Region Codes and the Territorial Mess
Peter K. Yu
Drake University Law School
March 20, 2012
Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal, Vol. 30, pp. 187-264, 2012
Drake University Law School Research Paper No. 12-19
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.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 79Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: March 21, 2012 ; Last revised: September 26, 2012
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