back to article DVD ripping to be rendered impossible?

Buying a DVD and then copying it for use on your PSP, iPod or laptop could soon become impossible, if the DVD Copy Control Association gets its way. The association wants to amend the licence underpinning the use of its DVD copy-protection technology, CSS (Content Scrambling System). This would, if successful, oblige you to …


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  1. Martin Owens

    Won't Effect

    No change for anyone using libdvdcss then.

  2. Ted Treen

    The Godfather(s) Part 47

    These latter-day mobsters must have some incriminating pictures of GW and his favourite hog.

    Otherwise, how do they get away with such self-given dictatorial powers to criminalise so much of the rest of the world?

    Still, I'm sure that whatever they can do, the hacking fraternity will shortly be able to drive a double-decker bus through it.

    If you get done for flogging duff copies at a car-boot, I've no sympathy for you. I'm NOT in favour of commercial piracy, but fair use does include ripping to you own hard drive. Fair means fair: it does NOT mean the latest interpretation put on it my some excessive ego in the position of Studio Mogul.

  3. Peter D'Hoye

    They are already playing tricks

    I recently bought a DVD and wanted a backup copy because of the endusers (kids), and found that none of my systemes was able to read it, giving cyclic redundancy check errors. The DVD plays fine on our DVD player, so I can only guess it's another copy control trick.

    Now I shall have to get myself an illegal copy from the 'net to use as working copy. Maybe this is what they want consumers to do?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When will they learn

    When will the movie / music industry learn. There is absolutely no point in securing what has to be an open system. DVD's and music can never be secure because at the end of the day WE (US THE PEOPLE) have to view the work.


  5. MacroRodent

    Horses and barn doors

    Seems to be a classic case of closing the barn door after the horse is gone. What will they do about the millions of DVD drives and ripping software copies that do not obey the new restrictions? These guys are totally detached from reality.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Must destroy, exterminate!

    Yet another attempt to screw the consumer...those hacked, illegal copies looked more appealing by the day....

    Legall copy, can't stream, tramsit etc etc

    Ileagal copy, work on all formats...

    Take gun, aim at foot and pull trigger...

  7. M

    Why bother??

    What I cannot understand is why the industry keeps doing this.

    It has long been accepted as fair use to move Films, Music etc that a user has bought legally from device to device as that user required, for instance to listen to music in the car or watch movies on your laptop when staying at a hotel...

    By impossing restrictions to these accepted rights and generally handycapping genuine users who have legally bought content from using it in a fair way they are just creating yet more bad will from those users and more and more will turn away from buying content which is unfairly priced and comes with unfair usage restrictions (what am I gonna buy a copy of a movie for home, a copy for my PSP when on the road etc) and turn to pirated material.... price it fairly and let people use it fairly and they WILL NOT BOTHER spending MANY hours working out how to steal it!!

    This is even more pointless as they will never beat the pirate community, they can only hope to occasionally be one step ahead for a short period of time.

    The content producers like to blame us for their prediciment.... but they created the piracy market through their contempt for their customers.

  8. Michael


    I will never understand copy protection on video and audio. As long as you can actually play it, you can record what's coming off them by some means or another. Sure, it might mean reverse engineering the interface, or just putting a really basic text based one to access the audio and video.

    The only DVD protection I can realistically see working, is for it to made of a solid block of concrete.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Further and Further away from their customers

    I buy vast quanties of CD's, since they're better value

    for money than buying online.

    I rip them, then bung the CD's up in the attic since I've not really space for them elsewhere. I won't buy DVD's because I can't do this.

    The Developers of the Media Application I use would love to place Copyprotected DVD ripping into it, but live in fear of being sued.

    All I want to do is listen/view my own media.

    The recording industrys would rather make me a criminal.

  10. Dillon Pyron


    Not that I would personally know, but I've been told that most porn has no DRM, so I wonder how this would affect them

  11. Simon Ball


    Erm. At this point, it is difficult to see what they hope to achieve. They can't change the disk encryption without breaking backwards compatability with the billion or so devices already sold, and there's little point hamstringing new hardware/software with such a large installed base of older devices. I mean, honestly. Freeware DVD rippers/descrambers are available up the ying-yang. Why bother?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not possible!!!

    If the "hardware suppliers" are going to make it impossible for ripped DVD's from being played on machines without the original DVD being loaded they could come across a small problem!!

