The restriction that limits video recording in digitial cameras to 30 minutes could be abolished if the World Trade Organization's Information Technology Agreement (ITA) is expanded. Several countries, including the USA, have begun informal talks to extend the scope of the ITA to include products that are currently subject to tariffs and duty. At present, digital cameras' video cuts off after 30 minutes to avoid them being classified as video cameras (which attract 5.4% duty into markets including Europe). If the video cameras are added to the ITA, this distinction would no longer matter. (via Nikkei)
Getting changes made at WTO can be a slow and highly politicized process, but a proposal to the ITA Committee to discuss the issue has been broadly welcomed.
Removing duty on video cameras would allow manufacturers to remove the 29 minute, 59 second limit currently applied to digital cameras. However other limitations, such as the 4Gb limit for single files imposed by the FAT 32 file system used by most cameras, or concerns about circuitry overheating will remain.