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Free digital versions of DVDs to curb piracy

CONSUMERS buying DVDs will get free digital copies of the movies in a bid to tackle illegal downloading.

Warner Brothers is today launching a new UltraViolet digital ownership system, giving purchasers who buy hardcopy DVDs free access to digital copies, which can be downloaded on to their laptops, iPads and phones.

The new system is being rolled out on all Warner Bros' new releases, starting with 'The Hobbit'.

Already, around 12 million households worldwide have used the new UltraViolet system of digital movie access, which was launched in Britain and the US in 2011 and is backed by other electronics giants such as Sony and Panasonic.

DVD buyers will be given a code for www.flixster.com, which they can use to download or stream the movie.

There is a huge and growing appetite for watching movies on tablets, phones and computers and this system caters to that demand, said Warner Bros vice-president of digital distribution Jo Williams.

The industry is keen to stop people downloading illegal copies and this should help deter them from that, she said.

In Britain, Sony, Universal, Fox and BBC give access to UltraViolet on their DVDs and it's expected many studios will follow suit in Ireland.

Irish Independent