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Blockbuster wants to abolish DVD region codes

Written by Petteri Pyyny (Google+) @ 11 Dec 2003 15:08 User comments (14)

Blockbuster wants to abolish DVD region codes World's largest movie rental chain, Blockbuster, has pledged for movie studios to drop the region coding system found on most of the commercial DVD-Video discs sold in the world.
According to Blockbuster's president and COO, Nigel Travis, the "extra time and windows created by regional coding is an opportunity that pirates exploit". Region codes were included to DVD-Video discs to allow movie distributors to fix the prices in different market areas and also to allow the typical delayed movie distribution chain to exist. With most of the Hollywood releases, the movie theater premiere is appx. 30 to 90 days in the U.S. before the same movie hits the big screens in Japan, Europe, Australia, etc. And when the movie is showing in movie theaters in Europe, there's already a DVD version released in the States of the same movie. And when the same movie is released on DVD in Europe/Australia/Japan/etc, the movie rights are already sold for pay-per-view TV channels in the U.S. and on it goes.

Now, this finely tuned money-maximizing effort has been spoiled by various countries, including most of the European Union countries, that consider it to be perfectly legal to sell hacked DVD players that allow playing movies from all the regions -- and this practice is legal and therefor virtually every single DVD player sold in, for example, the United Kingdom -- even when bought with manufacturer's warranty from a high street store -- is already region free.

Travis told about this in his keynote speech in European Video conference in France and cited highly popular Finding Nemo as a perfect example: the movie was released on DVD in States in November, but wont be available on DVD in the UK until March 2004. "Pirates take advantage of this and can drive the proverbial cart and horses through these holes in the release schedule, and the loss of revenue hurts us all--studios, distribution and retailers," Travis said.

Source: Video Business Online (requires registration)

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14 user comments

111.12.2003 16:12

i dont understand why they want the codes removed, it doesnt realy matter to me, even if i got a region blocked dvd, i could use dvd decrypter and make a no region copy

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212.12.2003 2:03

So why do blockbuster want the region codes taken off? This doesnt make sence to me; I dont think they thought their arguement through...

312.12.2003 4:01

Because now, when a movie is released in the US, pirates make it available in other countries, and by the time the other country's "legal" region code version is released, a major part of the market for sales & rental is already lost. If region codes are abolished, then Blockbuster et al can sell/rent the movie in other countries immediately, and not loose business to the pirates.

412.12.2003 5:40

I say the MPAA needs to start releasing the Movies on the same schedule in all countries thus eliminating or reducing the pirating efforts. This is something they did with the last Matrix movie. I also think this would reduce expenses in the manufacturing process thus lowering the cost of purchasing the DVD by the consumer. Of course the Movie industry wouldn't think of lowering the cost of the DVD's since they are greedy anyways.


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512.12.2003 9:22

region coding system is illegal as it stops you buying a legal DVD 'anywhere in the world' and playing it on any player you may own.

612.12.2003 10:18

Its not pirates that make other region DVDs available...I live in the UK and I get all my region 1,2 etc DVDs from online stores like cd-wow and - they have the best prices and are really trustworthy companies...they're not pirates, its their legal businesses....

712.12.2003 16:13

It's all about maximizing profits like the article said. The intent was to dictate/fix prices in different regions. It's a bunch of crap and a worthless pursuit.

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812.12.2003 17:17

Region code is one of the best strategy ever made to make money. I dont have to say why... you all know... And i dont think that changes dvd code is "hacking". I just need to press 4 numbers with the plake opened... its not difficult!

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913.12.2003 11:14

I'm all for this.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 13 Dec 2003 @ 15:25

Everyone is entitled to their own true opinion. Either respect that or don't.

1015.12.2003 8:20

Region codes. Just another ill-conceived hollywood control mechanism that has backfired. It has become an opportunity for "pirates" (according to the article) and a liability for the DVD retailers, so they (the retailers) want it nixed. Seems pretty straightforward to me. It will be interesting to see what happens.

We mustn't lower ourselves to the level of those we loathe, lest we become loathsome ourselves.

1115.12.2003 8:23

Toiletman!!! You got modded AGAIN?? You potty mouth.

We mustn't lower ourselves to the level of those we loathe, lest we become loathsome ourselves.

1215.12.2003 10:39

It doesnt matter how many times I hear/read it; 'potty mouth' is the best joining of two words in the english language...dont know if it translates well, but it'd be nice to see it in other languages..

1315.12.2003 11:59

German = Töpfchenöffnung Italian = bocca del potty French = bouche de pot

We mustn't lower ourselves to the level of those we loathe, lest we become loathsome ourselves.

1415.12.2003 12:06

That's fricken dynamite.. LOL 'Töpfchenöffnung' - now that word will be used by myself all the time over the next few weeks...

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