The court did not appear to address the central question of whether consumers have the right to make backup copies of their DVDs, but rather said it was illegal for companies like Real to sell such tools. In a statement, Dan Glickman, chief executive of the Motion Picture Association of America, said:
We are very pleased with the courtâ€™s decision. This is a victory for the creators and producers of motion pictures and television shows and for the rule of law in our digital economy. Judge Patelâ€™s ruling affirms what we have known all along: RealNetworks took a license to build a DVD-player and instead made an illegal DVD-copier. Throughout the development of RealDVD, RealNetworks demonstrated that it was willing to break the law at the expense of those who create entertainment content.
RealDVD is being touted as one of the only legal ways to “back up” DVDs. It seems to make a copy on your drive, keeps the DRM and adds more Real player style DRM.
Here’s the funny part about all this – awhile back (1999) a ton of people were sued and got in trouble for trying to back up their DVDs, it still happens to this day although rare.
That said you can’t build a DVD jukebox without getting sued.
Most people nowadays rip DVDs using many of the free open source tools (lots of posts on MAKE about that). Back to 1999, when the encryption(s) on the DVDs were broken allowing copies to be made (DeCSS) – they key actually came from the XingDVD player, from Xing Technologies, a subsidiary of RealNetworks. I’m pretty sure to this day 2600 magazine cannot even link to the DeCSS program, source, or anything.
I’m sticking with HandBrake, it’s free.
What do you use to convert/back up your DVDs? Post up in the comments! On a side note, it seems every computer is an illegal DVD-copier?