A large number of video-content publishers and video-device manufacturers are coordinating a common DRM scheme:
The idea behind DECE is the same idea behind the push to drop DRM, except that DECE would preserve the DRM part. Both sides want users to be able to use their content on more devices and be more flexible with where and when things can be watched; DECE would merely employ a DRM system that would allow any device to authenticate against a cloud-based Digital Rights Locker whenever a user wants to watch a video on a new device. In theory, this would free the user from being locked down to a single device where he or she bought the content from, but still allow the content providers to control who is watching the content at any given time.
Do we really want to give the big video-content providers more control? This time, they can give us something even more frustrating than unskippable DVD warnings and menu animations. I absolutely don’t trust them to use any new technical control scheme in a way that’s a net benefit to customers.
Video publishers have repeatedly demonstrated that they despise their customers, and they have taken every technically feasible opportunity to increase restrictions and outright hostility.
Every purported benefit of UltraViolet needs to be run through a strong bullshit filter, as if it were a Bush-era law, like “No Child Left Behind” or the “PATRIOT Act”, that’s named in a way that sounds like it accomplishes the opposite of what it really does. UltraViolet is not about being “flexible”, it’s about being locked down. It’s not “freeing” users, it’s controlling us. And it almost certainly won’t be used to give us more abilities overall.
Assuming otherwise requires a very short-term memory of the actions of the major publishers involved.
Fortunately, there’s a major setback: Apple’s not participating in this scheme. (Neither is Disney.)
So let’s take a step back for a minute. With all of this talk of abstract “devices”, which devices, exactly, are people likely to demand compatibility with?
Might any of them have an Apple logo?