Page last updated at 02:52 GMT, Thursday, 9 February 2006

Digital film: Industry answers

Some of the leading figures in the global film industry have answered your questions about movies in the digital age.

The BBC News website asked for your queries about the way new technology is being used - and the eight sharpest and most pertinent questions were put to the virtual panel.

Click on each question to read the answers.


Why do the movie companies still insist on region encoding their DVD offerings? What is the point any more? Graham O'Mara, Worcester, UK

  • Dan Glickman, Motion Picture Association of America:

    Each content owner makes their own independent decision on whether or not to use regional playback control (RPC) encoding on their DVDs.

    For example, some home video distributors are required contractually to restrict the movie's home video sales to particular geographic markets according to the their deal with the producer of the movie. This is sometimes required when a movie is released in the home video window in some countries prior to its international theatrical film release in another part of the world.

    Home video distributors feel that RPC provides certain protections that are critical in releasing movies in the DVD format.

  • Lavinia Carey, British Video Association:

    In addition to the reasons outlined for release windows, while release dates onto DVD get closer to the cinema releases, regional coding is still the way the British classification system is implemented to protect children from unsuitable material.

    Further to the rationale for continuing windows, if you were to acquire the rights to, for example, a Hollywood arthouse movie to distribute in the UK, and parallel imports from the USA were being sold in the UK by someone else, you'd lose your investment.

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