anyone think they'll try to ban multiregion dvd players?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by memoryex, Jan 6, 2004.

  1. memoryex

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    as i understand the new law from der fuhrer Herr Blair, the multiregion dvd player will be illegal because of the 2003 anti copyright/thought act. This act states that telling someone how to circumvent copy protection will end you up in jail. BTW that means that telling someone how to beat the cd protection that sony is using is a criminal offense now. Also i think it has also just made criminals of all who own a multi region dvd cos the benevolent corporations (party donators) say you cant get cheap dvd's here.

    I really dispair of this country when laws like this can get passed. Next up ID cards, barcodes on the forehead and frontal lobotomies i think..


    All hail El Presidente Blair
     
  2. bonzobanana

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    They can't stop multiregion players all they can do is make it harder and more expensive for people to get them. I think the general view is dvd region protection has totally failed.

    You can thank the chinese as they supply masses of multiregion dvd players to the world that only need a few remote keypresses to do it. Not only that but they play masses of different media and formats and do so without paying any royalties to the official dvd forums.

    End result is the chinese now make practically all dvd players in the world and most people can play any region dvd.

    I don't think the dvd market could have turned out better for the consumer.
     
  3. Adam M

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    I don't see how they can make criminals of the individual as exhaustion of rights applies.

    (I am a patent attorney btw so have studied most aspects of copyright law in this country).

    if titles are legitmately bought from us websites and posted to uk then the correct royalties have been paid on those items and the copyright owner in this country cannot insist on it being paid again, so long as the transaction between supplier and final consumer took place prior to importation, with in the case of internet and telephone transactions is invariably the case.

    Having the facility to play the dvds in this country may possibly be actionable under contributory infringement. It would be the manufacturers who would be taken to court, but you will find that officially they dont't sell them as multiregional machines anyway.

    I think you will find that they cuold probably get away with selling them as mulitregional already as test cases in the past have shown that being sold the facility to infringe copyright by use of a multiregion machine does not amount to enticing the final purchaser to do so.

    The test case was known as the amstrad case when tape to tape recording was introduced, and amstrad were sued. Just because this case set a precedent does not mean that manufacturers are safe which is most likely why they don't publicise selling the things.

    By the way, the fact that the end consumer we would have legitmately payed royalites to the region 1 seller is not a defense against contributory infringement for the manufacturer or vendor of a multiregional machine.

    The thing to remember above all others is the cost of copyright actions is amongt he highest of all actions a company can bring against another. The man off the street, or in this case the small faceless internet company who tells people how to unlock their machine is unliley to be in a position to pay up the damages sought, so even if the law were to be changed, I can't see it having any impact on us as consumers.
     
  4. Reiner

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    Stupid question, but what has multi-region to do with copyright?

    In my understaning no copyright is infringed when purchasing an original DVD from another country.
    The import of such media (for commercial reasons) might be prohibited (not that I would support it though, don't get me wrong), but it has nothing to do with my DVD player being able to play back any region DVD.
     
  5. KraGorn

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    It could be argued that a multi-region player is a "circumvention device" under the DMCA and the even more Draconian laws now implemented here. Whether even the BFI (or whatever the UK equivalent of the MPAA Mafia is) will try that is anyone's guess.
     
  6. memoryex

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    just received this reply from the patents office

    Thank you for your enquiry regarding multiregion DVD players and copyright.

    The basic answer to your question is no - the changes to the law will not make ownership or use of a multiregion DVD player illegal.

    The law (embodied in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 - as amended) protects a range of original works, including films, from copying and exploitation without the owner's permission. I presume your reference to the new Act concerns changes brought about by the Copyright and Related Rights Regulations 2003, in particular new Section 296ZB, making it an offence to possess "devices...designed to circumvent technological measures".

    The private and domestic possession of a multiregion DVD player should not constitute an offence under this section because it specifically states that possession must be 'in the course of a business' and in any case the device must 'primarily' exist for the purpose of circumventing effective technological measures. The exact interpretation of the Act is a matter for the courts, and in case of any doubt a qualified lawyer should be consulted. I am not legally qualified, so this a layman's reading of the statute.
     
  7. KraGorn

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    I have to admit I was unaware of the "in the course of a business" clause ... that *really* in there, seems a glaring loop-hole if as blanket a statement as that :eek:.

    I would also suggest the "primary" purpose of a multi-region DVD player IS to circumvent protections .. it's whether such a device is illegal that still remains unclear, and some of the music and film pigopolists are pretty desparate as their suing 12-year-old kids shows .. wouldn't put it past them t0 try it on.
     
  8. Adam M

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    Reiner, it is contributory infringement of copyright.

    You are correct in that items bought from another country have been purchased legitmately, and can be brought in by individuals without issue.

    By interpreting what was said by memoryex above, private individuals do not use their machines in the course of business.

