During the introduction of the new Apple TV last week, we learned iCloud users would now be able to access purchased movies, and that would include digital copies uploaded from DVDs. Unfortunately, content from Comcast’s Universal and Fox would be blocked due to exclusive rights in place through pre-existing deals with HBO. Now, an HBO spokesperson has confirmed it will relax the terms of the deal, and allows iCloud users to access their previously purchased content.
HBO isn’t planning to give up its exclusive windows, for which it pays hundreds of millions of dollars a year… But HBO is relaxing terms to let users of iCloud and other services send movies they already own to other devices during those windows, an HBO spokesman said… HBO agreed to loosen its arrangement with Warner Bros., which is working with iCloud, and also is in talks with Universal and Fox to do the same, the spokesman added.
Reportedly, both studios are “near a resolution”, and Fox expects to resolve any outstanding issues “within weeks”.
9to5Mac continues: “The report continued by stating that studios have unsuccessfully attempted to get Apple involved with UltraViolet, a cloud-based iTunes competitor for TV shows and movies that is backed by most major studios apart from Disney. Apple had also apparently offered media companies the chance to license their live and on-demand content to Apple in exchange for a share of ad revenue. Executives described the offer as a “non-starter.”
The report states that HBO has had exclusive rights in its deals with Universal and Fox to “beam movies to consumers during certain “windows” after each film comes out.” The exclusivity period typically lasts for a year, approximately six months after the DVD and Blu-Ray release of the film.