Bernard909: This limitation apply in Europe (maybe not only) where some local companies (now dead ?) thought it was clever to protect their product lines from the asiatic ones (that was long time ago) It's good news for those who want to capture long events (sports, theater, dance etc.) and use multicam in editing (now affordable).
Yes, that's true! But it wasn't for DSLR or digital compacts that did not even exist... It was simply for "video recorders", that means every device that is able to record a video. At that time (1988 I think) mainly VCR and cassette camcorders