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Region restriction - Why? Does anyone actually benefit from this?
Posted 1/28/15
Note: This is not a personal jab at Crunchyroll. I understand that CR's region locking is likely due to licensing laws, and that if they could legally stream a simulcast to your country, they would

I have a question regarding region locks.

Not knowing the ins and outs of the law, there may be a good reason why region-locking is enforced, but I honestly do not know of it. This is a frustration to many people on many services (This is a big problem with Netflix users, who then end up resorting to VPNs so they get thier money's worth), and in the end, who actually benefits from these ridiculous locks?

I feel region locking is a hugely flawed part of licensing, and frankly, shows no benefits.

Fun fact. Rob Swire of Knife Party and Pendulum actually once said that if his music isn't available in your country due to region-locking, go ahead and illegally download his music.
Posted 1/28/15 , edited 1/28/15
The only people who stand to benefit are the owners of the content. By imposing a form of artificial scarcity, they get to sell the content by region and per format at a premium cause they make interested parties bid on exclusive rights. Whether they actually benefit I have no idea, but I do know it goes a long way toward encouraging pirates.
Posted 1/28/15
it's ridiculous and doesn't benefit anybody.

if music CD's can be region-free, why can't DVD/bluray and streamed shows?

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Posted 1/28/15 , edited 1/28/15
honestly, there's ways around it if you look on the internets for them. Some involve a simple browser add on and work via a proxy to show up with an IP address that's in the area that you are trying to view.

Theoretically, insanely simple. I live in the US so I haven't screwed with it in a while but did once to see some stuff that was UK only.

As for DVD's and region locked media.... Ehhhh... I'm sure there's ways. Plenty of CR users watch japanese region stuff.

I dunno who it benefits. I think it's basically media companies in various regions trying to ask for them so they can resell the stuff to the people in their region and also to keep pirates from getting ahold of it easier, and thus translating or jailbreaking it. It's not much different that having cell phone companies limit which cell phones are available through which carriers.
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Posted 1/28/15 , edited 1/28/15
I know I'm a mod here, but honestly, I'm only posting what I've pieced together from reading various laws, region locking, my own experience in the video game industry, etc.

Region locks are dictated by the publishers.

That's really it. The publishers have the anime, and could, in theory, release it almost anywhere. There are some local laws that play into this, mostly with certain icons (Nazi symbols and such in Germany, etc), but more or less, they hold all the strings.

The publishers are in it for the money. CR pays them to get the ability to show the streams online, and if the publisher thinks that will make them more money in the long term, they'll go for it. Sometimes, they'll hold out for more money for a streaming license. Sometimes, they'll decide that streaming licenses would dilute interest in physical disc sales, which make more money for the publisher per viewer than streaming services do.

Now, since CR is a legal service, they have to abide by the terms set in the licenses that they acquire. If a publisher says "You can show this in X, Y, Z, Q regions, except on these dates, and you can show the uncensored version for 24 hours starting at this point", that's what CR has to live with.

Again, I'm just a mod, not an official of CR. This is based on what I've put together.

(For your fun fact - that's cool.. for that one group, and I respect them for it. But it isn't blanket permission to do the same for all.)

EDIT - Oh, forgot to say, the reason I mentioned my video game experience is that their publishers, along with movie, music, etc, all work the same. They look at ways to make more money. If streaming works, they use it. If they think they'll make more money with physical only, they'll do that. They investigate region by region, dealing with laws about physical imports, internet service fees, etc, all to maximize those profits.
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Posted 1/28/15

GayAsianBoy wrote:

it's ridiculous and doesn't benefit anybody.

if music CD's can be region-free, why can't DVD/bluray and streamed shows?


Physical vs. Intangible products.

Region locks don't make sense at all for physical world products. You make 'em, you ship 'em, you sell 'em. Who cares where? There's no limit. The only reason for region locks is money. There's no real-world reason for it.

For an intangible product like a radio wave (ie, a TV show) you can only transmit so far, therefore, broadcasting licenses. There's an actual real-world reason for it. It makes sense.

Even though the internet is global, the broadcasting license model carries over because of bandwidth and latency limitations (there's a reason you don't want to download from Hong Kong if you're in Texas) and because most likely, laws probably treat it the same as TV broadcasting. Thus, much like TV stations, websites get licensed for a particular region at the rights holder's discretion.

And then there's also the case where a rights holder may, for whatever reason, only want to show content in a certain region. That's their choice too.
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Posted 1/28/15 , edited 1/28/15

itsvesper wrote:

Note: This is not a personal jab at Crunchyroll. I understand that CR's region locking is likely due to licensing laws, and that if they could legally stream a simulcast to your country, they would

I have a question regarding region locks.

Not knowing the ins and outs of the law, there may be a good reason why region-locking is enforced, but I honestly do not know of it. This is a frustration to many people on many services (This is a big problem with Netflix users, who then end up resorting to VPNs so they get thier money's worth), and in the end, who actually benefits from these ridiculous locks?

I feel region locking is a hugely flawed part of licensing, and frankly, shows no benefits.

Fun fact. Rob Swire of Knife Party and Pendulum actually once said that if his music isn't available in your country due to region-locking, go ahead and illegally download his music.


