I reluctantly had to resort to hacking to solve my dilemma
with these regional encodings installed on Blu Ray and DVD players nowadays.
I have never been a hacker and I take pride in my movie and
music collection but after my latest purchase my mind started shifting.
I thought to myself, why pay good money to buy a crippled device. ou must understand I don’t pay with a crippled credit card, why sell me a crippled
Well I figured if that is the attitude of these companies why
not just save that money I was going to spend on the DVD player and download
pirated movies from the Internet?
If I want to watch foreign movies on one of these crippled
devices I have to do format-gymnastics anyway so I might as well pirate copy
the movies and get them for a steal. It
is the same amount of frustration, however the pirated copies are just much
cheaper and I do not need an expensive crippled
Then I wondered why would a producer of DVD players even
consider zoning their device in the first place? It is not as if they are going to sell more
DVD players? I mean, one can only sell a
limited amount of DVD players per household, zoned or not.
Then it occurred to me that the possibility exists that these
companies get huge kickbacks from Warner Bros and Columbia pictures. According to Wikipedia, if one can believe
what you read there Warnerbros and Columbia pictures are the minds behind
regional zoning and the reason is so they, among other things can fix the prices of their movies from
region to region.
Fix the prices, hu? Now, that sounds like price fixing to me, a practice that is
illegal in South Africa. Heavy fines are payable by
companies that conspire to fix prices.
Now there is a thought, what if this practice leaks out to
the right politicians and the companies involved in the practice are forced to
explain themselves to the Competition Commission of South Africa. It should make interesting reading for the
customer and fill up a couple of blank spaces in the local newspapers.
Even more interesting, what if the WTO (World Trade Organization),
of which South Africa is a member should investigate this practice? What if WTO International have a look it as