Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal
Tourists, frequent travelers, and foreign film aficionados hate DVD region codes with a passion. Written for the 30th Anniversary Symposium of the Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal, this article critically examines the expediency of using region-based restrictions to protect copyrighted media content.
The article begins by closely examining four justifications for the deployment of DVD region codes: sequential release; price discrimination; distribution and licensing agreements; and censorship ratings and regulatory standards. It also identifies four areas in which DVD region codes have created unintended consequences: consumption, competition, cultural rights, and censorship.
The article then advances three proposals to address the shortcomings of DVD region codes: the voluntary removal of these codes; the provision of affordable multiregion players; and the introduction of a right to circumvent. It concludes by warning that, with the proliferation of streaming platforms, device-embedded applications, and cloud computing, region-based restrictions could have a more significant impact on consumers in the near future.
Peter K. Yu,
Region Codes and the Territorial Mess,
Cardozo Arts & Ent. L.J.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.tamu.edu/facscholar/402