Blockbuster Wants Region Coding To End.

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by Scot Gardner, Dec 6, 2003.

  1. Scot Gardner

    Scot Gardner Guest

    DEC. 5 | Blockbuster Video last week called on the studios to eliminate
    region codes on DVDs in order to combat piracy.

    Keynoting the Perspectives in European Video conference in Marseilles,
    France, Blockbuster Inc. president and COO Nigel Travis said, "The extra
    time and windows created by regional coding is an opportunity that
    pirates exploit."

    Travis's comments represent the first time the giant retailer has spoken
    out publicly on the controversial issue of regional coding. The system,
    set up at the time DVD was launched, is meant to prevent discs released
    in the U.S. from playing on decks sold in other territories, where
    release dates often trail the U.S. by several months.

    However, DVDs released in the U.S. frequently find their way overseas,
    where they can be played on modified, or "chipped," players.

    "Despite having lived in Dallas for nearly 5 1/2 years, I still have
    strong connections with the U.K.," said Travis, a British ex-pat.
    "People there tell me of the opportunity to buy discs straight from the
    U.S."

    Travis cited the recent case of Disney's Finding Nemo, which was
    released in the U.S. Nov. 4 but will not officially reach the U.K. until
    March 18, 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.

    By agreement between the studios and hardware makers, all DVD players
    are supposed to contain circuitry to recognize and respond to region
    codes included on the discs. In many international territories, however,
    players are widely sold with the circuitry disabled or never included in
    the first place.

    "Some of the DVD product for release in the U.S. is being directly
    sourced by placing orders on e-commerce sites," Travis said. "As a
    result, while the studios strictly comply with the regional coding, the
    DVD hardware manufacturers and retailers often don't, and at least in
    Latin America, Europe and Asia, they are selling multi-region hardware
    units."

    http://www.videobusiness.com/article.asp?articleID=6649&catType=NEWS
    Scot Gardner, Dec 6, 2003
    #1
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  2. Scot Gardner

    Invid Fan Guest

    In article <20031206175156.776$>, Scot Gardner
    <> wrote:

    > DEC. 5 | Blockbuster Video last week called on the studios to eliminate
    > region codes on DVDs in order to combat piracy.
    >

    Ah... BB is opening stores in other regions, and wants as good a
    selection as the pirates :)

    (VCD's are on the street the day a film hits theaters, so good luck)

    --
    Chris Mack "Refugee, total shit. That's how I've always seen us.
    'Invid Fan' Not a help, you'll admit, to agreement between us."
    -'Deal/No Deal', CHESS
    Invid Fan, Dec 7, 2003
    #2
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  3. Scot Gardner

    Jay G Guest

    "Scot Gardner" <> wrote ...
    > DEC. 5 | Blockbuster Video last week called on the studios to eliminate
    > region codes on DVDs in order to combat piracy.
    >

    <snip>
    >
    > However, DVDs released in the U.S. frequently find their way overseas,
    > where they can be played on modified, or "chipped," players.


    Good News: Blockbuster wants region coding to end.

    Bad News: Blockbuster apparently does not know the difference
    between a pirate and a parallel importer.

    -Jay
    Jay G, Dec 7, 2003
    #3
  4. Scot Gardner

    Guest

    On Sat, 6 Dec 2003 22:29:54 -0600, "Jay G" <> wrote:

    >Good News: Blockbuster wants region coding to end.
    >
    >Bad News: Blockbuster apparently does not know the difference
    >between a pirate and a parallel importer.


    Region coding is mainly to stop people outside of US/Canada to watch
    new released DVDs before they hit their shores. However, it never
    worked as advertised. People in Thailand and Malaysia are constantly
    watching pirated R1 DVD before the official released date.

    In fact, you can only buy official R3 or whatever releases months
    after the pirated R1 DVDs are released there. So the studios are
    actually losing money in those region.

    For once, BB is right. If the studios are smart, they would abandone
    region coding right now.
    , Dec 7, 2003
    #4
  5. >>Bad News: Blockbuster apparently does not know the difference
    >>between a pirate and a parallel importer.

    >
    >Region coding is mainly to stop people outside of US/Canada to watch
    >new released DVDs before they hit their shores. However, it never
    >worked as advertised. People in Thailand and Malaysia are constantly
    >watching pirated R1 DVD before the official released date.
    >
    >In fact, you can only buy official R3 or whatever releases months
    >after the pirated R1 DVDs are released there. So the studios are
    >actually losing money in those region.
    >
    >For once, BB is right. If the studios are smart, they would abandone
    >region coding right now.