    What about home DVD's that people create themselves and give copies to friends and family to watch??

    How can the hardware decide if it is a ripped movie or an original movie as the ripping software that is freely available on the net removes the encryption from the film as it copies it to the hard drive, another DVD or hand held MP4 player??

    Home DVD's do not use the same encryption that purchased movies contain and can be made to look like professionally produced DVD's from major studios.

    Or are all of these people trying to prevent the home user from sharing family movies as well!!!

  13. Dave

    Encourage piracy

    At the moment, I purchase my DVDs from online stores, it's 2007 and in my opinion, DVDs are now very reasonably priced. I can typically pick up a fairly recent film for much less than £10, sometimes under a fiver.

    As soon as the DVD arrives I rip it to my NAS storage (NSLU2 with USB drive attached) for later viewing, the original disk is stored safely away. I watch the content from one of several media servers around the house (Roku HD1500, hacked original XBOX, freecom MG35).

    So if the DVD Copy Control Association get their way, I will have to go back to the old fashioned way of actually getting off my arse to insert a disk and change it again if I realise I'm not in the mood for Dumber and Dumber and would prefer BlackHawk Down instead (it happens).

    But there's another way, I can stop buying disks altogether and obtain ready ripped versions from somewhere instead.

    So, just what kind of behaviour is the DVD Copy Control Association trying to promote again?

    Get a grip.


  14. James Cleveland


    They're kidding right?

    Surely they've realised that fighting against rippers is a war they cannot win outright, because the rippers are better than them.

  15. Alexander Hanff

    This would be unlawful in UK

    The British Government have announced that they intend to make changes to UK Copyright Law in the near future to add an exception for personal copies for format shifting, so people will be permitted to rip copies of any media they own in order to playback on different devices.

    This would effectively make DRM and other copy protection systems in the UK, unlawful as it would prevent the public from enacting their rights under the law.

    So bring it on...

  16. Daniel Silver badge


    how many times do we have to say it?

    As long as it's possible to *watch* a DVD, it will be possible to *rip* it. At the most basic level, it's possible to intercept the video signal direct from the video card (on a PC), or copy the stream to an analog device, i.e. a TV.

    Until they decide to make DVDs incompatible with every current viewing device, they'll be stuck with the fact that DVDs will be rippable.

    The industry should focus on ways to make it more attractive for people to legally own material, rather than this futile quest to achieve the impossible - as long as DVDs cost as much as they do, there will always be an incentive (and therefore a method) to rip them.

    Accept it, and move on.

  17. Trevor Watt

    Remove the CSS and then what?

    I thought that much of the current crop of ripping software removed the CSS anyway, and without it it becomes nothing more than a standard non-encrypted DVD with nothing to decode, or am I missing something here?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They just don't get it!

    What shape should my armchair be when I watch a DVD to comply with the licensing terms? Can I pause for a pee or would that breach the agreement?

    Can the industry please regulate these aspects of my viewing experience? I am confused with all this freedom.

  19. James

    is it possible?

    I don't believe this would be possible with current hardware.

    The DVD software designers are not simply going to destroy half their customer base by following these guidelines.

    The law provides for fair use. I want to watch the DVD's that I own on every device I own. I have to rip my DVD's for that purpose.

    They must comply with the law.

  20. Karl Lattimer

    If I'm reading this right...

    "DVD products, alone or in combination with other DVD products, shall not be designed to descramble scrambled CSS data when the DVD disc containing such CSS data and associated CSS keys is not physically present in the DVD player or DVD drive (as applicable)"

    Which essentially means that I can't use mencoder to rip my DVD's to the hard drive, when the original DVD isn't in the drive.

    Sweet, I'll continue archiving my DVDs to stop them decaying away with time :)

    So to emphasize the issue in most of james' words, "This would, if successful, oblige you to have the original disc in your DVD drive every time you watched [THE ORIGINAL DISC]".

    Seems to be so full of its own leagalese that it misses the point that the disc is in the drive while copying takes place, but after which I really don't give a damn about the DVD as my derived material (not a copy, but a recoding) is exempt from this rule.

    Totally laughable :)

  21. Iain

    Impossible? No. Ever so slightly more difficult? Yes.

