The latest variation is called UltraViolet and it's an idea that actually brings several technologies, both old and new, together. The basis of UltraViolet is that it's a data locker in the cloud for the content that you've purchased, but it goes a bit further.
If you buy a Blu-ray disc of a movie or game, it gives you the enduring right for you or your family to access that content from the cloud on any Blu-ray device that you might have. But even better, the idea is that you only have to purchase that product once, and it's always available to you, even if a new higher resolution format is created at a later date. The physical Blu-ray disc that you purchased is used only a backup and a point-of-purchase device to give you some feel of tactile product ownership.
Every hardware, computer, software company and movie studio except for Apple and Disney has signed on to the UltraViolet program. Of course, they have their own competing content locker strategy that we'll see soon enough, so it should be an interesting battle for market share. My guess is that Apple will win this battle, but it's certainly too early to tell.
UltraViolet will be introduced in July. Read more about it on the UVVU.com site here.
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