Get Rid Of DVD Zoning

from the a-waste-of-time dept

An article from Business Week explaining why the movie industry should get rid of the idea of DVD Zoning. Zoning, of course, is the way the movie industry prevents piracy, by making certain DVDs only work on players in certain regions. The Business Week reporter recently moved to France and wants to view certain movies that he has from the North American zone. It’s apparently quite easy to hack most DVD players to become “zoneless” – and that’s where the problem is, according to the reporter. The movie industry is now encouraging normal everyday people who want to watch a movie they own to become hackers. This encourages people to do other “illegal” things against the movie industry, he claims. I kind of like the idea that the movie industry is pushing people into “illegally” flexing their own fair use rights…

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Comments on “Get Rid Of DVD Zoning”

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msykes says:


Okay, admittedly I am no expert, but I always thought that much of the reason DVDs were zoned was to prevent people in Europe from watching american DVDs, before the films were even released in theatres in Europe as this would ruin theatre traffic. I guess with VHS this wasn’t a problem due to NTSC/PAL encoding (? is this encoded on the tape ?).

If they removed regions, they would have to release movies simultaneously across all of the regions. Frankly I think that’s all a good idea though…


Phillip says:

Re: Re: What bizarre reasoning you have

How does zoning stop piracy? You can either copy a DVD (in which case you copy a US DVD to sell in US, copy a EU DVD to sell in EU, etc) or you can’t. Zoning is there to artificially create scarcity in different regional markets, giving the ability to selectively inflate prices (or rip us off in the UK, as we tend to say). And NTSC/PAL has nothing to do with DVD which is recorded in plain MPEG-2 format.


Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: What bizarre reasoning you have

The idea is that most piracy of films for the US take place in other regions, and are then sold around the world. By making it impractical for a piracy shop in Asia to make copies of American DVDs, it cuts down on a lot of piracy.

Also, it’s more difficult, since instead of just having a single source to make all those copies you need ones from various regions.

And, the NTSC/PAL point had to do with videotapes, not DVD.

chris says:


I had thought that most dvd players that you can buy these days were multi zoned anyway, meaning that its only a problem for people watching films on laptops, i travel around a bit and pick up dvds (mainly old ones) from various differnet zones but watching it on the laptop is hard to do as its only got so many before it locks you mentioned that you can hack and sort this problem any tips?

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