Just noticed this post, sorry...
The other regions already do wait 6 months to a year. Not just for DVDs, but for release in theaters.
I'm not familiar with the details of how copyright operates globally (except that it's complicated and various), but I'm not too surprised by this. I do know that even in New Zealand (an OECD country) we've often had US TV programmes screened months after the US. My point is simply that we can't have price equalisation without those in poorer countries getting a bad deal (not to say that those in poorer countries don't get a bad deal already, not to say that the specifics of region restrictions are good as they are, just that price equalisation is not only not a solution, it actually precludes a solution).
Sadly, that is a daily reality. It is somewhat balanced by other countries (India for example) granting their pharmaceutical manufacturers permission to violate some patents on essential medications.
I thought price equalisation might have been the case with pharmaceuticals. I vaguely recalled hearing about discussions on allowing some of the poorest countries access to essential medications, so I wasn't sure how much it still applied. Exceptions for essential medications for the poorest countries would avoid price equalisation to some extent, and IMHO would be good to some extent, but would draw some arbitrary hard lines. It would leave problems for countries that are quite poor, but not quite poor enough to qualify as "the poorest", and for medications that are considered quite important, but not quite important enough to qualify as "essential". Again, my point here is just that it's not possible to have price equalisation without those in poorer countries suffering (regardless of what the situation is now).
Of course, there are plenty of not so rich people here in the U.S. that go without medication as well. To the point that statistically, they will die years sooner than wealthier people. Growing numbers are forced to buy needed medication on the black market. (You know the gouging is extreme when the black market is CHEAPER).
Again, I'm not familiar with the details, but I'm not surprised. With regards to copyright, we often pay a higher price in New Zealand than the US, despite (I believe) having a lower GDP per capita, and I wonder if this is due to a more unequal distribution of wealth. That said, even people who are quite poor in the US would be quite rich in, say, Ethiopia, so I think price equalisation between countries would create more unfairness than it would solve.
Copyright does do a great deal of damage. That's why at the beginning, it was kept short. The longer it grows, the more damage it does.
No disagreement there. The only serious attempt to calculate the economically optimal copyright term that I am aware of estimates about 15 years.
Pollock, Rufus (2009) Forever Minus a Day? Calculating Optimal Copyright Term.
Moreover, I'm not sure this analysis takes into account the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic worth. It seems to me that much of the worth of copyrighted works is extrinsic. IMHO, much of the value of MS Windows is due to the market share it has, not any particular technical merit, i.e. it's useful because it's popular, not because it's any good. Likewise it seems to me that at least some of the value of popular entertainment is due simply to its popularity--people watch, discuss, and make references to popular works in social groups, and sometimes actually form social groups around them, so access to these works is, to a greater or lesser extent, a requirement for participation in certain social interaction, and again, there is value in the work's popularity, regardless of the work's merit. This being the case, I'd expect the actual economically optimal term to be lower than 15 years.
It's not my intention to claim that copyright is good. As I said before, my only major concern about repealing copyright is that this may accelerate the shift to software as a service, which IMHO is likely to be even worse. (To add to that, my only major concern about shortening copyright without repealing it is that it may allow closed-source software to appropriate open-source software, but not vice versa.) My intention was only to say that if we have copyright, then global price equalisation means poorer countries can only get a bad deal.
You don't need to convince me that copyright sorely needs to be reigned in. I already believe that. My disagreement is only over what is a good way to do it. "Common sense" is not enough. It's unintended consequences all the way down.