whisperer, you explained it beautifully. saying the media is region locked to regions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 is like saying it is not region restricted at all since 1-6 are ALL consumer regions possible for pressed dvds.
your dvd will play on ANY region player thus your backups will be technically "region free"
your backups, however CANNOT be "format free" They will always be either PAL or NTSC. if you have a multiformat player you should be able to play any format disc as long as is is region free (or "locked to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6").
if your player is not multi FORMAT then you must do a conversion. converting formats is neither easy nor fun. If you find an easy way, the quality will be lacking. Hell, the quality is even lacking when you do it the hard ways. the two standards have different framerates and you will not find a software conversion program that will make the video look natural. It will always seems "jumpy" as it's trying to catch up or slow down the frame rate of the video.
buying a multi format dvd player is the easiest way as it is a hardware solution and thus provides a more seamless viewing experience.