Music And Books Are Not Region Encoded – Why Should Films Be?

We love the Masters of Cinema range of DVD and Blu-ray releases, and have often been caught recommending their titles. They're a UK imprint of Eureka films, and for Little Bleeders in the US, getting a hold of their titles is simply a case of shopping online and having the discs shipped to you.

And most of the time, there's no catch with that. Many of their films are region free with just a handful of exceptions – M, Fantastic Planet and For All Mankind come immediately to mind as being Zone B locked on Blu-ray.

We can now add Masaki Kobayashi's Harakiri to that list.

Why I mention this issue now, and specifically in relation to this title, is that Digital Fix have screen captured, and posted online, the rather thoughtful Region Lock screen from the disc. Check it out.

Here's a transcript:

Komatta Na!

We hoped you wouldn't have to see this screen.

This Blu-ray is Region B encoded (Europe). Your player must be a different region.

We apologise profusely but we have been forced to encode this disc Region B at the express insistence of the film's licensor and a global industry afraid of a level playing field.

Music and books are not region encoded – why should films be?

If you are able to locate a multi-region Blu-ray player, this disc will play okay.

We recommend that you obtain a multi-region Blu-ray player so your time isn't wasted unnecessarily in the future.


Good points well made. Maybe they might be persuaded to also put a Multi Region FAQ on their site, helping people find and buy the correct player.

Incidentally, I think the literal translation of Komotto Na is "This worries me", but used as an exclamation – a rather more polite "Oh f*ck!"

Does anybody have a screen capture for other, unfortunately locked titles in the Masters of Cinema catalogue? I'd love to know if this is a new bit of copy or if they've been using it for a while.