    Would more simultaneous worldwide theatrical releases be difficult? If they do
    this then they could release the DVDs at the same time everywhere. But those
    pesky Southeast Asian pirates put their wares out on the street before a movie
    is even released. Tricky situation.

    Remove "moc" to reply.

    When toy shopping, look for the Joe Mantegna Seal Of Safety. It's your only
    guarantee that the toy has been deemed safe by Joe Mantegna.
    Sydney Assbasket, Dec 7, 2003
    #5
  6. Scot Gardner

    Guest

    On 07 Dec 2003 20:20:27 GMT, oc (Sydney Assbasket )
    wrote:

    >Would more simultaneous worldwide theatrical releases be difficult? If they do
    >this then they could release the DVDs at the same time everywhere. But those
    >pesky Southeast Asian pirates put their wares out on the street before a movie
    >is even released. Tricky situation.


    Simultaneous worldwide releases are only possible for about 3 films a
    year like the Matrix or LOTR. Most smaller budget films don't have
    the marketing budget to do it. Hollywood is losing money by reginal
    coding DVDs in Asia and only Hollywood doesn't know it.
    , Dec 8, 2003
    #6
  7. Scot Gardner

    John Guest

    oc (Sydney Assbasket ) wrote:

    >>>Bad News: Blockbuster apparently does not know the difference
    >>>between a pirate and a parallel importer.

    >>
    >>Region coding is mainly to stop people outside of US/Canada to watch
    >>new released DVDs before they hit their shores. However, it never
    >>worked as advertised. People in Thailand and Malaysia are constantly
    >>watching pirated R1 DVD before the official released date.
    >>
    >>In fact, you can only buy official R3 or whatever releases months
    >>after the pirated R1 DVDs are released there. So the studios are
    >>actually losing money in those region.
    >>
    >>For once, BB is right. If the studios are smart, they would abandone
    >>region coding right now.

    >
    >Would more simultaneous worldwide theatrical releases be difficult? If they do
    >this then they could release the DVDs at the same time everywhere. But those
    >pesky Southeast Asian pirates put their wares out on the street before a movie
    >is even released. Tricky situation.
    >
    >

    The problem is that the movie studios do not like making allot of
    prints. Down where I live we usually get the releases months after
    the US because they pass off the old prints from the northern
    hemisphere for new releases. This way they don't have such a high
    distribution cost. Pity. These guys are still try to protect their
    monopoly and distribution methods by going to govements and getting
    parallel imports by commercial importer banned.
    John, Dec 8, 2003
    #7
  8. in article , at
    wrote on 12/6/03 9:46 PM:

    > On Sat, 6 Dec 2003 22:29:54 -0600, "Jay G" <> wrote:
    >
    >> Good News: Blockbuster wants region coding to end.
    >>
    >> Bad News: Blockbuster apparently does not know the difference
    >> between a pirate and a parallel importer.

    >
    > Region coding is mainly to stop people outside of US/Canada to watch
    > new released DVDs before they hit their shores. However, it never
    > worked as advertised. People in Thailand and Malaysia are constantly
    > watching pirated R1 DVD before the official released date.
    >
    > In fact, you can only buy official R3 or whatever releases months
    > after the pirated R1 DVDs are released there. So the studios are
    > actually losing money in those region.
    >
    > For once, BB is right.


    I never thought I would ever hear that last statement, let alone agree with
    it. Yet, there it is!

    > If the studios are smart, they would abandone
    > region coding right now.


    Not necessarily. While piracy may be rampant oversees, you have to compare
    either the lost ticket sales or the cost of delaying releases in the
    US/Canada to the cost of piracy.

    Then, if the math works out that it makes sense to not use region coding
    solely for this purpose then it probably would make sense to still use
    region coding, but not to delay releases.

    Don't forget that another reason for region coding is so that they can split
    distribution rights. This has advantages.
    MR_ED_of_Course, Dec 8, 2003
    #8
  9. Scot Gardner

    John Savard Guest

    On Sat, 6 Dec 2003 22:29:54 -0600, "Jay G" <> wrote, in
    part:

    >Bad News: Blockbuster apparently does not know the difference
    >between a pirate and a parallel importer.


    Isn't all importation of DVDs into areas outside of their official
    coded region illegal, because it violates the copyright licensing of
    those discs, and the licensing arrangements for the patents of the DVD
    technology?

    John Savard
    http://home.ecn.ab.ca/~jsavard/index.html
    John Savard, Dec 9, 2003
    #9
  10. Scot Gardner

    Justin Guest

    John Savard wrote on [Tue, 09 Dec 2003 13:05:13 GMT]:
    > On Sat, 6 Dec 2003 22:29:54 -0600, "Jay G" <> wrote, in
    > part:
    >
    >>Bad News: Blockbuster apparently does not know the difference
    >>between a pirate and a parallel importer.

