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Selling Crippled Products

25 November 2011, 13:33

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 device?

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 device.

 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 well?

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