Why Everyone Should Break The (Very Vague and Possibly Nonexistent) Law
Fans of movies from Japan, Europe, South Africa, the Middle East and Greenland (PAL zone 2 – clearly the coolest zone) need a region free DVD player.
All DVD players are not created equal – DVDs made in the US will not work in Europe and vice versa on normal DVD players unless you modify them. ( Do I look like the kind of person who knows how to fiddle with DVD players without irreversibly screwing them up? Of course I don’t.) For me, here in the US, buying region free DVD players has been a bit of a nuisance. I bought my first one in Italy but when I wore that one out I looked on Amazon for “region free DVD players”. I found one, a Phillips, and purchased it, only to find when it arrived that it was not region free. When I called Phillips they told me that they were illegal – “Really? But you advertised it as zone free.” They explained it to me that whoever was selling it on Amazon, the vendor, may have advertised it that way but they shouldn’t have. When I called the vendor they told me to send it back for a refund.
Not to be deterred I decided to try one of those shady looking electronics stores on Times Square in NYC. I was sold what the salesman assured me a DVD player (this time a V-Zon) that was region free only to get it home and find that it was not. This time when I called V-Zon they seemed not to know about the law that Phiilips tried to shame me into following and they gave me a code to unlock the regions.
Ecco! Two weeks and a dozen angry phone calls to all concerned later and I had my region free DVD player.
Right this minute on Amazon.com they are selling what they are calling region free DVD players but I don’t know what to say – buyer beware, I guess. It may not be as easy as it looks.
From what I can gather it is illegal in the US for companies to unlock the code for you (something to do with free trade agreements and blah, blah, blah) but you can do it for yourself, and it is not impossible to find a company that will help you do that.
Once purchased, a region free DVD opens up a whole new world of movies that can’t be otherwise found in the US. Worth it – in my opinion – breaking the very ambiguous and possibly nonexistent law.