    >
    > Isn't all importation of DVDs into areas outside of their official
    > coded region illegal, because it violates the copyright licensing of
    > those discs, and the licensing arrangements for the patents of the DVD
    > technology?


    No. That would mean that if I moved from say, Australia, to the USA, and
    brought all my DVDs with me I could be up for many counts of piracy or
    whatever.
    Justin, Dec 9, 2003
    #10
  11. Scot Gardner

    Stan Brown Guest

    In article <> in alt.video.dvd, John
    Savard <> wrote:
    >Isn't all importation of DVDs into areas outside of their official
    >coded region illegal, because it violates the copyright licensing of
    >those discs,


    No. Under the doctrine of first sale, if you buy a copyrighted work,
    you can sell your copy, give it away, take it anywhere.

    I'm not sure about the legalities of a private person renting out a
    legal copy of a copyrighted work; but of course charging admission
    for a performance is over the line.

    --
    Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Cortland County, New York, USA
    http://OakRoadSystems.com
    DVD FAQ: http://dvddemystified.com/dvdfaq.html
    other FAQs: http://oakroadsystems.com/tech/faqget.htm
    Stan Brown, Dec 9, 2003
    #11
  12. Scot Gardner

    Scot Gardner Guest

    "Stan Brown" <> wrote in message
    news:...

    > Under the doctrine of first sale, if you buy a copyrighted work,
    > you can sell your copy, give it away, take it anywhere.
    >
    > I'm not sure about the legalities of a private person renting
    > out a legal copy of a copyrighted work; but of course
    > charging admission for a performance is over the line.



    How about selling copies of public domain titles, such as _Reefer
    Madness_ (1938), _Marihuana_ (1936) and _The Cocaine Fiends_ (1935)?
    Scot Gardner, Dec 9, 2003
    #12
  13. >Would more simultaneous worldwide theatrical releases be difficult? If they
    >do
    >this then they could release the DVDs at the same time everywhere. But those
    >pe


    that was also my idea. For the studios to change the theatrical releases to
    simultaneous didtribution everywhere. I don't think it would be that difficult
    to do.

    And there's even a simple way for them to allow the non-simultaneous releases
    to catch up during the period in which they first start to release everything
    simultaneous.

    But of course, the studios will probably never do anything like that, and will
    probably never release movies simultaneously worldwide.
    Waterperson77, Dec 9, 2003
    #13
  14. in article , Waterperson77
    at wrote on 12/9/03 11:09 AM:

    >> Would more simultaneous worldwide theatrical releases be difficult? If they
    >> do
    >> this then they could release the DVDs at the same time everywhere. But those
    >> pe

    >
    > that was also my idea. For the studios to change the theatrical releases to
    > simultaneous didtribution everywhere. I don't think it would be that difficult
    > to do.
    >
    > And there's even a simple way for them to allow the non-simultaneous releases
    > to catch up during the period in which they first start to release everything
    > simultaneous.
    >
    > But of course, the studios will probably never do anything like that, and will
    > probably never release movies simultaneously worldwide.
    >
    >


    Actually it would be expensive. Currently a major consideration is film
    cost, but if digital distribution took over that would be a major cost taken
    out of the way (and passed on to the theaters).

    You've also got marketing issues to deal with an other promotions that would
    make things difficult...kinda hard to have all your stars around the world
    at the same time for the premieres...though I guess they could delay
    promotions and openings over the course of a few weeks instead of months.

    Of course then you've got the foreign distribution rights being split as
    being another reason why region coding exists.
    MR_ED_of_Course, Dec 9, 2003
    #14
  15. Scot Gardner

    Justin Guest

    MR_ED_of_Course wrote on [Tue, 09 Dec 2003 21:25:05 GMT]:
    > in article , Waterperson77
    > at wrote on 12/9/03 11:09 AM:
    >
    >>> Would more simultaneous worldwide theatrical releases be difficult? If they
    >>> do
    >>> this then they could release the DVDs at the same time everywhere. But those
    >>> pe

    >>
    >> that was also my idea. For the studios to change the theatrical releases to
    >> simultaneous didtribution everywhere. I don't think it would be that difficult
    >> to do.
    >>
    >> And there's even a simple way for them to allow the non-simultaneous releases
    >> to catch up during the period in which they first start to release everything
    >> simultaneous.
    >>
    >> But of course, the studios will probably never do anything like that, and will
    >> probably never release movies simultaneously worldwide.
    >>
    >>

    >
    > Actually it would be expensive. Currently a major consideration is film
    > cost, but if digital distribution took over that would be a major cost taken
    > out of the way (and passed on to the theaters).
    >
    > You've also got marketing issues to deal with an other promotions that would
    > make things difficult...kinda hard to have all your stars around the world
    > at the same time for the premieres...though I guess they could delay
    > promotions and openings over the course of a few weeks instead of months.
    >
    > Of course then you've got the foreign distribution rights being split as
    > being another reason why region coding exists.


