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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Perhaps a dumb question, but I see references to region free "hacks" for DVD players, which makes me wonder if the mods are legal.


The reason I ask is because I work for a university and the Foreign Languages department has an occasional need to play non-region 1 DVDs. Wouldn't want to do anything that's not completely above board.


Thanks.


Mike
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by jmr21
Perhaps a dumb question, but I see references to region free "hacks" for DVD players, which makes me wonder if the mods are legal.


The reason I ask is because I work for a university and the Foreign Languages department has an occasional need to play non-region 1 DVDs. Wouldn't want to do anything that's not completely above board.


Thanks.


Mike
Hi,


I am no lawyer (Thanks god! :)) but as I understand it, yes, Region Free player are legal.


The "Region Lock" is a marketing device for the Studios, and the various DVD player vendors are under contractual obligation to sell region locked players, but once the player is in your hand.. you can do as you please, the region lock is not covered by the any law.


In this part of the world (SE Asia) most players are sold "Region Free" so it is even less an issue here.


Cheers,

François
 

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My understanding is in Australia, region locked players are illegal, and any player sold there has to be un-lockable. Funny world we live in where you aren't allowed to use what you buy if you happen to live in the wrong place.
 

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Region free DVD players violate the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, and are thus illegal in the US. To date, I am unaware of any attempt to enforce this provision for individual modification of physical DVD players, although there has been substantial litigation over this point with software players.
 

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Quote:
Region free DVD players violate the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, and are thus illegal in the US.
No.


Region protections do not fall under the control of the DMCA anti-circumvention clause because they are seperate from CSS (a copy control system) which is the cryptographic system used to secure a DVD (region coding is not). See http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/...avsXI5:e11962: (Sec. 1201. Circumvention of copyright protection systems).

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To date, I am unaware of any attempt to enforce this provision for individual modification of physical DVD players, although there has been substantial litigation over this point with software players.
Does the name Johansen ring a bell? He is the only person I am aware of who has been charged in connection with DVD circumvention, and this was by a Norwegian court in Europe. ( http://www.eff.org/IP/Video/DeCSS_pr..._decision.html ). Nevertheless, this case was not about region protections, either.
 

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I'm sorry Axatax, you are not correct. Here is the language from the DMCA:

(a) VIOLATIONS REGARDING CIRCUMVENTION OF TECHNOLOGICAL MEASURES- (1)(A) No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title.


Regional DVDs do control access to DVDs. Furthermore, if you look at the CSS code, you'll see that region codes are part of CSS.


Johansen was charged with revealing the CSS code, not physically tampering the machines. Since he lives outside the US, he was not charged under US law.
 

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It's not legal to sell unlocked players in Denmark but when you have bought it, it is yours. When it is yours you can do what ever you want to do with it, get a region hack or jump on it, it's your choice. As long as the dvd's aren't illegal there should be no worry
 

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Regional DVDs do control access to DVDs. Furthermore, if you look at the CSS code, you'll see that region codes are part of CSS.
No they are not. Region code is totally separate from CSS. There are many authoring programs that allow you to set region but have no option to apply CSS. You need license and encryption key from DVD Forum to make DVD's with CSS as each disc maker has a different one. Also all DVD player makers have their unique decryption key for playback of CSS protected disks.
 

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Regional DVDs do control access to DVDs. Furthermore, if you look at the CSS code, you'll see that region codes are part of CSS.
The region coding, which is NOT an access control is completely seperate and independant from CSS. You can have a region locked disc that contains NO CSS, and vice-versa.


There are many off-the-shelf players that allow you to adjust the region, as well as many PC-DVD drives and decoders that will allow you to do the same. All of these are for sale in the US by major, highly visible US firms.


My father recently purchased a Dell Optiplex that came bundled with a control-panel applet to change the drives region as the user sees fit. Who is in the "wrong" here? Dell or myself? Am I "circumventing" anything by changing that parameter?
 

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I can't comment on the legalities, but my Sony DRU500ax dvd recorder allows region setting changes 5 times. After that you are stuck with the 5th setting. It also states that any alteration or circumvention of this will negate the warranty. What ever this is worth. Sony is a major copyright owner.


Gary
 

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The Region Free player is NOT illegal, IF it comes with this feature from the Factory :)

To modify the player, to hack the firmware is illegal :(


Strange World anyway, in the Age of the Globalisation....:p
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by pizzo
The Region Free player is NOT illegal, IF it comes with this feature from the Factory :)

To modify the player, to hack the firmware is illegal :(


Strange World anyway, in the Age of the Globalisation....:p
Interesting. How do the companies that sell these get around the CSS license requirements?
 

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Originally posted by Music Fanatic
Interesting. How do the companies that sell these get around the CSS license requirements?
Why do you mention the CSS license requirements?


The new EC Regulations made to protect the copyright against piracy, etc. is not very logical anyway.

It's legal to make 1 backup copy of your "protected against copy" DVDs, BUT your are not allow to crack the CSS protection. So that, you can backup only the DVDs without it.

We also pay a funny tax on the supports (DVDs, CDs, VHS, etc.) to pay back the Majors for the damages made by the Piracy action. :eek:
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Axatax
The region coding, which is NOT an access control is completely seperate and independant from CSS. You can have a region locked disc that contains NO CSS, and vice-versa.


There are many off-the-shelf players that allow you to adjust the region, as well as many PC-DVD drives and decoders that will allow you to do the same. All of these are for sale in the US by major, highly visible US firms.


My father recently purchased a Dell Optiplex that came bundled with a control-panel applet to change the drives region as the user sees fit. Who is in the "wrong" here? Dell or myself? Am I "circumventing" anything by changing that parameter?
You're wrong here. Try to change region code in these DVD drives and DVD software more than 5 times and see what happens!


Region free player is not illegal. However, the manufacturer who make these players violated CSS license terms and may be illegal.
 

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Quote:
You're wrong here. Try to change region code in these DVD drives and DVD software more than 5 times and see what happens!
I've changed the region probably two dozen times without a problem. I got sick of it after awhile and just flashed to RPC-1 firmware.

Quote:
Region free player is not illegal. However, the manufacturer who make these players violated CSS license terms and may be illegal.
Agreed.


But this is a problem between the CSS people and player manufacturer - not me.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Axatax
I've changed the region probably two dozen times without a problem. I got sick of it after awhile and just flashed to RPC-1 firmware.

Again, a properly implemented DVD drive and player will only allow 5 changes to region code. Otherwise, it's the violation of CSS license. Of course, there are so many hacks out there to allow you bypass the limitation. And that is not what we're discussing here.
 
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