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The Wall Street Journal reports that Walmart is in discussions with the UltraViolet consortium - which includes more than 70 entertainment, technology and retail companies - to provide an in-store service that will allow customers to register the DVDs they own, which will then allow them to access those movies and TV shows via a personal library stored on the web on a range of devices.

According to the story, the industry hopes that the system could serve to help discourage illegal downloads, but so far the system only has about a million users. Walmart’s active participation - it already is a member of the coalition - is seen as a potential boon to the UltraViolet system because it would make the free service for accessible to consumers.

The Journal writes that if the discussions are successfully completed, “employees of Wal-Mart will help customers create UltraViolet accounts, according to the people familiar with the plan. Wal-Mart staff will also check DVDs that shoppers already own, adding titles that are part of UltraViolet system to their accounts for a small fee, the people said ... Aside from the fact that Wal-Mart stores are visited 140 million times each week in the U.S., a Wal-Mart partnership is attractive to the UltraViolet group because of the retailer's popular Vudu streaming service. Wal-Mart bought Vudu last year for a reported $100 million and the service has become the third most popular film rental and download service, according to researcher IHS Inc. This puts Vudu ahead of similar offerings from Amazon.com Inc. and Sony Corp.”
KC's View:
I’m honestly not sure about this. I have hundreds of DVDs in my collection, and I’m just not positive that I’d want to go to the trouble of registering them all, even if it would give me access to them online.

I’m a move-phile, so you’d think I’m part of their target audience. But they’re going to have to make a strong case for me to go to all this trouble.