    DVD player manufacturers will be careful with regard to this new section because they would be in possession of a device designed to circumvent technological measures for the protection of copyright in the coutrse of their business. Their reluctance to officially sell them as I satsted early will be a belt and braces approach as the fact that they play region 2 dvds suggest that the devices are not primarily for the purposes of allowing infringing material to be played. This will be why they absolutely cannot sell a region 1 machine in this country.
     
  9. Brogan

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    Region specific DVD's were created and exist for one reason only - Hollywood.
    It wants to control when and where certain titles are released to maximise the profit and has nothing at all to do with copyright.
    This has clearly failed due to the availability of multi-region players and websites supplying any region disks.

    Power to the people! :D
     
  10. KraGorn

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    Um, it has EVERYTHING to do with copyright .. being able to control when and where your material is copied, and sold, is what copyright is all about. Region coding MAY have been abused by Hollywood to extort more money out of consumers than they otherwise would need to shell out, but that is the copyright-holder's perorogative.

    I don't agree with what the studios do, but it can't be denied they have the right to license their materials as they see fit .. and region coding was a way to facilitate that.

    BTW .. don't expect HD-DVD players to be so easily 'broken', the MPAA won't make the same mistakes a second time.
     
  11. Brogan

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    So you agree with me then?
    Hollywood is using the "copyright" label to enforce region coding, not vice versa.
    So, it is actually nothing to do with copyright but it is convenient to utilise it to ensure they control when and where movies are released, maximising profit and keeping media interest high for many months longer than if they released it worldwide simultaneously.
    If the equipment manufacturers had stood up to Hollywood originally then there would be no such thing as region coding.
    There is no law stating that DVD's must be region coded - it is purely an "agreement" between Hollywood and the equipment manufacturers which unfortunately seems to have become set in stone.
    Ever seen a VCR with region coding...?
     
  12. Adam M

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    Brogan,

    the licenses to reproduce and sell dvds belong to different companies in different countries.

    eg. warner bros. in the US is under the same parent company in the US and the UK but they are different companies.

    When a film is created by any of the big studios, the license to copy it is split separately across the world. It isn't one big hollywood giant, they just make the films, different companies make the dvds under license and sell them on.

    By buying US dvds over the internet, the british divisions are being robbed of sales by their us equivalents, so they make it difficult for you to play them, since they are realising that with the internet they can't make it difficult for you to buy them.

    In the past, FACT was set up to prevent theft of copyright and it stopped shops from selling foreign coded discs in this country.

    Stupid shops thought that it was the fact that they did not have british standard age certification and so simply added the stickers on to the dvds, but they were still closed down none the less.

    Mail order companies continue to trade as breach of copyright is permitted for private use (cdpa 1988) and legitmate sales of legitimate copies were being made outside of the UK, then personally imported by their owners for private use. There is nothing illegal in this. So, software manufacturers started to use technology to make the attempt worthless, but this made things more expensive for the hardware manufacturers who would rather produce global machines since it is cheaper, hence software hacks.

    This is where potential changes to the law have come in to place to threaten manufacturers. The machines are intended to provide a way of getting round the coyright restriction enforced by regional coding. By doing this you are facilitating a person to infringe copyright law. This is a separate area of copyright law called contributory infringement.

    This returns to what I was saying before that it is not a defence in a copyright infringement action that the machine was sold to joe public who is allowed to privately watch region 1 filming. So the manufacturer could still get done.

    Ie. you can still be done for contributory infringement by supplying the means to infringe copyright to someone who is allowed to infringe that copyright.

    The only saving grace is that the apparent new wording requires that the machine be expressly for the purposes of breaching copyright, which would be the case if it were a region 1 player, but isnt the case on a multiregional player.
     
  13. Brogan

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    So why doesn't it apply to VCR's then which are capable of playing back pre-recorded tapes from anywhere in the world?
    Because it wasn't possible to do it, that's why.
    Even now I can go out and buy a movie on video cassette and there is none of this region nonsense.

    The introduction of digital players gave "Hollywood" the perfect opportunity to control the way movies are distributed and they bullied the manufacturers into implementing it.

    I'm not disputing your statements but the simple fact of the matter is that "Hollywood" the industry wanted region coding for their own commercial purposes and it has nothing to do with copyright theft, etc.
    The fact that is now implicitly related to copyright is just the latest tack they are pursuing to try and circumvent multi-region players.

    It's interesting that you mention that studios have separate licences for different regions.
    What about music CD's? You can draw an exact parallel and yet there is no region coding for those...
     
  14. buns

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    if 'in the course of business' is illegal useage, then modding players would be illegal.... that said i doubt it would take long before software upgrades sorted us out instead

    ad
     
  15. Brogan

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    Can you imagine what had happened if it had been anywhere other than the US which had suggested region coding to ensure the Americans received films later than everyone else?
    Yeah right, like that would ever have happened.
    It's just another example of America exerting it's political and financial power over the rest of the world.
     
