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Steven Hanley hackergotchi picture Steven
Hanley

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Fri, 24 Jun 2005

Region free in .au by law? - 11:40
I notice some discussion about purchasing Region free DVD players in .au. Michael and Mikal, AFAIR the reason you should not be surprised at finding DVD players purchased in Australia are region free is due to the Australian law on this.

From my recollection (I can not be bothered googling to see if I am smoking crack or if this is an accurate recollection) Australian law forbade region encoding. Most of the countries in the westernised world also forbade region encoding by law, only the US had (and probably still has) an allowance for this practice.

Originally he manufacturers made the DVD players for the US market and attempted to sell the region encoded players around the rest of the world. Eventually they realised they could not get away with that, for at least 5 or 6 years now almost all players sold in Australia were region encoding free. Now the amusing thing is the manufacturers to some extent got sick of it and now most DVD players being sold in the US are also not encumbered by region encoding.

There is one other unfortunate aspect here though, software, and hardware with that software, still often has region encoding issues, so Apple DVD drives, MacOSX, software on Windows to play DVD's etc, all of this stuff will often still be broken. Probably because it comes out of small minded US centric firms and in the case of software there is no production penalty or an easy legal penalty if produced in this damaged state.

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