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    (Original post by Jonatan)
    This is really what my post was about. Is there no international organisation speaking in favour of customers rights? Domestically most countries have some sort of consumers organisation, but I cant recall to have heard of any such organisation operating on a world wide basis.
    WTO and NAFTA are hardly set up to represent consumers

    Various parts of the EU operate at an international level in this area but naturally they only have jurisdiction in matters between member states.

    As a result it would be illegal for the industry to give French releases different region codes from British ones, within the EU restriction of trade in this way would get attention.

    In the past airlines attempting market segmentation by country in the EU have been busted.

    I think this would get a lot more attention if the region locks were non trivial to defeat or if manufacturers didn't make players that could be unlocked easily.
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    I was thinking about this the other day. If they must keep their regions then they should at least have the prices as the same. Also why must they insist on having different release dates? If this is to combat piracy than it won't work; the pirateers have a lot of technical skill (well some of them anyway) and so could crack a DVD to make it multiregional (if they cannot do it now than I'm sure they will be doing it soon).
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    (Original post by Chubb)
    I was thinking about this the other day. If they must keep their regions then they should at least have the prices as the same. Also why must they insist on having different release dates? If this is to combat piracy than it won't work; the pirateers have a lot of technical skill (well some of them anyway) and so could crack a DVD to make it multiregional (if they cannot do it now than I'm sure they will be doing it soon).
    http://www.uk-learning.net/showpost....25&postcount=7 (i disagree with region coding though)
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    (Original post by Jonatan)
    The DVD movie industry uses regional encoding to prevent people from viewing DVDs which have been bought elsewhere in the world. Now, surely this is a violation of the free trade agreements signed between Europe and teh US, as DVD films are much cheaper in the US than in Europe.

    Now, why is there no organisation able to take this matter to the WTO or NAFTA? Surely everyone is aware that this is a violation of free trade, and surely it is well known. Thsu why isnt anyone doing anything? Because European consumers are expected to merely pay up?
    The coding itself is not actually physically stopping any trade, it’s just an inconvenience. This is similar to PAL vs NTSC, the fact Europe and the USA use these two different encoding standards does not inhibit free trade, it's just an inconvenience.
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    (Original post by Dajo123)
    The coding itself is not actually physically stopping any trade, it’s just an inconvenience. This is similar to PAL vs NTSC, the fact Europe and the USA use these two different encoding standards does not inhibit free trade, it's just an inconvenience.
    ********. In contrast to the different VHS standards this coding has been put here deliberately to prevent people from buying DVDs abroad. So what about customs then? "They do not inhibit free trade, they merely make it more expensive!" Dont be rediculous. If the purpose of the regional coding was not to prevent free trade then why is it there in the first place? Its not a question about different standards, because all DVD players can technically play any DVD, it is just that some region has deliberately been disabeled on them. Its an illegal cartell and a violation of the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement. The only reason WTO has not atacked it is because no European government has found it profitable to speak in favour of their consumers. The whole situation just stinks of corruption.
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    (Original post by Jonatan)
    ********.
    1) It is to my knowledge that the relevant countries only follow treaties such as this "so far as it is possible to do so". Any violation of such a treaty would usually be down to a conflict between it and a countries own domestic law or constitution, as these almost always take precedence. So any violation of such a treaty may be totally permissable. An example would be The European Convention of Human Rights. The UK has derogated from this treaty over the years, with no repercussions.

    2) I’m not familiar with the specific articles the NAFTA or WTA contain, so it would be helpful if you could point the ones out you feel have been violated.
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    (Original post by Dajo123)
    1) It is to my knowledge that the relevant countries only follow treaties such as this "so far as it is possible to do so". Any violation of such a treaty would usually be down to a conflict between it and a countries own domestic law or constitution, as these almost always take precedence. So any violation of such a treaty may be totally permissable. An example would be The European Convention of Human Rights. The UK has derogated from this treaty over the years, with no repercussions.

