Blockbuster Video wants to eliminate region codes on DVD

I just posted the article Blockbuster Video wants to eliminate region codes on DVD.

willb3d reports us that last week Blockbuster Video has called on the movie studios to eliminate region codes on DVDs to combat piracy. As most of our readers will know, when it comes to…

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Removing country codes to combat piracy… sounds logical, but the movie studio’s claim the sole function of country codes is to prevent piracy. I don’t expect them to be willing to admit they were wrong. I’m still gratefull for movie piracy though. It’s the sole reason why we in Europe were able to watch the Lord of the Rings movies in the theaters when it came out, instead of having to wait 6 months… Competition is good for the customer afterall :wink:

The sole purpose of region coding isn’t to prevent piracy Ren… As the article states it’s to give films the proper release schedule over seas… so varying film companies can make different amounts of money. It’s sole purpose is to allow a film time to make it through all the overseas markets. Since your from Europe, I’ll give you an example. 28 Days Later was released in theaters and on DVD over there before it came to theaters over here. Region coding was made so that I couldn’t simply buy the DVD from and watch it before it even came to theaters over here. In theory, such an action would destroy the cinema as who would wait to see a movie when they could import it on DVD. This practice has NOTHING to do with piracy. So whatever movie studio is claiming that region coding’s sole purpose is to prevent piracy is dead wrong. It’s sole purpose is to control distribution in foreign markets.
[edited by jab1981 on 11.12.2003 14:36]

Getting rid of the DVD region system will encourage the film studios to release movies worldwide at the same time - it can be done, the Matrix films were a good example of this. Whether the film companies like it or not, movie fans are gaining more choice when it comes to watching films. For instance, they know a good film has been released in the states, do they wait another month or so for it to be released in the cinemas in their country? Or they could download a copy that might be on the web, or go down the market and buy a dodgy copy off a stall. All because the film companies are trying to control their release dates but it’s backfiring on them. My personal example - Spirited Away. Highest grossing film of all time in Japan. Won the Oscar for best animated film beating Lilo & Stitch and Ice Age. I’m a fan of those films anyway (and no, I’m not Japanese) but there isn’t even a release date for a UK region 2 DVD, let alone a cinema near me that showed it. So I went and bought the official US region 1 DVD when it came out in June, and then had to download a region-killer program to watch it. And it was all worth it, great film if you haven’t seen it.

It’s about time. Region coding just does not work on movies or Ps2 games. Release movies everywhere at once. So what if someone orders a dvd from overseas before it leaves the theater in their country. Ordering imports cost a lot more. Your going to pay like 25 to 30 dollars or more once you include shipping. I could go to the theater for 5 bucks and the wait and buy it on dvd for 15 bucks on the dvd release date here and still come out cheaper. O and really a downloaded or pirated dvd just is not going to cut it quality wise if I really want to own a movie.:S

A very strange topic indeed;) We all know that almost everyone who visits a BlockBuster Store is for the sole purpose of making a backup of the film so they can watch it later, rather than being resticted to 2 days, whereas you are busy and just don’t get the time to watch it:B As for removing the region code etc it’s a daft idea as it will not achieve anything. The big US gets all the movies well before we do here in the UK and infact we might only ever see a 1/3 of the released films. There is only one big movie I want to see at the flixs and that is the most awaited movie ever LOTR - Return of The King. Release Date 17th December Worldwide to prevent copies being released onto the net. Even if it was available to download, I wouldn’t bother as I want to see it in the flixs anyway Greets Intercept…:g

Why do the studios want to control release dates? For sure it it’s not in the consumer’s interests. I, for one, do not appreciate being told to be a second or third class citizen who can only watch a film 7 months or more after it has been released so that 250 million other people can see it ages before I do for no good reason. My money is as good as anyone of theose 250 million other viewers. DVD region coding will eventually get scrapped or manstream bypassed along with other big brother initiatives that stand in consumer’s ways. Until then I have made sure my stand alone units are region free.

