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What are the copy protection issues?

Content-providers like the major film studios are very concerned about the problems of piracy. The DVD format includes several measures intended to prevent the illegal copying of discs - Macrovison, CSS and Region Coding.

CSS is intended to prevent the copying of DVDs using personal computers, whereas Macrovision distorts the picture if it is copied to VHS or a DVD Recorder, for example. There are ways to circumvent both these copy-protection methods though, so in the "real world" they are best seen as deterrents.

Region Coding is a system preventing playback of the discs in different parts of the world. Each "territory" of the world is given it's own code number - Europe has Region Code 2, for example, and the USA is Region 1. So, a "Region 2" coded disc won't play in the USA. Discs can be coded for more than one region. All of this can be of limited use, however, since "Region-free" players which bypass this control are common. "All Region" discs are coded to play everywhere. These discs are also sometimes referred to as "Region 0".

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