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Re: Problems ripping DVDs I legally own to my media server

On Monday 04 January 2010 04:29:37 Thomas Cameron wrote:
> To make clear - I am only doing this with DVDs I legally own.

I always understood all this DVD ownership thing in the following way --- you 
own the disk itself (the hardware media, the cheap part), and you own the 
right to play it in your home (the expensive part). But you don't own the data 
on the disk (I guess that would be 8-digit expensive), and therefore are not 
allowed to make copies of it, even for yourself. I am not sure that this 
interpretation is correct, but you may want to reread and rethink the 
copyright clause of your DVD's and understand more precisely what exactly you 
do own and what you do not own.

That said, I perfectly understand the need to backup those DVD's. If movie 
companies would provide a service of replacing original but broken (or worn 
off) media with new ones, free of charge (or only for the cost of media), life 
would be much easier. But unfortunately, movie companies are greedy enough to 
require you to buy not only two copies of the media (cheap), but also two 
copies of the right to play it (expensive) when your media wears off. As a 
user, the only legitimate option you have is the illegal one --- to break the 
law and copy the data... :-)

> Specifically, I tried to rip Transformers 2 Revenge of the Fallen.  It
> apparently has some new copy protection scheme where it reports that it
> is 80 gigs, and every method I tried to decrypt them under Linux failed.

In principle, every movie that can be played back on a computer can be copied 
on a hard disk (think of capturing the screen on every frame). So the real 
question is --- can you *play* the damn thing in Linux? If you can do a

mplayer dvd://

and are able to watch it, then you can use mencoder to rip it. If you are not 
comfortable with command line, there are various GUI's for various encoders 
out there that can make things easier.

> I wound up having to fire up my dusty old Windows box and use Ideal DVD
> Copy to rip them successfully (http://tinyurl.com/yg8269g).

Do you want to rip the DVD or to copy it? These things are not quite the same. 

Making an exact copy of the DVD may not be so easy, if at all possible. The 
manufacturer may intentionally implement hardware errors in the media, with 
the idea to check if those errors are present during playback (thus 
determining if the copy is legal or not). Those things are not easy to 

OTOH, ripping is the procedure of re-recording the data that is being played. 
Provided that you are able to play the movie at all, this can always be done.

> What, if anything, are you using to make legit backups of your newer,
> copy-protected DVDs under Linux?

If I want to rip the movie, I use mencoder. And I tweak the custom detailed 
options for every particular movie in order to get the best rip.

If I want to copy the DVD, I usually use dd to create an .iso file. While the 
.iso is on the hard disk, I always loop mount it and check if the movie is 
playable from there (ie that there are no nasty copy-protection schemes 
involved). If it is, good. If it is not, I try to understand why, tweak the dd 
options a little in order to get it right, etc. If I fail or tweaking takes 
too much time, I give up and rip the movie instead.

HTH, :-)

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