Here is what will happen with Region coding and DRM. CE Manufactures don’t want to compete with super cheap $ 20 - 50 DVD players. So new DVD players are coming that will require components that the low cost players will never get access too. One of them will be conditional access modules like on a DirecTV receiver (access card reader). This will have a few effects, each movie could have it’s own card (probably not going to happen cause of cost and stupid end users) they might make the DVD player in China buy they won’t be making the access cards in China. This will allow the MPAA to get low priced players, with good security. And if the cards do get hacked they can replace them for newer movies. And I know many of you think DirecTV has been hacked but each access card generation gets better and better (more secure) The RIAA does not want to rely on China to enforce it’s copyrights it will force most anyone who wants to watch DVDs to have a valid access card. I’m guessing the base units will play current DVDs without an access card. But if you want to play HD-DVDs or newer movies you will have to upgrade to a new player. Everyone who matters (RIAA and Major CE Manufactures) wins. And the rest of us lose.

The traditional reason why film realeases are staggered around the world is to save money on the thousands of copies of film reel used. Usually, they’ll make a few thousands copies for cinemas in the US, then after a couple of months when audiences start dropping, ship the reels to Europe and the rest of the world for re-use. If you’re in Europe and wondering why the films you see are so scratched and dusty, it’s because they’ve been used for months in US cinemas. Digitally recorded films like Star Wars II & III will eliminate this and allow the film to be stored on a hard disk or beamed via satellite. Incidentally, when I went to see Star Wars II in the cinema, the quality was defintely worse than analogue film, but that could have just been a shitty projector alignment in my local.

I never understood why there was a need to release movies in North America first and then let European people watch them a month or so later. What does it matter?? Why do I have to wait 2 months for a movie to be released in The Netherlands? Besides I’m almost obligated to buy a region free DVD player. I have so many region 1 DVD’s from my time in Canada that I don’t want to buy a DVD player with restrictions on it. Furthermore, I rather buy DVD’s in the US or Canada seeing most of those releases are totally different than the European versions. DVD’s should be the same everywhere so that consumers are able to get the same quality and release dates as everyone across the globe.

A month later? You are kidding. How about “Finding Nemo” as an example. This movie was available on DVD in the US before it was even shown in German cinemas! :r

True very true. I was just giving an average time frame here. Other movies are even worse. But you’re right I have my Finding Nemo double DVD lying at home while it’s just been released in cinemas here too.

The reason the security gets better is because the cards become more complex and the whole process is shrouded in secrecy. Ship the tech off to china and you can bet it won’t be secret for long. Besides if this did happen, everyone would just stick with current DVD or even go for EVD. If films were then only released on HD-DVD, everyone would just buy DVD pirate copies. As the average person is watching their DVD’s on a smallish TV in stereo, the demand for HD-DVD will be very small (as is currently the case for DVD-A / SACD for similar reasons)

Much the DirecTV gear is made in Mexico, but NONE of the access cards are. The receivers just have a generic serial interface; the cards are where all the security takes place. People in the US are dying for a reason to buy HDTVs, and almost everyone who buys one now does it to get the best out of the widescreen DVDs. SACD’s primary goal is copy protection, Current Audio CD exceed a human’s hearing ability. Most people will do what they are maneuvered to do, if more and more movies start to come out that only play on upgraded DVD players then people will upgrade. Most people are not pirates so if you are going to spend $ 20 on a movie you would probably be better off spending 20 on a HD-DVD rather then a Standard Def DVD. Overnight everyone with a HD-TV will pay whatever is asked for a HD-DVD player, and will re-buy many movies like retards.

I think until we get just one corporate government ruling the entire world, different counties will like to set there own standards for sex & violence and the like when it comes to movies. Or perhaps in China where they want to make sure movies lack certain ideas. While a world with out borders and non stop freedom 24x7 would be nice we don’t live in that world, so localized DVD movies will continue to be different as long as there is not a single gov.