The movie industry wanted to create a universal online locker for digital content when it announced UltraViolet in 2010. The service has limped along for years, but the movie industry is finally reading the writing on the walls. UltraViolet will shut down on July 31st, and shocker, this convoluted DRM scheme makes it confusing to retain access to your purchased content.

The pitch for UltraViolet was that you could buy a physical copy of a film and get a digital copy via UltraViolet. There were also ways to get digital-only codes for UV content. UltraViolet launched with support from all the major studios with the notable exception of Disney. In 2017, Disney launched the Movies Anywhere service, partnering with Fox, Universal, and others. Several studios started dropping UltraViolet, making this decision inevitable.

The Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) that oversees UltraViolet notes that you can still redeem movie codes on the service until it shuts down on July 31st. However, you should add retail partner connections to your account before then. Retailer services like Vudu and Fandango Now will add a copy of your UltraViolet movies to your account, and most of them should still be there after UltraViolet shuts down. This part is still rather murky, but UltraViolet advises people not to disconnect any retailer services as that may make all content irretrievable.

To say this is all annoying and complicated would be an understatement, but here we are. This is par for the course with DRM.