    And then throw in the Summer movies would be premiering in the Winter in
    the Southern Hemisphere.... etc etc
    Justin, Dec 9, 2003
    #15
  16. >ctually it would be expensive. Currently a major consideration is film
    >cost, but if digital distribution took over that would be a major cost ta


    you are correct. I forgot about the cost of extra film prints.

    So what it really boils down to now is would extra film prints really cost them
    that much more or would the cost of extra film prints actually make them more
    money since it would reduce the piracy? (that is reduce the pirates ability to
    make pirated copies as fast)
    Waterperson77, Dec 9, 2003
    #16
  17. >nd then throw in the Summer movies would be premiering in the Winter in
    >the Southern Hemisphere.... etc etc
    >


    Now this I have just GOT to reply to. ;)

    How is that any different than them celebrating Christmas in the middle of
    summer in the sumer hemisphere? ;)

    That is their summer (in December) when they don't have any snow and the
    temperatures are in the 70's and 80's.

    And just in case anyone thinks I'm picking on Australia and the rest of the
    southern hemisphere,

    here in the U.S. (northern hemisphere), I currently go see movies at the
    second-run movie theatre, so I currently see the summer movies in the winter at
    the movie theatre anyways and the winter movies in the sumer at the movie
    theatre.

    It doesn't bother me.

    although it is kind of strange or odd seeiing in December 2003 the ads
    (trailers) for movies saying "Coming in August 2003" and then having to wait
    until January or February 2004 to see them at the very same theatre.

    heheh
    Waterperson77, Dec 9, 2003
    #17
  18. Scot Gardner

    Justin Guest

    Waterperson77 wrote on [09 Dec 2003 22:10:41 GMT]:
    >>ctually it would be expensive. Currently a major consideration is film
    >>cost, but if digital distribution took over that would be a major cost ta

    >
    > you are correct. I forgot about the cost of extra film prints.
    >
    > So what it really boils down to now is would extra film prints really cost them
    > that much more or would the cost of extra film prints actually make them more
    > money since it would reduce the piracy? (that is reduce the pirates ability to
    > make pirated copies as fast)


    Not having the stars on local talk shows when a movie is released can
    also be considered a bad thing
    Justin, Dec 9, 2003
    #18
  19. Scot Gardner

    Justin Guest

    Waterperson77 wrote on [09 Dec 2003 22:16:16 GMT]:
    >>nd then throw in the Summer movies would be premiering in the Winter in
    >>the Southern Hemisphere.... etc etc
    >>

    >
    > Now this I have just GOT to reply to. ;)
    >
    > How is that any different than them celebrating Christmas in the middle of
    > summer in the sumer hemisphere? ;)
    >
    > That is their summer (in December) when they don't have any snow and the
    > temperatures are in the 70's and 80's.


    There's very little snow in winter anyway. But the point is that people
    have more time off, take more vacations, school is out, everything that
    sells movie tickets, happens in the summer locally. I know when I was in
    Uni that we essentially had no movie theatre. But when I was home I had
    access to several.

    > here in the U.S. (northern hemisphere), I currently go see movies at the
    > second-run movie theatre, so I currently see the summer movies in the winter at
    > the movie theatre anyways and the winter movies in the sumer at the movie
    > theatre.


    That's you. Do you *ever* go see movies on first run?
    Justin, Dec 9, 2003
    #19
  20. Scot Gardner

    Richard Guest

    "Scot Gardner" <> wrote in message news:<20031206175156.776$>...
    > DEC. 5 | Blockbuster Video last week called on the studios to eliminate
    > region codes on DVDs in order to combat piracy.
    >
    > Keynoting the Perspectives in European Video conference in Marseilles,
    > France, Blockbuster Inc. president and COO Nigel Travis said, "The extra
    > time and windows created by regional coding is an opportunity that
    > pirates exploit."


    They are right; Although this won't stop all piracy (there are losers
    out there who actually would rather watch a horrible copy instead of
    renting a DVD) it will have a marked effect on the multi-million $
    copying problem.
    -Rich
    Richard, Dec 9, 2003
    #20
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