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When burning a DVD, all the programs have an options to "leave the DVD open", so that files can be further added to the disc.

Are there any downsides to that? In other words: what are the reasons I would want to "close" the disc, other than making it immutable (and wasting the remaining free space on disk)?

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It really depends what the intended use of the disk is.

If you are a company giving out updates or distributing software, you will always want to close it as you don't want people to make any changes.

If you are just handing it around to family and friends, feel free to leave it open.

In addition, some devices do not understand disks in an open state - for example, if you copy pictures or similar and have a dvd player than can do a slideshow, it may not understand it in an open state.

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