Every DVD manufactured in a particular region has its own region code, which is incorporated as one byte of information on the disc that the DVD player checks before playing. DVD players and discs are coded by putting in their region number superimposed on a world globe. If a disc can play in more than one region, it will have more than one number on the globe. This implies that a disc bought in one country would not play on a DVD player bought in another country. Therefore the DVD standard includes region specific codes to prevent playback of DVDs in certain geographical regions.
Preventing Illegal Playback of Pirated DVDs
The greatest requirement for carrying out the concept of region-specific codes was to prevent the illegal playback of pirated DVDs in certain countries. Movies made in the U.S. are released in a staggered manner all over the world. The DVDs are also released a few months after the release of the movie in theaters. However, it is very easy to copy DVDs illegally and distribute these movies in the other countries even before they are formally released in their cinemas. Also, movie studios sell distribution rights to different foreign distributors and would like to guarantee an exclusive market. This piracy results in huge financial losses for the production companies