Selling the digital copies that come with Blu-rays these days has been fairly common practice among those who have no plans to use them. When those copies are housed on their own discs, no one seems to care. But The Consumerist has uncovered a wrinkle in UltraViolet‘s otherwise instant gratification, and that takes the form of an End User License Agreement. The fine print specifically says that the license is tied to owning the physical copy.
Considering that Paramount is selling their standalone UltraViolet copies for incredibly high prices, something tells me that they’re looking to crack down on that first-week competition for the digital sales. After all, what would you rather pay: $5 to some guy on Ebay, or $16.99 ($22.99 HD) to Paramount for the same thing? The Consumerist believes that the first sale doctrine applies, but since this is access to a locker service, and not the physical object, the end user is probably screwed, at least right now.
At the same time, Paramount is paying for the bandwidth to stream those movies to you on-demand, so they may have a point. That said, you’d think they could turn some of those megabucks around and get on board with Flixster like Universal and Sony have, or at least create their own app so viewers don’t have to login through cumbersome web pages.
With services like WalMart’s VUDU conversion service (which is expected to spread, at least in concept, to other retailers) proving popular, it’s more important than ever for UltraViolet to get unified. That means one login (not one per app, not one per studio, and not one for the master account. One… login… period). As digital sales become more and more prevalent, despite content owners’ wishes, the ability to buy, sell, and trade your digital property is going to become a requirement, and probably will take a lot of lawsuits to establish a fair set of ground rules. Until then, you’ll have to find more creative ways to dispose of unwanted UV copies.
Via: [The Consumerist]