    2) I’m not familiar with the specific articles the NAFTA or WTA contain, so it would be helpful if you could point the ones out you feel have been violated.
    Why is Microsoft sued for violating teh EU laws of competition? Why do we not allow companies to establish monopolies and cartells? Because it distorts teh market signals. Because it gives companies an opportunity to greatly overcharge the consumers. Because prices will no longer reflect relative scarcity. The region codes are there in order to allow DVD firms to charge EU citizens more money than they could would EU citizens be able to buy DVDs in the US. It is nothing but a sleezy trick by the DVD companies to try to cram more money out of the market than would be possible if you had free trade. They severly decrease consumers chocie and they screw up teh price system merely because they want to make more money. This is why we have laws on trade, competition and markets. If there is no law prohibiting this (which I think there is ) one should be issued. If the companies have a problem with the fact that people woudl rather buy their DVDs in the US than in Europe if teh prices were different, then perhaps that is an indication that the EU prices are to high. It is illegal to prevent peopel from buying goods from cheaper providers. If Marks & spencer would try to do something equivalent to this they would be charged a major fine within a week, but because there is no organisation that bothers about the record companies they get to do this eaven though it is appaling.
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    DVD Regions are totally counter productive - the only way to get around the damn things is to resort to piracy where otherwise you might well buy the real thing, what possessed the companies to use them i do not know.
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    I think it is a pretty good idea if you are going to have different release dates for a certain DVD. It shouldn't cause too much trouble because by the time you pay import taxes from buying it from a different region it would just be cheaper to buy it from your own region. This it promotes commerce.
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    Why have different release dates for different regions. It is annoying having to wait for DVDs and films to come out in the UK, when they have been available in the USA for weeks, quite often months. That would also reduce piracy, as people often buy, or 'aquire' pirated versions of films and games because they want to have them as soon as possible, and do not want to wait.
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    (Original post by Jonatan)
    The region codes are there in order to allow DVD firms to charge EU citizens more money than they could would EU citizens be able to buy DVDs in the US.
    The only purpose of region codes is not to "overcharge” customers, as i have pointed out. There was a recent British case involving Sony where the issue was the legality of the "mod chips" which allow Playstation users to play imported games. The High Court declared these chips illegal as they clearly infringed Sony’s intellectual property rights. This case is very similar to the issue of dvd region coding and may give you some insight into how the relevant authorities view the efforts of various dvd manufacturers.

    Below is a statement from the EU Directorate-General of Competition:

    "Regional coding is a technological feature built into DVDs and DVD players, according to which DVDs from one geographical region cannot be played on DVD players from another geographical region. The position of the major film production companies is that it enables them to protect their copyrighted intellectual property and the traditional pattern of releasing their films at different times in different parts of the world, as well as to protect against piracy. The Commission's position, as outlined by the Court of Justice, is that it is only in limited and exceptional circumstances, e.g. if a dominant film producer were to engage in abusive pricing practices, that the Commission could intervene under the competition rules..."

    I hope the two paragraphs above have helped answer your question as to "why something hasn’t been done by the relevant authorities to stop region coding”.
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    (Original post by Dajo123)
    There was a recent British case involving Sony where the issue was the legality of the "mod chips" which allow Playstation users to play imported games. The High Court declared these chips illegal as they clearly infringed Sony’s intellectual property rights.
    And the case is called.....?
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    (Original post by NDGAARONDI)
    And the case is called.....?
    :rolleyes: Kabushiki Kaisha Sony Computer Entertainment Inc v Mr Gaynor David Ball [2004] EWHC 1738 (Ch)
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    (Original post by Dajo123)
    :rolleyes: Kabushiki Kaisha Sony Computer Entertainment Inc v Mr Gaynor David Ball [2004] EWHC 1738 (Ch)
    I think you mean Kabushiki Kaisha Sony Computer Entertainment Inc & Ors v Ball & Ors [2004] EWHC 1738 (Ch) (19 July 2004).

    Here it is http://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/markup...sha&method=all
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    (Original post by NDGAARONDI)
    I think you mean Kabushiki Kaisha Sony Computer Entertainment Inc & Ors v Ball & Ors [2004] EWHC 1738 (Ch) (19 July 2004).

    Here it is http://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/markup...sha&method=all
    :rolleyes: I thought you said you aren't pedantic?

