DVD decryption and legality

DVDs are encrypted to prevent copying, the problem is that copying is legal, distribution of copies it the illegal action. So how do we backup our properties.

When we purchase a CD or a DVD we would like to enjoy them as much as possible, therefore it means ripping the CDs and uploading it to our MP3 player, Or backing either the DVD or the CD in order to make sure we will be able to enjoy them as much as possible, after all either of them are round disks made of simple plastic material that are sensitive to almost any type of pressure.


The DVD manufacturers has done a great deal to prevent us from backing up their disks, sometimes they even punished us, the purchasers by installing a Rootkit (a massive security breach) like Sony for example. But most of the time they simply limit our purchase to a specific area. That means if i bought a DVD in the USA i will not be able to watch it in France, due to a region code installed within the DVD.

Actually there are several problems here…

  1. why should we be limited to a specific location to enjoy what we purchased.

  2. Why should we be forced to buy a DVD in a specific location, when we can buy it from everywhere.

  3. Why cannot we back up our purchased DVD.

The truth is that the law is not preventing anyone of copying a DVD, thats exactly the reason the manufacturers tried to block this possibility. The law prevent of redistributing them.


When I created the last version of my software Videowebgate 3.0 I added to it a module to enable ripping of DVDs. The program will decrypt the DVD (get rid of the region code) convert the selected files to a normal high quality digital format (MPEG 2) and if this movie is made of several parts will join these parts to a single file.

Many people contacted me and told me that they were looking for this solution for a long time. And somehow they were not available freely in the major software directories.

A month after I released it, I received a demand from Download.com to remove this feature from the software otherwise they cannot put the software in their directory. This was very annoying but I decided to leave the software the way it is. But I really wondered how could this be. Why should they care ? They removed my software from their listing. But when checking up carefully I found plenty of ripping tools available on Download .com, so I guess its a financial matter (My software is free).

Anyway there is a conspiracy here against the consumer, that sometimes leads to provoking it rights. The way I see it, any digital material you own, you as a consumer has the right to back it up, unfortunately not everyone agree with me.