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Best DVD Ripper for PC iTunes?
Old 02-23-2014, 01:40 PM   #1
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Best DVD Ripper for PC iTunes?

Got a new PC and larger 1920x1080 monitor. Many of the DVDs I ripped years ago were great for an iPod, but way too low res for iPads or PC monitors. So it's time to retire my old ripper (Cucusoft). I thought I wanted one capable of HD 1080p but from what I gather, most commercial movie DVDs are only 720x480, so I'm not sure I need any higher res than that - I won't be ripping Blu-Ray discs.

Lots of folks more savvy than me here. Suggestions are welcome, doesn't have to be free, pay is fine too?
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Old 02-23-2014, 01:55 PM   #2
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I have been using HandBrake to rip my DVDs into iTunes:

HandBrake: Downloads
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:10 PM   #3
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I was under the impression commercial DVDs were copy protected.
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:25 PM   #4
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I was under the impression commercial DVDs were copy protected.
They are, but there are many software packages out that will rip DVDs and I thought (naively it appears) it was legal under Fair Use laws to make copies of DVDs I've bought and own just as it is with music.

Evidently it's still up for some debate, but I'd say it IS illegal even to copy your own at present after reading up more. In retrospect I should've known better - if it was clearly legal it would be built into iTunes & WMP. I wholeheartedly object to piracy, so this is embarrassing.

I've already deleted the half dozen ripped copies I had before I started this thread (too low res to watch) and I won't re-rip my DVDs after all. And since I don't travel by plane as much these days, I don't really need movies to watch anyway. Thanks...

DVD-ripping FAQs | Macworld
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
They are, but there are many software packages out that will rip DVDs and I thought (naively it appears) it was legal under Fair Use laws to make copies of DVDs I've bought and own just as it is with music.

Evidently it's still up for some debate, but I'd say it IS illegal even to copy your own at present after reading up more. In retrospect I should've known better - if it was clearly legal it would be built into iTunes & WMP. I wholeheartedly object to piracy, so this is embarrassing.

I've already deleted the half dozen ripped copies I had before I started this thread (too low res to watch) and I won't re-rip my DVDs after all. And since I don't travel by plane as much these days, I don't really need movies to watch anyway. Thanks...

DVD-ripping FAQs | Macworld
I was wondering if something had changed. Too bad, as I would love to transfer some of the DVDs I already paid for to iTunes and watch them on my iPhone while exercising. If you buy from iTunes you can view across multiple platforms, so fair use apparently still applies. The problem is the DMCA clearly makes it unlawful to defeat the copy protection, even if you paid for the product (smartphone).
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Old 02-23-2014, 08:50 PM   #6
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... Evidently it's still up for some debate, but I'd say it IS illegal even to copy your own at present after reading up more. In retrospect I should've known better - if it was clearly legal it would be built into iTunes & WMP. ...
Actually, I think the 'fair use' laws in the US would say it is perfectly legal to make copies for your own use.

The reason it isn't built in to iTunes & WMP is that would make it too easy for people to make illegal copies for others.

That logic is obviously twisted, since 'bad guys' have the resources to make illegal copies anyhow, but that's how it 'works'. Same as when iTunes had DRM on audio, there are ways around it. As they say , locks are to keep the honest people out.

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Old 03-01-2014, 05:53 PM   #7
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Because of copyright issues, it has become little tricky. I call it, a punishment for being a law abiding citizen.

Use ISO Maker tool to make ISO file out of your DVD and then use Handbrake or VidCoder to make mp4 or mkv file.

And, you may not be able to make sensible mp4 file out of these DVDs. I was ripping DVDs for my son and some of the DVDs had dummy chapters and when I made mp4 file, the movie would start in the middle then it would end and start (from actual start). I never figured out how to make this file play as it would play on a DVD player. I wish I could have just downloaded movie off the web, instead of paying for the DVD.
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Old 03-02-2014, 07:38 AM   #8
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To make a legal back up copy try Any DVD. It supports any desired format.
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Old 03-02-2014, 08:12 AM   #9
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When I Google 'DVD ripping legal' - almost everything that comes up from legit sources state that it is illegal even for personal use. While there are some folks online who try to claim it's legal under Fair Use Laws, and it's a little murky, I couldn't find one with the authority to back it up. It appears there are no DVD ripping tools made or sold in the USA. There are lots of people working to change the laws, and they may, but until then I've abandoned the idea. YMMV

One of many http://lifehacker.com/5978326/is-it-...dvd-that-i-own
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Old 03-02-2014, 08:50 AM   #10
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I just bought my first movie that came with an Ultraviolet copy in the cloud. Interesting concept, being able to stream to my smart tv, my iPad or my iPhone. Haven't tried it yet on the iOS devices, but it looks like I can download a local copy which I should be able to watch off-line, say on an airplane.

