Most people in India don’t know or care about DVD region codes because most players sold here are “region-free”. Most people in the US don’t care because the rest of the world doesn’t exist — however, holidaymakers routinely return home to find that the DVDs they bought in Europe don’t work. But DVDs have an annoying technology built into them, on the insistence of the Motion Picture Association of America, called region control. DVDS are meant to be played only in their region of sale: the US and Canada fall in region 1, most of Europe is region 2, India is region 5. The intention was that players sold in a region can only play DVDs sold in that region. This intention is legally enforced in the US and UK. But in many countries, including India, region-free DVD players are freely available and the norm. When I lived in Paris, the Virgin Megastore had an entire shelf of Region-1 (US) DVDs on sale (I don’t know the situation today).
So it gives me great pleasure to see that it is not only the lay public that gets tripped up by these laws. When Barack Obama gifted Gordon Brown a set of DVDs, neither Obama, nor his advisors and technical team, nor Brown, realised that they wouldn’t work in the UK.
Will this lead to a change in the law? I wouldn’t count on it.