    All they're doing is making it impossible for software developers to purchase a CCS license to sell boxed product that does all this for you without any hassle. If you've already got stuff that does this it won't be broken, and if you know how to operate Google you'll still be able to find free stuff that will do it.

    Once again, this is the standard DRM technique of making life a bit more annoying for the average user who has forked over cash for their product, while singularly failing to inconvenience the pirates for more than a very short while.

  22. Will Leamon


    They already have this for pc games and trust me it doesn't work. Nothing to fear here people.

    Though it'll be interesting to have to score a no CD/DVD crack for my movies.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stop scaring off legitimate sales

    Why are the music / Movie industries so stupid?

    I have around 800 genuine audio CD’s and around 400 genuine DVD’s, ok yes I might have a handful of not so genuine ones too (some things are just not available in this country, or even at all for that matter) All of my original CD’s and DVD’s are kept upstairs in a display cabinet and I have a copy of every one of them downstairs in a small number of CD wallets (for easy access (I cant fit that many CD’s and DVD’s in my living room), and protection(against accidental damage, a lot of my CD’s are no longer available!)

    Now changing copy protection will NEVER EVER stop pirates, they will always find a way. So you wont stop piracy, instead you will just annoy the people who do bother to buy genuine media. What is the point in shelling out £7-£18 for a DVD that cannot be copied and the original has to be in the drive, when for a couple of quid you can buy one that firstly doesn’t make you watch a short video about how copying DVD’s if funding the Taliban (and pressing skip just puts a cross on the screen telling you that you cannot skip it) and you can copy it, rip it to network storage, copy it to your PSP, GP32, etc.

    For once stop trying to put off your customers and then complaining that sales are down.

  24. foxyshadis

    "legally impossible" is not "impossible"

    I would change the title to "legally impossible" - but since they've always told anyone who'd listen that it was illegal, css or not, for all these years, that wouldn't be much of a change. Simply "impossible" is no more true than it being impossible to drive one's car over the limit. (Although they are still coming up with new schemes, the latest being something called Protect, piloted in Germany and so far uncracked.)

    Peter D'Hoye, look into RipIt4Me or DVDFabDecryptor to get that working.

  25. Andy Fletcher


    They don't have a clue. Like most of the other Reg readers it seems, the first thing I do with a legitimately purchased DVD is rip it and tuck away the original. That way, I don't have to sit through a series of insults accusing me of being a criminal, followed by a series of copyright notices in languages I don't speak, then a series of trailers for a bunch of rubbish I'll never watch, let alone buy.

    As previously suggested, pirates don't have to sit through this stuff - only the people who pay.

    Uncrackable copy protection? Wake up!

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't care

    Since Sony graciously added a root kit to my computer a few years back, destroying the computer's ability to perform a factory reset (as it wrote over the manufacturer's info in the BIOS) I refuse to buy CDs with copy protection. Instead, I steal the content from the internet - yes, that's right - I steal it.

    Who is the victim here? Well, I am - I had my computer hacked (I think hacked is a fair term to use for this type of activity) by a copy-protected disc. The artists are also victims - thanks to the distributors I will no longer purchase their material. The filmmakers are also victims - for the same reasons as the artists.

    So I don't care about these new developments, it doesn't affect me in the slightest.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Most of the time I get my DVDs/Blu-Rays from Lovefilm, a cheap web video site. They send them first class, cost less than going down to a rental shop and have a massive selection.

    In terms of copying DVDs, the LoveFilm approach has the effect of making DVD ripping irrelevent. I get my movies because I'm bored and want to watch something I haven't seen (much). Backing up these to hard drive/DVD-R would be uneconomical and pointless considering how much I re-watch the movies I've bought on DVD.

    I can see how some people who have actually bought a DVD would find this aggravating, not to mention pointless, but the only ripping I do is to get my Blu-Rays to work on my Jap PS3 (Couple of hours per disc of ripping, versus a £200 more expensive console... I made my choice)

  28. Cameron Colley

    RE: I don't care

    Same here. I do buy non DRM CDs, but won't buy any media with DRM, so if CDs ever gain DRM I'll just acquire my music some other way, as I already do my films...

