Handbrake legal?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by atacinus, Nov 3, 2005.

  1. atacinus macrumors 6502

    Oct 25, 2003
    New York City
    Is it technically legal to rip my own DVDs to iTunes with handbrake just like I can input Music CDs with iTunes? I'm just curious if this is a 'no-no' or not, I know no one will really care or 'catch' me, but I want to follow the law.

  2. dops7107 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 19, 2005
    Perth, Oztrailya
    It is probably strictly illegal, but I don't know if it is in the same league as copying your own CDs for personal "reasonable" use. It is copying without permission, but I think implicit in this is that you have permission to create back-up copies.

    An additional complication is copy protection: if you are copying a disc, you are clearly bypassing copy protection mechanisms which are there for a reason.
  3. tutubibi macrumors 6502a


    Sep 18, 2003
    If you live in USA, and you do, then it is probably illegal for you to rip a DVD. Ripping process involves circumventing the protection and that's not OK according to the DMCA.

    On the other side, you should have a right to make personal backup. Go figure :confused:
  4. sakasune macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2004
    But Handbrake doesn't say anything of copy protection mechanisms on the DVD and whether or not its circumventing it. I know nothing of this "copy protections" when I'm making my backups :rolleyes:
  5. kugino macrumors 65816


    Jul 10, 2003
    sadly, all rights don't map perfectly with what is legal. :eek:
  6. savar macrumors 68000


    Jun 6, 2003
    District of Columbia
    Its definitely illegal -- why else would they encrypt the DVDs?

    If you want to be 100% legal, delete all copies of DVDs you have made and stop using Handbrake immediately.

    If you're like me, take what is reasonable and don't let arcane laws stop you. There were no experts involved in writing the DCMA.
  7. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

    Jan 30, 2004
    having a drink at Milliways
    to make it difficult to copy, protect their investment, increase their profit, whatever.
    the encryption in no way automatically means that it is illegal to copy the DVD.

    DVD region codes are stupid, useless, ineffective and most likely illegal themselves, but still they keep including them into the disks.
  8. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Making the copies is "maybelegal". Making a copy, for personal use, of content you're licensed to use and own the physical media of, is technically legal--you're supoosed to be able to make backup copies of software, put a CD on a cassette for the car, or photocopy a book you bought. By this standard, it's also legal to make a personal use copy of a DVD, for example to watch on your iPod.

    Circumventing the Macrovision and CSS encryption on the DVDs, however, is technically illegal according to the horribly written DMCA. Since you have to do this to make a copy, I believe it works out to something like "it's not technically illegal to own the copy, but it's illegal to actually make the copy".

    This came about because the big media conglomerates had failed to legally prevent people from duplicating stuff for their own use (fair use has been around for a while), and they failed to come up with an "unbreakable" encryption standard (that's basically impossible), so their only recourse was to get a new law made (DMCA) that makes it illegal to mess with encryption in the first place. It probably should be unconstutional, but so far the government here in the US has let money talk and let it stand.

    In fact, though I could well be mistaken, I think you would be within your rights to make an exact duplicate of a DVD if it included the encryption, but nothing I'm aware of does that, and maybe there'd be another reason that'd be illegal.

    All that said, there are already several companies selling software that will let you do this despite legal attempts to prevent it (some have been shut down), and I've seen DVD-VCR combos that will let you copy right to a VHS tape, so the MPAA would be hard pressed to go after individual consumers for making a copy of their own DVDs. So far they haven't, as it's far more effective (which still isn't very) to go after people who actually spread the copies around on the net.
  9. RGunner macrumors 6502a


    Jul 3, 2002
    Midnight Sun
    Makosuke is

    100% correct.

    Soon we will live in a complete rental society. Utter BS.
  10. clayj macrumors 604


    Jan 14, 2005
    visiting from downstream
    Makosuke is correct... basically it boils down to this:

    - Ripping DVDs is technically illegal.
    - However, no one is really going to come after you for doing it as long as you keep the rips to yourself, i.e., you don't give them away in any way, shape, or form.
    - If companies like Sony and Apple really cared about DMCA infringement with respect to being able to play ripped movies on the PSP or iPod, they'd've done something to prevent you from doing so (e.g., length limits on movies).
  11. ~Shard~ macrumors P6


    Jun 4, 2003
    Life is short. Use Handbrake. In the end, does it really matter? ;) :cool:
  12. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    So, what if I download a pre-ripped, encoded version of a DVD I already own (which I'm doing now, as a matter of fact)?

    Sounds like that ought to be legal - counterintuitively, "more legal" than making the backups myself.
  13. dops7107 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 19, 2005
    Perth, Oztrailya
    So here's a question: why is it that DVDs can't be copied in a bit-for-bit manner? If it's all 1s and 0s, can't they just be replicated perfectly? Is it a limitation of the DVD writing hardware? :confused:

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