While replicating an encrypted movie DVD requires more technical steps than your typical copy-and-paste operation on your computer, plenty of effective software exists to take much of the effort out of the process. The hard part, then, is picking out the right software for the work that you need to accomplish. In this article, we’ll review the most popular classes of software used to make backup copies of your DVDs.
Before beginning, please be aware that although making backup copies of DVD’s you have purchased is often viewed to be lawful per the recognized definition of fair use, it has never been established in courts. However, making “backup” copies of DVD’s you don’t own is intellectual property theft, plain and simple, so don’t do it!
In order for a standard movie and all of the associated extras to fit onto one DVD, the content is often compressed. When the disc is decrypted and copied to your computer, the size that it takes up on your computer’s hard drive is often much more than it originally required on DVD. That means that when you go to burn those files back to a DVD, you’ll frequently find that there is not enough room to do so. So on top of the DVD decryption and ripping software to get the content on your computer, you’ll also require reauthoring software to convert the content into a format that can be copied back to DVD.
Your options are consequently to compress the file on your computer prior to “burning” it — the term for converting a file on your computer into a format that is then able to be copied onto a DVD — or reauthor the movie in some way. Reauthoring usually means removing features like menus, special features, and additional languages.
This leads us to our 4 main software options:
Combo software that unites decryption and compression into one step as content is ripped to your hard drive. This type of software removes copy protection and provides you with the ability to reauthor the disc’s content so that it can once again fit on one DVD.
DVD decryption software: some software is capable of removing copy protection and burning a disc’s image to your hard drive, but does not have any type of reauthoring or compression capabilities built into it. Some alternatives automatically remove extras so that you are left with only the DVD movie and no extras; others just make a straight copy of what is on the disc for you to reauthor using another package.
DVD Burning Software: With both of the above types of software, you will only be able to get the movie to your computer. To get it back into DVD format, you’ll need a burner. ImgBurn and Nero are good examples of this type of software.
All-in-One Copy Software: This type of software commonly supports decryption, compression and reauthoring, and burning all in one package. The disadvantage of this type of software is that it is usually commercial. AnyDVD is an example of these types of DVD copy programs.
Being aware of the different types of software available and their variations should make learning how to copy DVDs much more manageable. Keep in mind that intellectual property laws vary from country to country, but in almost all countries, making copies of DVD’s you don’t own is unlawful!