According to Murphys Law, your favorite DVD will be scratched, broken, or lost sometime soon. Thats life. In order to be safe, you really should keep backups of your DVD collection. But, unlike backing up CDs or software, the shadowy world of DVD-copying leaves many of us bewildered.
First, the legality of copying DVDs has always been a difficult subject to comprehend. Most commercial DVDs are protected by Content Scrambling System (CSS) encryption. Since CSS prevents direct copying, and the decryption of CSS is currently considered illegal by lower courts, the companies who create DVD-copying software have had a massive hurdle placed in their path. However, legal challenges are brewing in court, which means a higher court might overturn the earlier rulings and legalize DVD-copying. But then again, they might not.
Beyond the legal hurdles, technical issues abound for the potential DVD-copier. A variety of different DVD-copying applications are currently on the market, each with its own pros and cons. The spectrum ranges from DVD-X Copy, which copies a DVD bit-by-bit, to digital movie-capture techniques which entail copying the movie onto a hard drive and downmixing it into an MPEG variant to burn onto CD-R. The quality of the final product depends upon the strategy employed.
If youre a fan of movies and an owner of a DVD collection, you wont want to miss the in-depth exploration of both the legal issues and the technical challenges associated with DVD-copying. Even if youre already ripping and burning movies, weve probably uncovered some good information – and products – that will make your life easier.
You can find the full story, Copy Your DVD, on PCMag.com.