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International The Legality Of Importing Other-Region Movies

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Dick, Jul 19, 2014.

  1. Dick

    Dick Well-Known Member

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    Over at the Kino Lorber thread, we were advised to stop discussing region codes, but just before that occurred, a few interesting questions were brought up regarding whether or not it is legal to import, say, a Region B Blu-ray into the U.S. for playback on region-free machines. I thought I would begin a separate thread.

    If there is a legal issue, why is HTF so free to promote region-free machines?

    Personally, I think it's all a bunch of bulls**t anyway, as the studios are making money from us regardless of what region we purchase these movies from. I understand they want to control release dates worldwide and all, but I could never wrap my head around why they can't just release most of these films simultaneously worldwide. I'm sure there are rights issues between countries and all, but this is supposedly a global economy (not always a good thing, granted).

    I have never considered buying region B Blu-rays from the U.K. or Germany or France or where ever a crime. I pay perfectly good money for these legitimate discs, so it's not like I'm into piracy. I am an elderly movie freak who has found a wealth of movies I love in other countries that I am unable to purchase here, so I import them, just as I have LP's and CD's, which have none of this region code crap going on.
     
  2. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    I had to go read what you were talking about...over there...

    Anyway...

    Region Coding exists to protect movies like Snowpiercer.

    We all know(if we've read the thread) there is a French(French...or somewhere...) BD out there. It is playing in some theatres here.

    The pooch has been screwed because it is also available as VOD.

    So...region codes...pretty much, exist to control release dates.

    And...censorship...

    There is a littany of movies out there that will never be "allowed" to be marketed in the US(at all...or heavily censored)...and must be imported...

    Ken Park
    LL also known as PL (in the native tongue)...which is a movie we probably can't even discuss here(think Roman Polanski...but he has nothing to do with this one)
    The Blue Lagoon (Region 1 is censored in ways Region 2 and 4 are not)

    And on...and on.

    No it is not illegal to own or import/export them(as long as the film does not contain illegal content itself...which is why I don't mention LL/PL completely. That is one movie...depending who you talk to, that blows past decency in ways that make Pretty Baby seem fit for Kindergardeners)
     
  3. classicmovieguy

    classicmovieguy Well-Known Member

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    If it was a crime, most of us would be in jail by now.
     
  4. Jari K

    Jari K Well-Known Member

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    There's nothing "illegal" with region codes, region free players etc. - Some of the studios want to control release dates (like Schan already said). Usually applies to the "newer" movies. Many older releases from the bigger studios are region free.One list: http://bluray.liesinc.net- Smaller studios have contractual obligations to add region codes. Bigger studios license the title to certain territories, so they want the region code (not always, though).Examples:- All Blu-ray releases from WB are region free worldwide.- All Twilight Time's BD releases are region free (as far as I know).
     
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  5. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Premium
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    There's no actual law that makes violating region codes a crime as far as I know. There are contracts and licensing agreements between studios and distributors and part of those agreements specifies who has the right to sell a certain title where. If a distributor broke those agreements there would be legal actions and lawsuits, but that wouldn't be at a consumer level. As long as the item itself is legal to possess in your area and isn't banned by any local censorship laws, there's no crime. If you went on vacation somewhere and brought back a movie, you wouldn't think twice about it. I once worked at a small label, and sometimes we had worldwide rights, often time just US. If we had US and not worldwide and someone wanted an international title, we couldn't sell it to them wholesale. But there's no rule against them going to a retailer and buying a copy. Slightly off topic, but a few years ago the Weinstein Company tried to claim that it was illegal to rent any DVDs that they sold for retail. A lot of mom and pop stores were buying their discs at better prices from Walmart and Best Buy than the distributor was offering, and they didn't want to pay extra for the same (or lesser, since "rental only" discs sometimes are stripped of special features and better audio and caption options) discs. Weinstein was going to put a notice on their discs that when played, would tell the customer if they had rented that disc it was illegal and that they should call a number and report the store. It went to court and they weren't allowed to do it. The best they could do was have it say "this disc for sale only" but that didn't actually mean anything.
     
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  6. Jari K

    Jari K Well-Known Member

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    Studios want to battle against piracy related issues but region codes have nothing to do w piracy. Nor the issues with "law".The insider in the other thread was using some badly worded comments, that's all. But the studio probably (by contract) demands that e.g. The Long Goodbuy is "region B" in the UK (Arrow) and "region A" in the US (Kino). That can happen.
     
  7. Cine_Capsulas

    Cine_Capsulas Well-Known Member

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    As usual.
     
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  8. hanshotfirst1138

    hanshotfirst1138 Well-Known Member

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    Don't have the slightest idea what film you're initializing and talking about (kind of driving me nuts have no luck with Google, lol) but I've heard much more about that kind of stuff happening in the UK where certain scenes actually violate obscenity or protection laws. Never heard if it happening in the US, although I'm sure there are cases. Obviously, in the case of that kind of film, it definitely doesn't sound like the kind of thing I'd watch anyway!
     
