not a beautiful or unique snowflake (nothings) wrote,
not a beautiful or unique snowflake

DVDs and videogames have this "region lockout" system which is basically because different companies distribute the same product in different global markets, and they don't want "grey-market" sales undermining them. It always has in the past, and they just lived with it, but given an opportunity to institute a technological control, they did so.

I'm reminded of something I read about unintentional consequences; that, due to the problem of car theft, automobile manufactures made it more difficult to hot-wire cars, which did indeed reduce the number of thefts of cars without keys in them, but led to the unfortunate increase of the more dangerous/violent crime "carjacking", stealing a car that's currently occupied.

In this case, people end up wanting to circumvent the region-coding (sometimes legitimately; there are apparently numerous fun PlayStation games that were only ever released in Japan, because the potential US market for them was too small to be worth it). As a result, means to circumvent the region-coding have been found--there are mods for PS, PS/2, and XBox which can get around this. Similarly, DeCSS for Linux was developed to allow Linux to play DVDs.

However, all of these mods not only bypass the region encoding technology, but they apparently also bypass the copy protection technology. Thus, the companies that instituted these technologies--trying to appease their distributors--find themselves the potential victims of increased illegal copying (pirating). And, in some sense, they brought it on themselves.

Update: corrected "carjacking"
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