As if Barack and Michelle Obama presenting the leader of our closest ally with DVDs and toy boats (after returning the UK's Winston Churchill bust within moments of commandeering the Oval Office) wasn't embarrassing enough...
I assumed everyone realized DVDs had different zones. It shouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that movies come out in the US months before they are released in Europe --if ours worked overseas, what would stop Americans from cashing in before the actual release over there? Common sense, right? Apparently not.
"...British newspapers earlier this month made hay out of the supposedly unequal exchange of gifts between the two leaders during Brown's visit to Washington. Brown gave an ornamental pen holder with an indirect tie to the Oval Office desk — both items were made from the timber of sister ships — and a first-edition set of a seven-volume biography about Winston Churchill.
Obama responded with a DVD set featuring 25 classic American movies. "About as exciting as a pair of socks," declared The Daily Mail.
Now it turns out Brown can't play the discs because of region-specific limitations, The Daily Telegraph reports.
DVD players are coded to limit themselves to material meant for specific geographic areas. The United States and Canada are Region 1. Western and Central Europe are Region 2.
Players sold in one region aren't supposed to play discs sold in another. Had the same sort of protection applied to Brown's gift, Obama would need a special key sold only in Europe to open the Churchill books..." (source)
As of right now there are only 15 stories about this blunder...I can only imagine how many there would have been if Bush had been this dim witted...