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Thursday, August 22, 2002
DVD region codes may be abandoned!

Hollywood fixed the DVD market so films could only be played in the region they were purchased. But viewers got round it with "cheat codes" and now the system is on the verge of collapse. American film studios are rapidly learning what computer software makers found out long ago: people will always find a way to get around almost any systems put in place to restrict the copying or distributing of digital products...

Digital Versatile Discs (DVDs) can store digital copies of films, and a great deal of time and money has been spent trying to devise a way to ensure their use can be controlled. A key part of this is the Region Coding system, which is designed to stop European film buffs buying DVDs in America.

This is now on the point of being abandoned because so many DVD manufacturers have deliberately undermined the system.

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