its own devices so you will need to check with your streaming service provider to determine the devices to which you are authorized to stream UltraViolet content. In connection with your use of streaming services you may be required to comply with additional terms and conditions of such third party service.



and w/r/t Ownership (Partial)

Intellectual Property Matters

As between you and DECE, other than the rights you have obtained with respect to UltraViolet content, DECE owns, solely and exclusively, all rights, title and interest in and to UltraViolet and all of the content, software, code, data and other materials thereon, and the look-and-feel, design and organization of any aspect thereof , including any copyrights, trademark rights, patent rights and other intellectual property and proprietary rights therein (collectively, the “UltraViolet Service Material”). Your use of UltraViolet does not grant to you ownership or title of, in or to any UltraViolet Service Material, UltraViolet content or any other part of UltraViolet. UltraViolet, the UltraViolet Service Material and the UltraViolet content are for your personal and non-commercial use only.


(By the way, this is basically the same as a DVD or BluRay)

I have no direct connection to the DECE at all anymore, so things may have changed since earlier this year, but all in all, it's roughly the same rights you have with a physical copy, plus a little more, plus the household sharing. I have a particular gripe with how they handle streaming (as a consumer, it's kinda sucky) but from my experience with the organization, I know exactly why streaming & redownload of a movie is a sticky monster nobody really wants to deal with (imagine selling an object and then having a perpetual possible cost liability associated with the object, but no revenue model to offset the costs.)

Anyway, that's what I can contribute here, hope it helps.
Martin Focazio is offline  
post #29 of 32 Old 08-18-2013, 07:41 PM
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I guess you are all missing the point how they make money from this service. I only have a little time so I will explain one of them; lets take VUDU. This service is not designed to make money the way you are thinking. It is designed for Walmart to make money.

If you like VUDU you will buy your DVDs from Walmart. You will spend money on the DvD and while you are at the store you will most likely buy something else.

VUDUs Disk to Digital plan is so that you can add you existing dvd's to the plan and make you like the service more. Don't think they want to make money on this they just want you to get your existing movies into your account.

The disk to digital service does NOT include TV series like Star Trek or anything else. Why? It is a marketing decision. Dont you think that they know that eventually you will pay to buy the TV shows from Walmart to get them into you account? Watch what happens.

Well these are VUDUs plans. As for Flixster dont you think they will soon begin ... ah this story will have to wait. Believe me, VUDU is making alot of money not for VUDU but for Walmart. I hope you understand.
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post #30 of 32 Old 08-19-2013, 07:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Cost View Post

This service is not designed to make money the way you are thinking. It is designed for Walmart to make money.

VUDU was designed to make money but for what ever reason the VUDU owners sold it to Walmart Feb., 2010. Now if you work for Walmart you need to state that, otherwise your post is just an opinion and you need to state that as well
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