Only the big manufacturers use 'regions'. It's so they can charge more for dvds in areas where the sales aren't as great as they are in the US, and to stuff up people who try to buy them on the internet.
Get a cheap dvd player, it'll be multi-region. Best one I have was a $29 special offer when I bought a movie from Easy-DVD.
If you have no luck with VLC Player, get hold of a copy of AnyDvd, it will allow your PC to play any dvd from any region and bypass the built in region specific stuff in windoze. Works with all our DVDs from the UK and the ones we have bought here - they have an HD version too if you have any Blu-rays - well worth the money.
SlySoft AnyDVD | any dvd, region free, dvd copy, copy dvd movies, dvd decoder, dvd ripper, macrovision, dvd copying software
Edit: and yes it is legit and completely legal to use.