Not the same thing as the OP's question, but it appears progress is being made in the general direction. There was some mention on the UV web site about purchasing rights to digital copies of certain DVDs one already owns, but since I don't own many DVDs I didn't look very far into that.
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Old 03-02-2014, 09:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
When I Google 'DVD ripping legal' - almost everything that comes up from legit sources state that it is illegal even for personal use. While there are some folks online who try to claim it's legal under Fair Use Laws, and it's a little murky, I couldn't find one with the authority to back it up. It appears there are no DVD ripping tools made or sold in the USA. There are lots of people working to change the laws, and they may, but until then I've abandoned the idea. YMMV

One of many Is It Legal to Rip a DVD That I Own?
Of course, I had to check the question up against Wiki. According to Wiki...the legality of ripping isn't as concrete:

Quote:
In the case where media contents are protected using some effective copy protection scheme, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998 makes it illegal to manufacture or distribute circumvention tools and use those tools for infringing purposes. In the 2009 case RealNetworks v. DVD CCA,[16] the final injunction reads, "while it may well be fair use for an individual consumer to store a backup copy of a personally owned DVD on that individual's computer, a federal law has nonetheless made it illegal to manufacture or traffic in a device or tool that permits a consumer to make such copies."[17] This case made clear that manufacturing and distribution of circumvention tools was illegal, but use of those tools for non-infringing purposes, including fair use purposes, was not.
Ripping - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

To make copies and sell is one thing.. But to make a copy on you computer to watch may be another.
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Old 03-02-2014, 10:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
When I Google 'DVD ripping legal' - almost everything that comes up from legit sources state that it is illegal even for personal use. While there are some folks online who try to claim it's legal under Fair Use Laws, and it's a little murky, I couldn't find one with the authority to back it up. It appears there are no DVD ripping tools made or sold in the USA. There are lots of people working to change the laws, and they may, but until then I've abandoned the idea. YMMV

One of many Is It Legal to Rip a DVD That I Own?
I thought 'fair use laws' in the US covers this, but it seems questionable based on that source. That stinks, and it's really confusing to the 'common man'. If 'ignorance of the law is no excuse for the common man', then laws should be clear enough for the common man to understand.

So I buy a music CD, and it is legal for me to make a digital copy for my own use. Check.

But I buy a concert DVD, and it is illegal for me to make a digital copy for my own use? What

I've got a couple concert DVDs sitting on my desk and I've been meaning to rip the music for my collection (that was the intent when I bought them - they have music I wanted in my digital collection on my hard drive - that is how I listen to my music.) I got started, and it is a real PITA, while ripping a CD is easy-peasy, track names auto-download from the internet, I get album artwork, etc.

This means it is unlikely that I will ever buy another concert DVD. It isn't worth it to me if I can't put those tunes into playlists on my computer.


Hmmmm, I think I'll email distributor, and ask them about this.

Of course, each person needs to decide for themselves, but since I don't feel that copying this DVD for my own use is unethical (functionally, it's exactly the same as ripping a CD from my perspective), and since the odds of my being detected are too minimal to even consider, and I'm not really hurting anyone (they don't sell a CD version of this concert for me to buy instead and rip 'legally', so there is no harm to them).

They are harming themselves. I'm not going to buy a concert DVD again, and the bad guys have the tools to easily make illegal copies. Stupid and frustrating.

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Old 03-02-2014, 10:54 AM   #13
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I believe there was a Library of Congress ruling that backing up DVDs for personal use should be okay, despite the DMCA, which was a law bought and paid for by the MPAA.

And the DMCA is only a US law. Other countries aren't as captive to the content industry.

DVD is only 480p (720x480). Blu Ray is up to 1080p.

They use different encryption standards, both of which have been broken.

So Handbrake will decrypt DVDs but not Blu-Rays I believe. However, once decrypted, Handbrake is capable of transcoding the 1080p MKVs from Blu-Rays into whatever format you want.

Handbrake has presets which automatically convert to different iOS devices so you don't have to figure out what the output parameters need to be, though you can play around with it.

If you have iOS devices, you don't even have to convert to an iOS/iTunes supported format to view them. Programs like Air Video and VLC will take any codec format and convert on the fly while you play.

So you'd install "server" software on your PC and then stream the video to your iPad or iPhone. And as a bonus, if you have an AppleTV, you can stream it from the iOS device to your big screen again.

Some people rip their DVDs and either put it in storage or sell but they can view their videos (either they convert and import into iTunes or use programs like Air Video) to view on any device.

But the ripped movies can be several gigabytes so a big library could add up.
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Old 03-02-2014, 10:57 AM   #14
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There has been no direct ruling on fair use copy for DVDs, as there has for CDs and tapes. The content producers (MPAA) contend it is unlawful and fair use does not apply. It needs to go to court, or the Library of Congress needs to specifically allow it. The LoC had an opportunity to do so (actually, multiple opportunities), they have authorized copying DVDs for certain purposes, did not allow copying for "space shifting" or other personal use even after it was specifically requested to support this.