  16. KraGorn

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    I would guess one of two reasons: most likely the technology didn't exist when CDs were 'invented', hence also the lack of any copy-protection till recently. Alternatively, the record industry may not license its' product in the same way therefore trying to enforce regionalisation isn't an issue for them.

    AFAIK there's no region nonsense with SACD and DVD-A .. may prove the point that it's the latter reason.

    Well, since America effectively owns the movie industry we'll never be able to test the idea. ;)
     
  17. Brogan

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    Or maybe becuase CD was invented by (I think) Philips and Sony and the US wasn't able to influence them or they didn't think of region coding until later by which time it was too late as CD players were already in use all over the world...

    Let's face it, it's in the manufacturers interests not to have region coding as they have to incorporate separate software into each player.
    Only one industry benefits from region coding and that is the studios in Hollywood.
     
  18. Brogan

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    Exactly my point.
     
  19. KraGorn

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    Neither here nor there, it's one line of code in the firmware .. it takes far more effort to put in the multi-region hack codes. :D
     
  20. Adam M

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    music in the mainstream is released at the same time all over the world. there is no incentive to buy it abroad apart from for cheaper pricing.

    Its the highstreet stores who make music stupidly expensive over the counter.

    Brogan if what you are saying is the case, exactly what is hollywood gaining by staggering the sales between the US and the rest of the world.

    Their goal in the film industry is to make money, everything is driven by money. So if that is the case, then why are they worse off by allowing people to buy from the US, if they make their money on a legitmate sale anyway?

    consider Xmen 2, and the harry potters. they were released all over the world on the same day. Why therefore do they need to regionally encode their dvd versions of the film?

    the answer to protect the investment of the license holders int he different regions of the world who have paid for their right to make their own profit.
     
  21. Brogan

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    I don't know what they hope to achieve by multi region coding.

    For what it's worth, Some studios are actively trying to stop R1 discs being played on multi-region players now...

    "Regional Coding enhancement is a digital enhancement added to some Warner Bros, New Line, Columbia DVDs to stop region 1 (R1) DVDs from playing on Region-free DVD players."

    Edit: Just found this on a google search...
    "Region codes
    DVD movies can contain a region code, denoting which area of the world it is targeted at, which is completely independent of encryption. The commercial DVD-video player specification dictates that players must only play discs that contain their region code. This allows the film studios to set different retail prices in different markets and extract the maximum possible price from consumers. With region coding, studios can dictate release schedules and prices around the world. However, many DVD players allow playback of any disc, or can be modified to do so. Region coding pertains to regional lockout, which originated from the video game industry."


    It's not just me that thinks it's only driven by profit...
     
  22. KraGorn

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    No-one's arguing it's not about profit .. however it's also about WHO makes the profit. In the case of movies it's local distributors who lose out rather than the movie studios.

    However, this thread started out discussing MR players with respect to copyright and other laws, the REASON for Hollywood's use of region coding is largely moot .. they have the undisputed right to enforce it, as legal rulings such as the Levi Jeans case in 2001 demonstrate.
     
  23. THE DETROIT 1

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    The real question now should be , how many of these " leaders " be they political or from the corp's have multiregion dvd players ? , you can bet your life it's quite a lot " were all equal , except some are more equal than others " springs to mind .

    There is somtimes a flip side to the current region crap , for me being a Brit here , somtimes it turns out that the movies are just getting the release at the cinema when unUnited Kingdom has them on disc and even for a while .These are of course movies that i like wth limited appeal to " normal" Yanks but realistically this B/S does swing both ways.

    DVD'sare of course in the main are to expensive but for what movies i want i wish i could get Region 1 for region 2 version prices.I had it best when back in UK i would buy most region 2 from play247 and get import region 1 from them as they were cheaper from them than my now Mrs buying it at the shop and posting it me.

    Thats all folks:devil:
     
  24. gandley

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    also when cd`s first hit the market there was no way to record them digitaly by the consumer. so the only way to get a decent copy was to buy the original. Now we have digital recorders that do an almost identical copy so no need to buy an original.
    soon to be released are dual layer recorders which has got copyright owners a little mad.

    the laws are coming into to place now for the next generation stuff. its a bit late now for dvd but these laws can now be forced as regard to HD-DVD from the off.
    I think will have a tuff time with multi region stuff in the next round.
    as said they wont make the same mistake again

    there is more to region coding however. it also tells the companies which regions buy what the most. whats popular in those regions, allso where to invest advertising for what type of products. etc etc.

    Anyhow the best reason to buy region 1 was the fact they were not edited so much. take eraser as an example.
    also they had better xtras can could be played in progressive mode.
    it seems these reasons no longer exsist as are films arent censored so much we have pal prog, we get the same xtras and the price off dvds has come down.
     

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