There is a point to region locking.

1) On the producer's end it lets them sell rights to various companies in various countries. Ideally, the amount the highest bidder per country would be able to pay for one show would total more than what any one company would pay for global rights to that same show.

2) On the company licensing's part, it could cut cost. Let's say you are an anime company in Brazil. You have no English staff. You have no Chinese staff. Your staff speaks Portugese. You operate in Brazil. That's it. You would have no use at all for global streaming rights and it would probably be cheaper for you to just buy rights for Brazil. Potentially, it restricts competition as a company entering the game has to be large enough to afford global rights to everything. Some company in a really small market might be able to buy a series for streaming solely in their market, but if they now have to secure global rights for a huge market like the US, maybe now that can't afford that series, let alone having to battle it out with larger companies in those larger markets who want the right to show it in the US (and must now buy global rights).

3) It's not really a boon or negative to consumers. If there is a company that can buy rights for your country and wants to buy them, they can. I haven't really heard of an example where someone buys, example, rights to Brazil just to hoard the rights as a way to chastise Brazillians. Any situation like that is probably the result of the Japanese end forcing them to buy global rights at a higher price, not listening to arguments of, "but we only operate in two markets." You could be mad that Crunchyroll doesn't buy global rights to everything, but that shit costs money that they may not have to spend or flat out may not be worth it based off of the size of the market.
Posted 1/28/15
*cough* yakuza *cough*

kidding
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Posted 1/28/15
The anime mafia.
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Posted 1/28/15 , edited 1/28/15
I just wish that there was an EU license rather than separate licenses for each country. Then we'd probably get just as much anime as the US does.

Unfortunately UKIP has destroyed that dream.
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Posted 1/28/15

sickVisionz wrote:


itsvesper wrote:

Note: This is not a personal jab at Crunchyroll. I understand that CR's region locking is likely due to licensing laws, and that if they could legally stream a simulcast to your country, they would

I have a question regarding region locks.

Not knowing the ins and outs of the law, there may be a good reason why region-locking is enforced, but I honestly do not know of it. This is a frustration to many people on many services (This is a big problem with Netflix users, who then end up resorting to VPNs so they get thier money's worth), and in the end, who actually benefits from these ridiculous locks?

I feel region locking is a hugely flawed part of licensing, and frankly, shows no benefits.

Fun fact. Rob Swire of Knife Party and Pendulum actually once said that if his music isn't available in your country due to region-locking, go ahead and illegally download his music.


There is a point to region locking.

1) On the producer's end it lets them sell rights to various companies in various countries. Ideally, the amount the highest bidder per country would be able to pay for one show would total more than what any one company would pay for global rights to that same show.

2) On the company licensing's part, it could cut cost. Let's say you are an anime company in Brazil. You have no English staff. You have no Chinese staff. Your staff speaks Portugese. You operate in Brazil. That's it. You would have no use at all for global streaming rights and it would probably be cheaper for you to just buy rights for Brazil. Potentially, it restricts competition as a company entering the game has to be large enough to afford global rights to everything. Some company in a really small market might be able to buy a series for streaming solely in their market, but if they now have to secure global rights for a huge market like the US, maybe now that can't afford that series, let alone having to battle it out with larger companies in those larger markets who want the right to show it in the US (and must now buy global rights).

3) It's not really a boon or negative to consumers. If there is a company that can buy rights for your country and wants to buy them, they can. I haven't really heard of an example where someone buys, example, rights to Brazil just to hoard the rights as a way to chastise Brazillians. Any situation like that is probably the result of the Japanese end forcing them to buy global rights at a higher price, not listening to arguments of, "but we only operate in two markets." You could be mad that Crunchyroll doesn't buy global rights to everything, but that shit costs money that they may not have to spend or flat out may not be worth it based off of the size of the market.


well explain sir... thx

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Posted 1/28/15 , edited 1/28/15
Some companies simply dont want their content viewed in other countries, some countries the U.S. is not friendly with, and others its just too expensive.

Pretty much the gist of that stuff.
One country may have X policy which bans a certain song from being played there because the B-word was said X amount of times in the song or some BS. While the u.s. doesn't have that, so reasons like that happen too.
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Posted 2/2/15 , edited 2/2/15
There can be reasons behind some of them. Well, in gaming (mmo) some are country restricted due to the region's high amount of users hacking and/or causes the most internet traffic causing 'lagginess'. Buttt who knows, there can be liable/sensible reasons and some just don't wanna share em but meh.
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Posted 2/2/15
It's only so foreign countries have to pay more money to the original owner just to license the series for their country. Only the original country benefits from this. No one else ever does. This is why my blu-ray player is religion free.
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Posted 2/2/15 , edited 2/2/15
Dunno it's stupid. The reason people pirate is because they're cheap or so much stuff is region locked so it's the whole 'why bother'.

Maybe if these dipshit publishers realized if they removed region locking all together, imagine the increase in people that would sub to this site, Netflix, etc. That's exactly what would happen, instead a lot of people feel alienated sometimes. If were moving away from TV for the online, then these business practices need to realize it's 2015 and if they can't comprehend that maybe it's time to kick they're old ass out of the business.

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