Then came the moment of truth. We popped one of our favourite DVD's in and sat back to watch it. But wait - Error reading disk. What?! Popped the disk in the old player. It works fine. Okay. Not the disk. Tried the new blu-ray player again. Error reading disk. Alas, our Zone 4 blu-ray player will not play DVD's from other zones. Time to call the manufacturer. And the response? "[Manufacturer] appologises for any disappointment this caused. As the player is manufactured for Australia, it will only play Zone 4 disks."
Imagine walking into your local library or bookstore and be told that they are only allowed to stock books from local authors.
into different markets. In a way, it's similar to copyright that protects the writer's ownership of their work.
Imagine if that same copyright protection meant that bookstores and libraries were not permitted to stock books of authors that didn't fall within their 'copyright zone'? Unless you lived in the UK, you would never have read Harry Potter. Outside of the US, you would never have read John Grisham. How many of us would have been denied the privilege of reading Isaac Asimov (I, Robot), Mark Twain (Tom Sawyer), Agatha Christie (Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple), Rudyard Kipling (The Jungle Book), Lewis Carol (Alice in Wonderland) or C. S. Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia)? Not to mention writers of our time, such as Wilbur Smith, Matthew Reilley or Bryce Coutenay.
Thanks to the internet and online shopping sites such as eBay and Amazon, you can buy products from all over the world (books, CD's DVD's), making e-commerce a borderless shopping domain. Yet, DVD (and Blu-ray) player manufacturers still insist on enforcing the zoning imposed by movie studios. An internet search will offer you ways of circumventing this but should you really have to do that? Imagine buying a book from a bookstore, only to find out that the pages are blank because it's from an author outside your 'copyright zone'. You have to search the internet to buy 'a special pair of glasses' to see the words printed on the page.
Yes, just like copyright protects the writer, DVD zoning protects movie studios. But just like you can buy a book from Amazon UK, have it shipped to your address in the US and read it (without special equipment or warranty-voiding fiddling) in the comfort of your own home, you should be able to buy a DVD along with that book and be able to watch it on your DVD player.
I'm sure this will open a can of worms regarding the discussion of placing restrictions, but what else is the point of a blog other than to offer opinions and a platform for disussion?