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Old 07-06-2013, 06:00 PM   #1
ussjtrunks
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Default The New Anime DRM Import Disaster!

Potential bad news for importers of US blu-rays as it seems even uk region free players wont work with these titles, In short they can locate what region your player is from and even if it region free they can geo block it most likely through the internet . People in Japan have confirmed that the titles they had are locked.

Hopefully the Geo-locking only affet Japan but we wont know for sure until people from the uk have some of these new disks for testing I just hope Iroha and fairy tail are unaffected

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I haven't seen the topic of geoblocking on US anime releases brought up here yet. This affects everyone who lives outside the US/Canada who imports US releases.

A new way of blocking reverse importation into Japan is starting to be implemented. Geolocked discs check the country code on the player along with the region code. These discs are locked to the US/Canada so that means unless you're able to change the country code to US in the player settings, region free European and Australian players for example will be unable to play these discs. You'll get an image like this instead:
Click the image to open in full size.

From the look of things, this is very likely going to become standard on most US releases. When you see something like "Licensed solely for sale and viewing in USA and Canada. This disc is intended to function solely on playback devices within USA and Canada. Some or all content and features may be unavailable in other regions." on the back cover that means it's geolocked.

Sentai and NISA are listing so on their packaging, Funimation hasn't. These are the known geolocked US releases so far:

Heaven's Lost Property the Movie: The Angeloid of Clockwork (EDIT: this one still works but it forces English dub only if the country code isn't US)
Patlabor The Mobile Police (TV): Collection 1
Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere II
Inu X Boku Secret Service
Phi-Brain ~ Puzzle of God: Season 2, Collection 1
Queen's Blade: Rebellion
Rurouni Kenshin: New Kyoto Arc
The Garden of Words
Yuruyuri

Example
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:14 PM   #2
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I noticed on the Patlabor OVA disc that I had to set the region manually to A rather than region free which it's normally set to.
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:16 PM   #3
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I wouldn't worry about this. It works through checking which country code is set on your player, and as far as I know, all it does is screen out Japanese players. When you first buy a player and set it up, you have to input a location to get the Player Menus in your language of choice. Japanese owners can get round this by resetting their players to US instead of Japan, but not all Blu-ray players allow this.

Incidentally, Inu X Boku Secret Service is coded AB as it's a US AU release, Sentai in the US and Hanabee in Australia, the same way as Bodacious Space Pirates.
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:18 PM   #4
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If it does block only japan it would actually be nice as we might see stuff licensed faster I'm just hoping it doesnt screw up Iroha I want to get the 2nd part from NIS too
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:22 PM   #5
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If it does block only japan it would actually be nice as we might see stuff licensed faster I'm just hoping it doesnt screw up Iroha I want to get the 2nd part from NIS too
Heck I'm buying that for the DVDs! I can't even spin Region A. But I want that series but bad. I did the same thing for Princess Jellyfish, as the AU release had some issues, and fewer extras, while the Kaze release was totally Kaze'd.

There's a better explanation of the region lock here
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:24 PM   #6
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It's worth keeping an eye on I suppose. While I can see the rationale behind region-locking discs (i.e. that of reverse-importing) it still strikes me as a dick move and leaves a bad taste in my mouth. They're effectively stopping some paying customers using their product!

I'd be interested to learn whether DRM has an overall negative or positive effect on profits, although I bet it would be tough to get definitive numbers. How much would the negative effect on sales due to DRM offset the financial benefits of stopping reverse-importing, I wonder?
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Old 07-06-2013, 06:40 PM   #7
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Hmm. I wanted Inu x Boku.

I assume AnyDVD will be able to work around it soon enough if it does come into play anyway.
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:00 PM   #8
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As has already been mentioned, this is only blocking-out Japanese language players, so it won't affect us - it's literally only a tactic to prevent reverse importation into Japan, which actually means we might start seeing shows on Blu-Ray that otherwise would have been forced to have a DVD-only release by the licensor.
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:41 PM   #9
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As has already been mentioned, this is only blocking-out Japanese language players, so it won't affect us - it's literally only a tactic to prevent reverse importation into Japan, which actually means we might start seeing shows on Blu-Ray that otherwise would have been forced to have a DVD-only release by the licensor.
Phew that was a scary hour its actually starting to sound like a good thing
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:50 PM   #10
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Phew that was a scary hour its actually starting to sound like a good thing
Well, a good thing for us anyhow. Still sucks to be in Japan and have to suck up those prices when you know damn well there's cheaper legitimate means out there. ^^;
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Old 07-06-2013, 07:53 PM   #11
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Can they not see that this forces peeps to download illegally!

Not meaning to be controversial but I just can't see how this decision makes any sense
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:06 AM   #12
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Even if this post only for people in japan importing US titles, this is still tech than could be implimented on all Blu-ray disks at any time in the future.

This is the pure reason why I dont buy bluray, along with the fact you must update your Blu-Ray player every to play newer disks

Never had any of these problems with DVD's (barr a DRM that acturly checked the players region but this was implimented on only a small portion of dvds)
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Old 08-06-2013, 02:50 PM   #13
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Well, a good thing for us anyhow. Still sucks to be in Japan and have to suck up those prices when you know damn well there's cheaper legitimate means out there. ^^;
They can still get around the lock if the player in question has the ability to change the country code, and that audio lockout on the heavens lost property movie is a pile of garbage as it uses a system more commonly used by kaze.
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Old 08-06-2013, 03:40 PM   #14
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This is the pure reason why I dont buy bluray, along with the fact you must update your Blu-Ray player every to play newer disks
I've never actually had to update the firmware in my BD player in order to have to play something, though admittedly I only really buy anime disks, which are hardly cutting-edge.
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Old 08-06-2013, 04:12 PM   #15
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Likewise, I haven't touched the firmware on my Toshiba drive since flashing it to make it region free.
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