DVD

How to Rip Copy-Protected DVD Movies

DVD movies that you buy or rent can be viewed on your computer using a number of DVD player programs, but there are a few downsides to this approach - especially for laptop users who travel a lot:

1. Battery life on laptops is greatly reduced by the mechanical spinning of the DVD drive.

2. It's a pain to swap out DVD discs for each movie, let alone pack the discs along if you're on a vacation or business trip.

3. The spinning DVD drive is noisy and can be annoying for passengers sitting next to you.

For these reasons, it's often desirable to convert each DVD movie to an electronic format so they can be viewed as videos. This approach lets you store several videos on your hard and play them as often as you like without having to swap out DVD discs. Your battery life will also be a lot longer, because you won't have to keep a DVD drive spinning to watch the videos.

Converting commercial movies into video format requires software that's able to crack the copy-protection and convert the movie into common digital video formats, such as Quicktime's .mp4/.mov format, or Windows Media's .wmv format.

Getting Started

In this article I'll show you 5 easy steps for converting copy-protected DVD movies into videos using Wondershare's DVD Ripper Platinum program. You'll be able to convert your movies into numerous formats for viewing them on your computer as well as mobile devices like the iPhone, PSP, Zune and even an Apple TV.

To get started, download Wondershare for Windows (also available for Mac) from their website and follow along with the steps below:

Five Easy Steps for Ripping DVD Movies

1. Install and start Wondershare DVD Ripper Platinum, and insert the DVD movie into your disc drive.

How to Backup Copy-Protected DVD Movies

Question: I have a few DVD movies that I'd like to copy for backup purposes, and would also like to view them on my laptop when I go on business trips. The software that came with my laptop isn't able to do it though - it says the DVDs are copy-protected. Is there an easy way to do this?

Answer: You'd think it would just be a simple matter of plugging the DVD into the DVD drive on your computer, and clicking a "Create Backup Copy" menu somewhere in Windows Explorer (or in the Finder for Mac users). It turns out however that copy-protection and encryption on commercial DVD movies have made it a lot harder than that.

Your operating system will not let you make backup copies of your favorite copy-protected commercial DVD movies without the help of third-party software programs. You'll also most likely need to find software made outside the United States. Thanks to some confusing legislation, and the fear of copyright law suits in the states, companies like Roxio, Nero, and others have removed the ability to copy commercial DVDs.

Is it legal?

If you're intentions are to copy your DVDs and sell them for profit, then you're clearly violating copyright laws and will be subject to fines or imprisonment if caught.

But what about making backup copies of your own DVDs that you paid for? I'm not a lawyer, so I recommend that you read the copyright laws for your country and decide for yourself what's legal and what's not. Personally I found them confusing at best, and conflicting with regards to fair usage laws that should allow me to protect my personal property by making backup copies of my own DVDs.

I'm a firm believer in the right to protect your own personal property. For DVDs that means being able to burn backup copies to your heart's content, provided they're for your own personal viewing (ie. you aren't selling them or using them to make a profit).

The search for a good DVD Ripper and Burner