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Thread: Can I copy DVDs to my computer?

  1. #1

    Default Can I copy DVDs to my computer?

    I'm going to work overseas again next week, and I am not sure how many options I am going to have with regards to entertainment in the evenings. I will have my baby laptop with me, but may not have internet access. I have loads of DVDs which I just have not gotten around to watching yet, and am wondering if there is any easy way to copy my DVDs to my computer?

    My baby laptop does not have a CD drive, however, I could copy the DVDs from my big laptop and copy them over. This would give me something to do in the evenings. Is there a free (and legal) downloadable program I can use to copy the DVDs?

    Also, I am not going to be able to take many books with me as they are heavy and will take up lots of room in my luggage; I am not hi-tech enough to own a kindle, but know that some books are offered for free download on a kindle. Is there any legal place to freely download any of these books onto a laptop?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

  2. #2


    Technically speaking, it is against the law to make *any* copy of a DVD, that would include making one on your laptop. Now, there most likely has been a court case about this, but I have not followed it, or focused on the outcome, or the situation. So, it most likely would be against the law for you to make a copy of the DVD on your computer, but you could bring the DVDs with you. In addition, if the DVD does have a digital copy on it, then you would be allowed to have *one* copy on one portable device (including a laptop).

    However, if the DVD allows you to 'rip' the movie with no additional software it can be legal, but I think these laws are being changed around.

    Sorry if none of that made any sense, it seems a little rambley(It's a word now). ><

    Also, Kindle has a downloadable application-version of the Kindle on (for free). That way you can get all the free books you need with the application =)

    Hope someone else can confirm this, as the laws int he UK may be different.

  3. #3


    Ermm. That's a bit of a thorny one. Technically, ripping DVDs is illegal, as there is no explicit right to fair use in British law. Then again, so is ripping CDs. There are many companies selling programs for doing so, who have not been sued, so in practise, it's legal. DVD's copy-protection is so thoroughly compromised that they don't even bother with people copying for personal use. I'm not sure that they ever did.

    The great-grandaddy of them all is SmartRipper, which you should still be able to find. Otherwise, BitRipper, DVDShrink, any many others, if you want to recode into something smaller.

    EDIT: As for Ebooks - free ebooks are only going to include works that are in the public domain - hence old. Try Project Gutenberg, or Classic Literature.

  4. #4


    Thank you for the ebook links

    It never occurred to me that it might not be legal to copy my DVDs for personal use, but then I didn't know it was technically illegal to copy a CD either as most music-playing software allows this feature. But, if I understand correctly, so long as I only copy them for my personal use and use a program which is allowed to exist I shouldn't get into trouble for doing so? I have no intentions to share the films or anything. I will look into those programs you suggested, Akastus

  5. #5


    you don't say which operating system you have, but if you've got a windows package, you may have Nero, which can rip and compress DVDs (with the right copy protection removal tool).
    most people copy their vids with pirating software which are pirated themselves and the problem is finding good, working, up-to-date versions.
    when choosing a format to copy into, a basic AVI (XVID/DIVX) will play on most portable media devices, inlcuding non-smart phones. i use AutoGordian, most of the time, and apart from a hiccup now and then, it seems to work fine.

    PM me, if you need more.

    with regard to legality, while still technically illegal, there is allowance for personal useage (otherwise it'd be a bit like making it illegal to use a Mars bar in any way other than for eating - and god forbid if it happened to repeat on you: you'd have to pay the shopkeeper twice! :p ). some films now come with versions for media players.

  6. #6


    I could be wrong, but I believe it is legal to copy and rip DVDs for personal use, as it is okay to torrent films and software you already own.

    As for software for ripping, Handbrake seems to be a very popular one, though last time I used it it was a bit faulty.

  7. #7


    I use FormatFactory running under Windows 7 to rip DVD's, and then Handbrake to compress the files. I believe the loophole, here in Australia at least, is that if you own a physical copy of the DVD, you are allowed to make one copy for personal use, but you can't distribute it, so that's just what I do.

  8. #8


    The way see it as long not sell the copy on the hard drive it ok I got many movies on hard drive watch them self and delete once have. I know pirate big problem but a long you're not selling your copy and you own orginal copy how are company losing money you pay for the dvd you just make digital on your pc.

  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf3188 View Post
    I use FormatFactory running under Windows 7 to rip DVD's, and then Handbrake to compress the files. I believe the loophole, here in Australia at least, is that if you own a physical copy of the DVD, you are allowed to make one copy for personal use, but you can't distribute it, so that's just what I do.
    In theory that's the way it should work in the US also (and in any country that has a fair use concept). The reality is a bit different though. The DMCA in the US technically makes it illegal except for interoperability purposes. The studios started including DRMed digital copies on the discs to try and close that technicality.

    That being said I use a similar setup, except I use DVDFab instead of FormatFactory.

  10. #10


    Legalality aside handbrake works great is free and rips to all formats you could think of

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