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Missy Broome

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Will Regional Entertainment Blocking Ever End?

One of the biggest complaints by entertainment lovers is the lack of simultaneous worldwide release of most TV shows, movies and games. In fact, according to many people, one of the biggest reasons for password sharing and downloading of entertainment outside of the laws of various countries is because people in one country often have to wait months to enjoy the entertainment legally in another country.

These people are even more irate about “regional blocking” when they pay for subscription services in their home countries and have to wait even though their counterparts who purchased similar subscriptions elsewhere received access to the content when it is initially released — for example, the PlayStation Network’s Powers is not available to Australian PlayStation Network subscribers although U.S. subscribers enjoy it.

With the Powers’ example above, Australian PlayStation Network subscribers also pay more than their U.S. counterparts for their subscriptions and many of them feel they deserve the same viewing options as those who live elsewhere and pay less.

But, it’s unlikely regional blocking will ever end. Mr. Newlin reports that different countries have different rules, regulations and laws related to releases. Additionally, staggered worldwide releases are more lucrative as they build anticipation.

That said, as some fans of Powers have pointed out, consumers are driving new business models and staggered releases that promote password sharing and downloading will not always financially benefit Sony or the show’s creatives.

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