Dear Film Industry, … you suck!

That said, please let me go into more detail. Today I tried to watch a Russian DVD (title “Сёстры”, on IMDB) that I bought from a shop in Germany. Now, the shop certainly imported that DVD from Russia according to the imprints and (Russian) seals on the DVD case. Those seals are meant to distinguish pirated copies from licensed ones. Why exactly is it, I can’t watch this DVD on my Philips DVD player, purchased here in Iceland?

The laconic statement on the screen reads: “Wrong Region”.

Guess what, I just started to sympathize with the guys from “The Pirate Bay”. I have a DVD – one that I bought – and I can’t watch it because some overly greedy people always need to segregate humanity in order to increase their own profits.

Oh wait. Instead of getting the licensed and legal version I probably should have asked some Russian friends of mine to get me an “underground copy”, right? Is that what this is all about? You want to get people to do illegal things in order to be able to punish them later on? Where’s the old saying that “the customer is always right”? To restate the obvious: you suck!

Haha, customer. Yeah … a similar feeling I had when I had bought the first DVD of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy just to find an ad on it that explained to me how cool the extended cut was and that it would be out shortly after the time I had bought the DVD. Back then I decided not to watch the other parts of the trilogy and I never did. If it wasn’t a whole industry doing it, the guy doing it would be locked away … but since everyone does it, it’s okay. I call it organized deceit, though.

“Спасибо большое” и пошли все на…!

// Oliver

PS: The movie is several years old, so the stupid argument about different release dates in different regions is moot. Just get a grip on reality and let customers watch what they want. You could even introduce some kind of expiry date for the region lock that is, say, one year after the planned release. No problem with me. But as a matter of fact it is near-impossible to get Russian movies in Western shops, so there is no alternative …

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5 Responses to Dear Film Industry, … you suck!

  1. Internev says:

    It does suck, but you should still be able to play that disc in your player. Most DVD players purchased in the last 4-5 years I’ve encountered have an option to make the player region-free.

    To find out how to do it for your player just search for the model number and “region free”. There’s usually a command you can enter in the setup of the DVD player which will allow it to play all regions.

  2. Oliver says:

    Wow, thanks for the tip. I thought this was only possible through other means (e.g. hardware tinkering).

    But the DVD works perfectly now. The DVD player model is DVP3120, btw …

    // Oliver

  3. mathias says:

    I got myself a cheap DVD player, Oliver, with no region lock at all. Even if I buy a BD player (I own the fantastic “Planet Earth” documentary but I have nothing to play it ;)) I will keep it because it can play all DVDs.

  4. Oliver says:

    Well, the problem was solved for me indeed. But it still sucks how patronizing the film industry is to the customers.

  5. mathias says:

    Yes, I know. The absurd thing that the industry puts a lot of effort in the development of new protection systems. But movies often leaks into the internet before they go to the theaters. Not the customer is the problem. And the guys with the illegal downloads will not see the annoying “Do not copy” spots.

    And of course the pushing of BluRay. Look at a regular release these days and a release a few years ago. I have a DVD with four audio tracks and a lot of subtitles. You can be happy now if you have a DVD with the English and German soundtrack and both subtitles. 🙄 The only difference between this and an illegal download is the cover and (with any luck) a booklet.

    You know, I am a fan of M*A*S*H. I bought every single DVD set. It was “amazing”, the Americans were a few boxes ahead but the release speed slowed down. They had season 9, a few months later we had season 9. I think this was on purpose because -surprise, surprise!- Fox announced a big set with all 11 seasons and 3 bonus discs only for that release. I was stupid enough to buy every single box and they kicked me in the a** to put the bonus material only in this big box. But I have learned. I can wait now.

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