Wednesday, October 2, 2019
Region Coding Consumer protection or Consumer Manipulation :: Video Games Region Coding Essays
Region Coding Consumer protection or Consumer Manipulation Introduction With the advent of digital media has come a better ability for the owner of a copyright to protect the copyrighted work. Some mediums such as DVD have multiple levels of copy protection: 1. CSS scrambling for the video data on the disc, 2 . Macrovision for analog signal protection from the player, and 3. Region coding of a DVD disc and DVD player to prevent disc from being played in other parts of the world. Macrovison and CSS protect the media from illegal reproduction. Region coding prevents legal media from being used regions other than the intended region for the media. I believe the Region Coding without user bypass is the most controversial. Prohibiting a legally bought copy of a DVD from playing on a legal DVD player is protection for the company with no regard for the consumer. I will explore if Region coding is legal in Australia and if it is ethical. Region Coding and Circumvention Devices DVD is not the originator of Region Coding. Video game systems have used region coding schemes since the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). The original circumvention was a physical constraint such that the media for the Famicon (Japanese NES) would not physically fit into NES for other regions (and vice versa). These allowed Nintendo to control the release of software and make importing of Famicon software to other regions less desirable due to the need to circumvent the region protection. With the introduction of the Sony Playstation and Sega Saturn (system) the media used was a standard CD. This meant region protection could no longer rely on physical constraints. A CD from one region has the same physical dimensions of a CD from other regions. The BIOS of the system contained the region code for the system. The system would then only allow access to media from the same region. The only way for the media to be played on a system for another region is a circumvention dev ice. The Australian Digital Agenda Act has given great protection to companies that employ region coding. This is by limiting circumvention devices such that Ã¢â¬Å"a circumvention device capable of circumventing, or facilitating the circumvention of, the technological protection measureÃ¢â¬ 1 would automatically be considered violation of copyright law.