Wednesday, November 30, 2005

ACCC And DVD zones, final post (until something happens)

I have just got a phone call from an nice guy called Jon at the ACCC. He said that as manufacturers are releasing de-zoned players and have no plans to stop, the ACCC feel that it is not an issue: but if one of them do (like Sony did with their Playstations) then they will be willing to step in.

So, as the situation now stands, dezoned players in Australia are going to easily available, don't listen to any retail outlets about plans to legislate against dezoning of players and if they do then the ACCC will be willing to intervene.

Jon mentioned that the issue might involve the Australian Copyright Council, but this isn't really a copyright issue, other than the parallel importing of DVD's being explicitly exempt from the parallel importing of other media, which I suspect is because the DVD's are zoned. The argument that it is all about release dates is hardly relevant as

  1. It won't be a parallel import if it isn't available here yet

  2. Release dates of DVD's are usually a long time after the cinema releases world wide

  3. If the cinema release date in Australia is post the US DVD release date then that serves them right for leaving us out of the loop

  4. When it comes to TV shows, then the people to blame are the Australian networks (usually channel nine), so again it serves them right

unfortunately the Australian Copyright Council is unhelpful when it comes to asking about issues re copyright law or justification behind decisions.

It boils down to this: The ACCC doesn't want to spend the money to fix something that isn't broken, yet. Particularly as the fallout will be global.

So the answer to the question "Will the ACCC do something about zoned DVD players if the manufacturers(eg Sony) start insisting their players must be zoned?" is "Yes".

The answer to the question "Aren't manufacturers insisting that all players be zoned in Australia now?" is "No, not that we know, and we would know! Don't listen to retail outlets anywhere, they don't know. But if it did happen we'll be there."

Alright that was paraphrased, but it was quite a simple answer to a simple question, woner why it took so long to get it.

Friday, November 25, 2005

ACCC Still behind the times...

The Australian High Court has ruled that the use of Mod Chips to play games from other zones was legally protected by our copyright rules; CNET article.
This should also apply to DVD players, but it currently has not been explicitly stated. The ACCC is in a good position to try again, if they could be bothered.

I'll check.