Purchasing dvds is bit like… remember that Monty Python Cheese Shop sketch?

I’ve been finalizing my Infected card game, but also ordered some research material for future projects (and for bit of “just for fun” as well). I happened to spot Survivorman show and learnt there were several seasons of their show “available”. I decided to purchase, and of course since it’s year 2012 you’d think everything would be easy: just push couple of buttons and I could start watching the show, right?

Well, not exactly.

I learnt that Netflix had some survivorman episodes quite likely available. Netflix just arrived to Finland so I tried to signup. I got error “try again later”. I tried like 47 times, but no can do. I don’t know why, but I just could not sign up. Maybe I did something wrong, but well. That attempt failed.

But fear not, I could go to amazon.com and order it, right?


In Amazon.com, there was only Region 1 dvds, not 2. I looked into figuring out if my PS3 could play Region 1 dvds and learnt that quite likely not. Well that sucks a bit then.

Amazon.ca said “not available”.

Amazon.co.uk said “Region 1 import”, so no can do.

I then tried purchasing direct streaming through Amazon.com, just to learn that it was available only in “US store”. Of course. Sorry about trying.

Then I went to Discovery channel official store, where it was “no longer available”.

Then tried one online streaming system which told me to “view from Canada”.

Sucks to be me, I live in Finland.

Play.com could have it? It always has stuff I can buy.

Not today, no.

At this point I went to watch that Monty Python clip. You should watch too:

I then started thinking, that all this region coding requires plenty of work. Region codes didn’t just appear: these need to be programmed in the system. My playstation by default didn’t have region codes, no… those needed to be created.

So what essentially happened here is that:

Publishers put massive amount of work to ensure that I cannot buy the product.

It’s like…

I’m almost speechless.


I have money here that I want to hand over to you. You’ve spent your money to prevent me from buying.


Can somebody tell me why, because I’d really like to know.

(Oh, and in case you happen to know where or how I could watch – yes, I’m willing to pay – Survivorman full episodes, then please let me know. And no, I’m not buying into that “buy region free dvd player” madness just to watch one show, I have no room for that anyway.)

Juuso Hietalahti

One Comment

  1. The popular arguments historically put forth are that it allows them to set and enforce delayed releases (a dumb reason) and appropriate pricing and features for DVDs. I almost get where they’re coming from in that respect. They may want to charge far less in Asia to combat a nearly bottomed out piracy market, and ensure that no one uses a proxy to purchase items there, and simply download them here. With this, they may get very little per sale, but the market is so large, at least it’s money.

    That said, I think even that is too much. I think the more reasonable argument is to lower prices to the point where everyone can afford them, and when/where that can’t be done, write those areas off as a loss, and try to help stimulate the economy there so that they can.

    But hey, I’m fine with massive changes to copyright. I may be crazy, though.

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