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Expiring DVD region locks

Protect box office revenues without ripping off consumers
  [vote for,

DVD region coding is something one loves to hate. Ostensibly designed to protect box office takings in countries behind the US from competing imports, it also makes it hard to play imported titles that aren't competing with the cinemas; the fact that the studios have, just in case, slapped it on their entire back-catalogues, and everyone's restricted to what some marketing type has decided there's enough demand in their region to justify a local release of, is particularly frustrating. (Especially if you live somewhere like Australia, which is too small a market to justify releases of anything too nichey.)

Removing region coding would be nice for consumers, but the studios, despite their greed, do have a legitimate objection to it.

A more moderate view would be to have region locks come with an expiry date. If a film is released on Jan 1 in Region 1, it could be set to go multi-region after Jun 1 or somesuch. Of course, there is always the issue of how to prevent consumers from jogging the internal clocks of their DVD players six months into the future.

The solution may be cryptographic. Each disc could have an encrypted region bypass code stored on the disc. To bypass region coding, the user would have to enter a password which encrypts to said code. Once the title is no longer on general cinema release, the studio could release the code on the web, mail it to purchasers, &c. A space could be provided on the case for writing it down, and the user's player could have Flash memory for storing entered codes.

For extra elegance, the bit length of the code could be scalable, with each code allocated at release time with a length estimated to be breakable in no less than the cinema-release period using current technology.

acb, Jun 29 2001

The DeCSS Code http://cryptome.org...reply.htm#Exhibit B
...has been entered into public record. [iuvare, Jun 29 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Region Free Cracks and Hacks (for tg100) http://www.digital-...rticles/region.html
please use the link button. [yamahito, Sep 26 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]


       To prevent users from forwarding their DVD players' clocks, require them to enter a date (after the date the disc becomes usable), and the corresponding closing DJIA. It doesn't have to be today's date, just one on or after the "allowed" date. Since nobody can predict future stock performance, this would solve that problem. If anyone can, write a new half-bakery listing.
miles, Jun 29 2001

       DVD was the hopechild of ending the stupidity of VHS and PAL/Secam/NTSC. The region codes really fould things up, especially if you build up a nice collection and then, for some reason, need to relocate to another country in a different region. Will the clever marketing types give up their Porsche and replace ALL your DVDs? Never mind, DVD writers are here and prices will drop - and the industry will wail again, Napster style. Well, they did it to themselves.
jetckalz, Jun 29 2001

       This is a good idea, but ... what motivation does the studio have to do it? They've already decided that the other regions aren't worth trying to sell to, or else they'd have released a disc coded to that region.
wiml, Jun 29 2001

       Yeah, DVD region codes stink! There's a movie that I really want to see starring Kevin Spacey that was released in Europe, but not the US. If anyone has a way to defeat the codes (besides buying a new DVD player) please let me know!
MuddDog, Jun 29 2001

       Look up "DeCSS".
supercat, Jun 30 2001

       Why not just import from US websites, and have your player chipped?   

       [Sorry, what was the point of this idea again?]
[ sctld ], Jun 30 2001

       The idea behind this was to posit an elegant way of finding a middle ground between consumers and studios. Breaking CSS encryption/chipping players to ignore regions is all very good from the consumers' POV, but (a) it pisses off the studios to no end, and (b) it's too much like brute force, and hence inelegant. Surely technology could be used to mediate more elegantly between the competing interests.   

       And if the studios have no incentive to participate in this, perhaps they should be required to do so to be allowed to enforce region coding, in the public interest and all that.
acb, Jul 02 2001

       @ MullDog: see <admin - Link moved to Link Section> Hope your player can be freed of that shit.   

       @acb: An elegant way of finding a middle ..between consumers and studios. What kind of a jerk are u? Some sort of propaganda arsehole of the studios? And who gives a fuck if it pisses the studios of? They certainly won't stop creating movies cause of their greed.
tg100, Sep 26 2002

       //To prevent users from forwarding their DVD players' clocks, require them to enter a date (after the date the disc becomes usable), and the corresponding closing DJIA. It doesn't have to be today's date, just one on or after the "allowed" date.//   

       And how will the DVD player know that the DIJA was entered/"predicted" correctly? Having something encrypted such that it may only be decrypted at some specific point in the future falls, unfortunately, in the realm of "magic".   

       While it might be nice to provide a means by which disks could be "unlocked" at some date after release (perhaps by the manufacturer publishing a code to do so) even this is dicey; the manufacturers have no incentive to do any such thing, and anyone who wants to view material in the "wrong" region already has so many ways of doing so (deCSS, reconfigurable players, DVD-playback software, etc.)
supercat, Sep 26 2002

       That shit of regioncoding, it's the same shit that made the car industry here in Europe get to pay 100's of million $$ because they created exclusive areas for each of their resellers, that is reseller in area A could not compete with reseller in area B.   

       Kill the damned region codes, the films are not released to consumers before the cinemas notice a drop-down in visitors.   

       Don't call it region code. Call it for it's real name: CRIPPLE-WARE!
sackese, Feb 02 2003


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