DVD and Blu-ray films are not freely interchangeable from country to country. In February 1997, in response to pressure from the American film industry, the DVD world was divided up into six regions (the Blu-ray division was undertaken later). At the discretion of the film producer, DVD and Blu-ray discs may contain a code restricting their use to players with the same regional code (DVDs with country code 0 may be played on all DVD players). This allows the Hollywood studios to control when and in what version (editing, sound, subtitles) a film is marketed.
Europe has regional code 2 and code B for Blu-ray discs. This means that a DVD or Blu-ray disc purchased in the USA and intended for the American market (regional code 1 or A) cannot be played on a player purchased in Europe. However, there is an exception to this rule: So-called "codefree" players are available. It is also possible to convert players that are only able to play country codes 2 or B into code-free devices.
DVD country codes
0 - These DVDs can be played in any country
1 - USA, Canada and US overseas territories
2 - Western and Central Europe, Greenland, South Africa, Egypt and Middle East, Japan
3 - Southeast Asia, South Korea, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan
4 - Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Central America, South America
5 - Eastern Europe and other countries formerly part of the USSR, India, Africa
6 - People's Republic of China
Blu-ray country codes
A - North and South America (excluding French overseas territories), Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia
B -Europe (including Greenland and French overseas territories, excluding the European part of Russia), Middle East, Africa, Oceania, Australia
C - India, Nepal, China, Russia, Central and South Asia