The DMCA makes it a crime to defeat a copy protection scheme, so unless there is no copy protection at all, it is a criminal act, as opposed to a copyright infringement.

Not a lawyer, just the way I understand this.
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Old 03-02-2014, 11:05 AM   #15
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Trying to think of prosecutions or lawsuits using the DMCA.

One case was Lexmark using the DMCA against third-party ink cartridge makers.

Lexmark charged a lot for the ink cartridges for their printers so third-party competition arose. So Lexmark used an encryption chip so that only their cartridges would be recognized by their printers. So the third parties hacked the encryption and kept up.

Lexmark either demanded prosecution or sued, citing the DMCA.
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Old 03-02-2014, 11:48 AM   #16
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...

The DMCA makes it a crime to defeat a copy protection scheme, so unless there is no copy protection at all, it is a criminal act, as opposed to a copyright infringement.

Not a lawyer, just the way I understand this.
Maybe a lawyer can chime in - but doesn't someone have to have 'damages' in order to take action against someone else?

I just double checked, and as I thought, they don't offer a CD of this concert. So it's not like they can claim that they lost revenue because I didn't buy the CD instead.

So what damages did they incur? How are they hurt by my listening to the DVD on my portable player or netbook, or from a hard drive (like I do my music CDs)?

If anything, my normally 'fair use' would help them. I'm more likely to tell people how great this concert is if I listen to it more often, or maybe play a few tracks for them when they are over (just like I do with the music CDs I own). I am less likely to recommend this DVD to someone else, because it isn't easy to add to a digital music collection.

Even when iTunes had protected music, they allowed you to burn a CD from those protected tracks for your own use. At the time, I think people wanted to have the CD to play in the car or something.

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Old 03-02-2014, 11:49 AM   #17
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I haven't been able to find the source again, so FWIW. I read that while copying a DVD you own for your own use doesn't violate Fair Use, there are other laws that do. IIRC it's illegal to produce or sell DVD ripping software in the USA, and all the readily available software you can buy online is made and sold from outside the USA.

The LoC rulings pertained to excerpts of non-protected video, not protected DVDs in their entirety as I read it.

It doesn't make sense given the rulings on music and Fair Use, but it's still illegal. So I won't do it until it is legal, no biggie anyway. Knowing there's no chance I could "get caught" is irrelevant to me. I'd know, that's what matters most. YMMV

I feel pretty stupid in that I did rip a few DVDs years ago (now erased), never thought about it since music was legal at the time...but I should have known better in retrospect.
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Old 03-02-2014, 12:02 PM   #18
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...

I feel pretty stupid in that I did rip a few DVDs years ago (now erased), never thought about it since music was legal at the time...but I should have known better on retrospect.
I don't think you should feel 'stupid' about it. The laws are non-nonsensical and ridiculously complex.

Quote:
Knowing there's no chance I could "get caught" is irrelevant to me. I'd know, that's what matters most. YMMV
Just to be clear, the 'no chance of me getting caught' is only relevant to me because I already feel that there is nothing ethically wrong with making a copy for my own use - that comes first and foremost. And there is plenty of good reasoning behind my decision that it is ethical - I know sometimes people use that as a convenient excuse (like, 'that company makes millions, they won't miss a few bucks from a lost sale from me' - that is not ethical thinking to me, that is rationalization).

I just didn't want to leave that hanging, it is totally dependent on what I see as the ethics of it. I would not do something that I considered unethical just because I thought I couldn't get caught.

As you say, it is up to each person to decide.

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Old 03-02-2014, 12:10 PM   #19
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Just to be clear, I'm not advocating any position. Since my college days I've have made '00s of recordings using different formats, mostly in compliance with existing regulations. I'd like to do the same with my DVD collection and like others here cannot do so.

The Library of Congress has indeed ruled on copying protected DVDs, chosen to allow for some purposes but not fair use or space shifting. Here's a link to a good overview.

RIAA and MPAA have always argued that approved fair use was device specific. They also argue that backup is not a compelling reason because replacement copies are always available at reasonable prices. Lawyers can chime in but don't have much to add. The arguments are clear, pretty much the same as for other media. No one has been taken to court for making copies of purchased content for personal use, device shifting or time shifting, and when cases do get to court, personal use (under controlled circumstances) is allowed.

What makes this discussion different is not fair use, it is the fact that if a content owner or distributor puts copy protection on the media, even if you do have the established right to copy under fair use (cd to tape, for example) it is still a criminal act to defeat the copy protection.
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Old 03-02-2014, 01:12 PM   #20
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...

It doesn't make sense given the rulings on music and Fair Use, but it's still illegal. So I won't do it until it is legal, no biggie anyway. Knowing there's no chance I could "get caught" is irrelevant to me. I'd know, that's what matters most. YMMV
Midpack,

That's a good way to live. Even though no chance of getting caught but not breaking the rules.

Not only morally, but also to keep good habits.

For me, even when it's middle of the night, no cars or camera around, I still stop and signal at a red light.
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