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  9. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    The actress in this movie has a pivotal scene in Tales of Ordinary Madness.

    Think...Sundays and Cybele...except this one...goes there...
     
  10. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Well-Known Member

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    I wonder why the Twilight Time MGM (United Artists) Blu-rays are multi-region, but the Kino's are region A locked? I can only think that maybe TT pay more for a multi-region license, but that's just a guess.
     
  11. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    I want to add something about censhorship, with direct correlation to "going there"(to YOU specifically, no it is not where your apparently small mind took it. Now, a few people know the title I spoke of. I'm still here, they aren't talking about it).We live in a society where a minor few decide decency for the rest of us.I grew up hippie with boobs, butt, vagina and penis all brazing in the sun. Obviously I'm going to have a (rightly so) different take on decency.
     
  12. hanshotfirst1138

    hanshotfirst1138 Well-Known Member

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    What did my "small mind" do :(? I didn't mean to imply any criticism of you personally, so apologies :(.As regard this kind of stuff in region locks, I remember when I naively assumed that unlocking a Blu-Ray player was the same as a DVD player which could be accomplished with a few keystrokes. Boy, was I in for a rude awakening. I understand the legal necessity for region codes (how anyone in Japan affords anything at all, I'll never know), but that doesn't make the any less frustrating, especially when I bend over backwards to buy legal releases at a time when the market is at an all-time low. When people simply torrent it and pay nothing at all for it, don't go blaming us ;). I actually did find the "only authorized for sale in the UK" on the back of one of my discs, but I didn't think too much of it. I simply assumed that of there had been some sort of legal restriction, a major retailer like Amazon UK simply wouldn't have sold it to me at all.
     
  13. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    @Han...Not directed toward you.Another somebody who accused something heinous...about the "refuse to name it movie"...in regard to "goes there".Same actress, two movies(not related to the unamed)...Sundays and Cybele doesn't go there...Rapture does go there (with the intent I had).
     
  14. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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    When Marvel's The Avengers was released in the UK there was a bit of an outcry because Disney had mistakenly put a censored version on the disc with regards to what happens to Coulson, they responded to buyers concerns by stating they could import the uncut USA version of the film because it was a Region A,B,C disc and would play anywhere in the world, so if Disney are actually telling people it's okay to import from another region then i think it's probably okay.

    Amazon often sells Region A titles in the UK and Region B titles in the USA, other suppliers do likewise, i think the reason they don't care is that the number of people importing is small, they know it's mainly collectors who will import from different regions, the average buyer doesn't import. I like that i can buy a 3D film from the USA that isn't available here and no doubt vice versa.

    Censorship is the original reason i got a multi region dvd player and also the reason i got a multi region blu ray player, if i want to watch The Human Centipede uncut then i will, i will not tolerate government interference and a censorship body acting as guardians of public morals, case in point, in the eighties they banned many films such as Zombie Flesh Eaters, The Beyond and censored many more like The Evil Dead or even Lethal Weapon 2, it was very bad during the James Ferman era, now the BBFC claim to be an independent body but guess what, the government of the day happens to pick the president of the board, thus it's actually not as independent as they claim, let me make a new paragraph and get back on point.

    Those films i mentioned above got banned or censored back in the eighties and nineties, well the thing is this, Ferman retires and suddenly the board are allowing the films to be released uncut, that's right, totally uncut, they are apparently not a threat to society any more, well hey you know what, they were never a threat, censorship is all about control and it erodes at your freedom, but anyways here we are in 2014 and some films are banned or cut in the UK, that's where multi region players come in handy.

    Studio's don't care if we import from other regions, now certain people in high places who want to control what we watch, that's a different matter, at least in the UK, but no i do not think it is illegal to import from another region.

    The latest film to get the censorship cuts in the UK is Hercules, out soon, cut for a 12A from the USA PG-13 edition.


    P.S. Sam.............I'm not good with abbreviations, what's the name of the film, is it an Ornella Muti film. ?
     
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  15. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Well-Known Member

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    Can't speak for Sam, but I'm pretty sure the actress is Katya Berger. Look at her IMDB credits.

    - Walter.
     
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  16. FoxyMulder

    FoxyMulder 映画ファン

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    I looked her up, i still am not understanding the controversy.
     
  17. Worth

    Worth Well-Known Member

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    I'm guessing it's Piccole Labbra (Little Lips) from 1978, about a soldier and a 12 year-old girl.
     
  18. Will Krupp

    Will Krupp Well-Known Member

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    I'm confused....the Twilight TIme BD of this is censored??? It's the first I'm hearing of it.... How is it censored?
     
  19. Everett Stallings

    Everett Stallings Well-Known Member

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  20. Everett Stallings

    Everett Stallings Well-Known Member

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    .I asked Paramount @ there site when "On A Clear Day You Can See Forever" will be out on Blu-Ray. They sent me a link to Amazon UK.!!!
     

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