  29. M. Burns Silver badge

    DRM is just snake oil ripping off the Entertainment Industry

    The bottom line is that once in the PC, bits are bits. So no matter how sophisticated the DRM on the disk is or built into the DVD drive firmware, all music and movies have to be reduced to 100% vulnerability before being sent to the display and speakers. The Entertainment Industry is run by technologically unsophisticated folks, who are fed a constant stream of DRM snake oil by the DRM industry. People copying DVD’s and CD’s for personal use might be depriving the Entertainment Industry out of lost opportunity revenue, but the crooks in the DRM Industry are depriving the Entertainment Industry out of real cash selling the Entertainment Industry fundamentally flawed DRM scheme after scheme, knowing that all DRM schemes can be worked around due to the intrinsic nature of converting digital information into sight and sound.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bring it on.

    Considering the accepted ripping process for a DVD involves legitimately decrypting the CSS for playback and jacking the MPEG transport stream from RAM, writing that to disk, and optionally transcoding, I don't see what this is going to change at all. So the original DVD will have to be in the DVD drive from which the ripping is taking place.... It's, uh, already there? You know, so we can read the transport stream.

  31. b166er

    Uh, guys..

    Maybe you don't understand. Back in the old days, we released works on the medium of the day,8-track, shellac, vinyl, cassette,tape, betamax, vhs, cartridge, cd, minidisc, digital television, dvd, blu-ray, hd-dvd and every time we instigated a change of medium, we made you buy a new license. We loved that.

    Now that everything's gone all digi-ma-watchamcallit, we're screwed. The one medium we never got our heads round, and licensed before you all got your grubby hands on it was the interweb, based on hard-drive thingamibobs. Hard-drives are bad! They last a long time and even have redundancy and they're universal.

    We could offer cheap upgrades, when we change format; ie you bring back your old vhs and we offer you a shiny dvd for a small fee, or perhaps even when your cd becomes unreadable, you can bring it back for a replacement, again at a reasonable price, but we really love how you all keep coming back and paying full price for a new license on our new medium.

    So we're still gonna insist that every time there is a format change, that you buy a new license, rather than saying, look, buy a license for said piece of work and it's your to keep forever and watch/listen to whenever and however you like.

    After all, we fully understand that you all have enough disposable income to buy every piece of work that you wish to in your lifetime, over and over again.

  32. George Johnson

    All a ploy...

    So I can't rip it for personal use, so I buy less or only the limited number from independents that don't bother with copy-control. So me and the millions of others buy less. Next it's headlines like "Piracy Up ( due to sale being down.)!".

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Resistance is Futile

    It seems to me that every body is forgetting that they aren’t trying to stop end-users ripping the DVD’s; they’re trying to stop the Hackers! Hackers have become so much more advanced and always one step ahead. The only thing the industry can do, is make it look like their doing something because no matter what happens they might be able to slow them down for a few months but then that’s it. Its just another way of the industry spending money on a dead end solution that will never work!

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whats the point in developing Portable Multi-Media Technology

    If the DVD CCA gets it way, with this unreasonable demand! Whats the point in company like Apple, Archios, IRiver, Sony, etc in developing hand-held portable multi-media players. If theres goin to be no multi-media content available to play on them.

    It is the peoples right to create backup copies of their legally obtained goods (DVD,CD,Blu-Ray, etc) in case the original becomes damaged, or corrupted.

    Personally, I think this request from the DVD CCA is a load of BULL!

  35. Lee Fear

    RE:Resistance is Futile

    We know this. What we are getting annoyed by is the fact that by persuing this futile attempt to stop the hackers they are making the purchasing of media far less attractive. One example I always use is Far Cry on the PC. I bought it on day of release and took it home all excited. I put it in my pc and it told me that it couldn't play due to my dvd drive being a re-writer! I emailed ubisoft with no answer and trawled through the forums for a way to get it working (it turned out I was one of many with the problem caused by the drm) I finally had to download a no cd crack which enabled me to finally play the game I had payed for!!! The ridiculous thing is that only people that had bought the game were affected as the pirate version(available on day of release) apparently worked fine as did the no cd crack I was using. So the only thing Ubisoft managed to achieve was to pee off the paying customers! I wrote to them about it but again received no reply.....

  36. Dam

    Re: This would be unlawful in the UK

    Original comment:

    The British Government have announced that they intend to make changes to UK Copyright Law in the near future to add an exception for personal copies for format shifting, so people will be permitted to rip copies of any media they own in order to playback on different devices.

    This would effectively make DRM and other copy protection systems in the UK, unlawful as it would prevent the public from enacting their rights under the law.

