Recently I bought a copy of Hard Boiled on DVD from America. I couldn't find a single solitary copy of this movie in Australia... not the special edition, anyway.
Now, I don't own a region free DVD player, and I'm to lazy to download region free firmware for my PC's DVD drive. So, what I did to get my DVD player to play it... is ripped it to my hard drive using DVD Decrypter (http://www.dvddecrypter.org.uk/) and burned it to a blank DVD. This doesn't allow you to play the original bought DVD, but you have a DVD backup copy that is region free! So, now you have a working copy, and you're free to save your original from dust and scratches!
Now, In most countries BY RIGHTS you are allowed to make a back-up of DVDs you've bought, in order to save your originals from general wear and tear. If you're not sure... just check the laws in your country. But... don't worry to much if you're cracking a DVD just for your own personal use... So many people do it, that the cops can't catch them. think about it... if half the population in the world are downloading and copying DVDs (for home use)... are the cops really gonna throw us all in jail? We're not the ones they should worry about... It's those piraters that mass-copy and sell for profit!