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Old 01-26-2008, 04:46 PM   #1
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Removing region code from a DVD copy?

Is there any simple way on Linux to just strip out the region code when copying a DVD?

I've tried all the simple methods, e.g. copying in k3b, ripping to an iso, mounting the ISO and then using mkisofs to make a new one... it always ends up unplayable on my standalone DVD player. I know the source DVD is ok, but it's from the UK and I'm in the USA.

I keep reading about programs for Windows such as AnyDVD which seem to have this ability, but I can see no mention of setting/resetting/stripping region codes via Linux DVD copying software.

I use Debian Etch.


Last edited by neilgunton; 01-26-2008 at 04:57 PM.
Old 01-27-2008, 02:27 AM   #2
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I guess you'd probably need to rip the DVD and then re-author it, unless there's some quicker way of just stripping out the region code (how is it inserted in the first place)?

I've never had to change the region code - maybe google for Linux DVD ripping tutorials, or someone else can chime in?
Old 01-27-2008, 01:28 PM   #3
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I would be very careful about asking about this sort of thing. Copyright infringement is a nono on these forums, but it seems that your intentions are honest

A couple of questions:

Does your dvd player play any copies at all because some can't?
Have you tried looking for the codes to make your dvd player region free? Many can be set for region 0.

Other than that I would go along with what jantman has said - rip the dvd to avi or mpeg then re-author it. You shouldn't have any region code then.
Old 01-27-2008, 01:55 PM   #4
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I'm not sure I want to touch on the concept of copyright infringement... I'm not quite sure whether the concept of region codes has any legal standing. But it seems to me that if this is only for your own use, and you're essentially "replacing" your original DVD with an identical copy but a different region code, that sounds like fair use. (I'm not a lawyer.)
Old 01-27-2008, 06:56 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. On the "legality" front, I can explain. This is a copy of Battlestar Galactica Season 3, from the UK. The publishers have been holding off on releasing this in the USA for over a year now for some reason. But now I have it on pre-order at Amazon, so I am buying it. My bro sent me a copy from the UK to see if I could preview it over here. I think the problem now is that the UK release is in PAL format, rather than NTSC. That's why it wouldn't play, even though (as it turns out) the copy he did for me is actually region-free. So it doesn't seem to have been a region coding problem after all!

You could argue that this is illegal, but to me it's more of a time-shift - I am buying the thing, so I can sleep at night just fine. I'm just tring to get a look at it a little earlier, because it's been bugging me for a long time now.

We solved the problem by simply playing it on my wife's laptop and routing the S-Video directly into the TV. Not perfect, but it works.

Incidentally, the free DVDShrink software on Windows is very nice, as is AnyDVD (not free, but 21 day trial). Both seem to have many more features for controlling how you copy a DVD (including region coding) than anything I've seen on Linux.


Old 01-28-2008, 05:10 AM   #6
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Unfortunately I have to close this thread, because LQ is based in the US where issues such as descrambling copy protected media can pose legal issues.

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