    So bring it on...


    Yeah right, dream on...

    In France such a provision exists already to allow customers to create a personal backup copy of a CD, DVD, game, software...

    Publishers are allowed to put in place copy protection systems as long as they don't prevent the end user from using his right to a personal backup.

    I still struggle all the time to make a working backup of a disc I bought, having to grab NOCDs.

    That was just a sidenote.

    The real thing is, the customer -me- is inconvenienced more and more by these stupid terms of agreement, and becomes less and less willing to buy legit media.

    So much less willing...

  37. Paul

    A radical move ...

    The only reason people tend to illegally download movie's and dvd images is because new dvd's cost (in uk) around £10 - £20, and come with nice boxes, multiple wasted disc's with useless features people never watch ...

    Why not make the whole process cheaper after all once the movie studios recoup their expenses from the cinema ticket sales(usually done on opening weekend) its just fat cat profiteering ... i object to lining the pockets of some billionaire company owner and share holders for a product that is worth pennies, mass produced, that i am only watching the main feature ... and once i have paid my money for said product i want to be able to do what i want with it! And as long as i still own the original disc what is the harm in allowing me to use my iPod/PsP to watch while at work/bus/train wherever ... after all i cant carry around a 42" widescreen and dvd player everywhere.

    Here's another idea ... remove all protection in the first place, sell the dvd's for £3 - £5, no extra rubbish just a box, a disc and a cover .... would we need to then buy them for £3 - £5 at a carboot sale? think not, there would be no need for it.

    Orwell is living large 1982 was a typo, he wasn't far wrong.

  38. Paul

    RE:Resistance is Futile

    "It seems to me that every body is forgetting that they aren’t trying to stop end-users ripping the DVD’s"

    Umm yes they are, did you read the article properally??

    "Shall not be designed to descramble scrambled CSS data when the DVD disc containing such CSS data and associated CSS keys is not physically present in the DVD player or DVD drive"

    This means you would not be able to rip the dvd to you hdd/portable device and play from the hdd/portable device without there being a dvd drive in said device.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Value for money to consumers, money to artists. Neither happen now.

    I don't buy DVDs any more. I don't buy CDs. I don't have Sky or cable TV.


    Everything you ever need is out there on the internet in a more convenient and cheaper (free) medium. It's multi format, multi device, DRM free, playable without adverts, non skippable propaganda or any other restriction.

    I'd like to pay for what I consume but not to the pigopolists at a highly inflated price.

    A revolution in media is coming. The industry leeches are doing everything they can to prevent it but it will come and we the consumers will eventually benefit from that. Until then I am a "pirate", a "thief" and apparently a "terrorist".

  40. A J Stiles

    Legality in UK

    It's already legal to format-shift in the UK ..... almost. "Innocent until proven guilty" -- you know, the way the law always used to work, pre-Blair -- includes the idea that whatever you are accused of must be proved actually to be a crime.

    "Fair dealing" is a valid defence to a charge of copyright infringement. If you're unlucky enough to get pulled just for, say, making copies of your CDs on cassette to listen in the car, or making backup copies of your DVDs or VHS videos (you need a picture stabiliser -- or a recorder such as certain Philips / Daewoo models for which there is a known hack -- to avoid problems caused by crap in the field blanking interval) then insist on Crown Court.

    They will *never* be able to find twelve people who have never taped an album to listen in the car. You will be acquitted by the jury, and this will set a precedent: whatever you did will be considered Fair Dealing forever after.

    But you won't get as far as court; if you ever get arrested for format-shifting, the evidence will go missing and you will be released without charge. It's not in the interests of the entertainment industry for home taping to be formally legalised. Nor is it in the interests of the police: as long as there's a possibility that it might be illegal, a home-copied tape glimpsed on the passenger seat of a car can be used to get a warrant to search a suspect's home for evidence of a real crime.

  41. SImon Hobson Bronze badge

    Surely ...

    In the UK the licence terms could be challenged in court as 'unfair' as they specifically what I believe is already accepted as fair use. But I guess there aren't enough consumers with the cash to 'go for it' in court against the multi-billion quid bandwagon :-(

  42. Joe Bloggs

    further infringements on our rights

    What is the world coming to when people who pay hard earned money to purchase consumer products are dictated by industry about what can and cannot be done with them?

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