    My source reads like this:

    Case No: HC 03 C04467
    Neutral Citation Number: [2004] EWHC 1738 (Ch)
    IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
    CHANCERY DIVISION

    THE HONOURABLE MR JUSTICE LADDIE
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    (1) Kabushiki Kaisha Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Also Trading As Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
    (A Company Incorporated Under The Law Of Japan)
    (2) Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Limited
    (3) Sony Computer Entertainment Uk Limited - Claimants
    - and -
    (1) Gaynor David Ball
    (2) Gary Edmunds
    (3) Boris Baikov
    (4) Ina Sorokovich
    (5) Igor Tiporov
    (6) K Shashkov
    (8) Stepan Gvozdeff - Defendants

    http://www.courtservice.gov.uk/View.do?id=2680

    So my citation was a boiled down version

    Edit: it was not meant to be 100% accurate, as I didn’t have the original citation.
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    (Original post by Dajo123)
    The only purpose of region codes is not to "overcharge” customers, as i have pointed out. There was a recent British case involving Sony where the issue was the legality of the "mod chips" which allow Playstation users to play imported games. The High Court declared these chips illegal as they clearly infringed Sony’s intellectual property rights. This case is very similar to the issue of dvd region coding and may give you some insight into how the relevant authorities view the efforts of various dvd manufacturers.

    Below is a statement from the EU Directorate-General of Competition:

    "Regional coding is a technological feature built into DVDs and DVD players, according to which DVDs from one geographical region cannot be played on DVD players from another geographical region. The position of the major film production companies is that it enables them to protect their copyrighted intellectual property and the traditional pattern of releasing their films at different times in different parts of the world, as well as to protect against piracy. The Commission's position, as outlined by the Court of Justice, is that it is only in limited and exceptional circumstances, e.g. if a dominant film producer were to engage in abusive pricing practices, that the Commission could intervene under the competition rules..."

    I hope the two paragraphs above have helped answer your question as to "why something hasn’t been done by the relevant authorities to stop region coding”.
    You only need to compare prices with the US in order to realise that "The only purpose of region codes is not to "overcharge” customers, as i have pointed out." is complete rubbish. The fact is that these limitations are there to prevent people from playing US DVDs on EU systems (noone disputes that) and it is also a fact that US DVDs are cheaper than EU DVDs. Thats it! The region codes are designed to prevent people in one geographic area from playing DVDs sold cheaper in another geographic area. The fact that the DVD companies have invented some other bogus justification does not alter the fact that they make huge money because peopel can't buy US DVDs and play them on EU systems. You can try to claim that they have created the regional codes for some other weird reason , but in the end they are designed in ordeer to prevent European users from buying US DVDs. It is completely appalling that this is allowed.
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    But you get a lot of 'region free' DVD players and now DVD recorders. Hopefully this will stamp out the aforementioned problems.
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    (Original post by NDGAARONDI)
    But you get a lot of 'region free' DVD players and now DVD recorders. Hopefully this will stamp out the aforementioned problems.
    However, these often cost more than those not region-free meaning it is no longer an import ban, but an import tariff (You have to pay in order to be able to import DVDs). Remember the response when Bush initiated steel tarrifs? This is the same thing, only done for DVDs rather than steel.
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    (Original post by Jonatan)
    However, these often cost more than those not region-free meaning it is no longer an import ban, but an import tariff (You have to pay in order to be able to import DVDs). Remember the response when Bush initiated steel tarrifs? This is the same thing, only done for DVDs rather than steel.
    I hear exactly what you're saying and have noticed this some time ago. Was this soemthing you noticed or have you been reading reports from WIPO and/or WTO? j/w
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    (Original post by NDGAARONDI)
    I hear exactly what you're saying and have noticed this some time ago. Was this soemthing you noticed or have you been reading reports from WIPO and/or WTO? j/w
    To be honest I didnt eaven know if region free DVD players were legal in all European countries. In Sweden the courts have put some presidence giving retailers the right to give out the codes used to deactivate region blocking so we actually went to sweden and bought a DVD because we couldnt be bothered to pay £50 extra for a region free one in Norway.
 
 
 
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