The Complete Guide to Whether It Is Legal to Rip DVD's

Before ripping a DVD, you have to figure out if it is legal to do so in your country. You may have heard that it's now illegal to rip DVD's. But is this really true? In this post, we'll explore the complex legal landscape around DVD ripping, and help you figure out whether it's really legal or not.

Not a big deal for you? Install the best DVD ripper to fast rip DVD's you own for personal use:

Kevincy Kevincy | Updated on Jun 9, 2023

Quick Navigation: The Complete Guide to Whether It Is Legal to Rip DVD's

Part 1 - Is it Legal or Illegal to Rip a DVD?

Part 2 - Is it Legal to Rip a Commercial DVD?

Part 3 - Is it Legal to Rip a Homemade DVD?

Bonus - How Can I Legally Rip a DVD I Own for Personal Use?


Is it Legal or Illegal to Rip a DVD?

Well, there are many reasons you might want to rip a DVD. Maybe you want to watch your favorite movie on your computer, smartphone or tablet instead of lugging around a physical copy, or maybe you want to create a backup in case your DVD gets scratched or damaged. Whatever your reasons, there are a few things you need to know before you rip that DVD.

Ripping DVDs has long been a popular way to back up precious memories, or to create a digital library of your favorite movies and TV series. But is it legal? The short answer is: it depends. Next, I will explain separately based on different cases.

Personal DVD Backup Solution

A powerful, smart yet easy-to-use Windows DVD ripper that helps digitize and convert your physical DVD discs for hassle-free playback and backup. GET IT NOW and legally rip DVD's you own.

Is it Legal to Rip a Commercial DVD?

Q: "I downloaded a commercial DVD rip for my friend, but it turned out to be an illegal copy. Now I'm really scared that the FBI or my ISP will come after me."

A: People's store-bought DVD collections are always copy-protected or DRM-ed. In 2006, the U.S. Congress passed the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which made it illegal to circumvent DRM (Digital Rights Management) protection on DVDs. This means that it's illegal to create a software program that can bypass DVD DRM protection. Another way of saying it is, the moment you crack DRM to rip the DVD, you've violated the DMCA.

However, the DMCA contains an exception for "fair use." This means that you can legally rip a DVD for personal use, as long as you don't violate any of the other copyright laws. What does this mean in practice? You can rip a DVD for your own personal use, but you can't distribute the ripped file to others. You also can't make a copy of the ripped file for someone else.

So, in a nutshell, if you rip DVD's and restrict the copies to your own personal use, you're probably safe. The FBI won't be likely to come knocking on your door. But if you want to share the ripped file with others, you could be violating the law. And of course, the policies range widely from country to country about this question. Please check out the Wikipedia Page to learn if ripping a DVD is out of bounds in your country, to avoid breaking the law. If what has been said above makes no mention the copyright law of your country, before ripping a DVD, you’d better get a clear understanding of your local legal regulations by collecting the relevant documentation.

Is it Legal to Rip a Homemade DVD?

So, what about my homemade DVDs? Can I legally rip a DVD made by myself? The answer, unfortunately, is not clear. There is no specific law that says whether ripping a homemade DVD is legal or not.

However, there are some general principles that you can apply. In my humble opinion, as you are the copyright owner of this homemade DVD, you certainly have the right to extract the DVD for your personal use as long as it doesn't involve your sensitive content and privacy leaks.

How Can I Legally Rip a DVD I Own for Personal Use?

Actually, there are many options available, but in consideration of DVD decrypting capacity, ripping speed, output quality, and ease of use, I strongly recommend WonderFox DVD Ripper Pro. It is a professional DVD ripping application with advanced decryption technology, which is capable of copying both homemade or commercial DVDs to MP4, MKV, AVI, MP3, and 300+ optimal presets. The cool black UI and self-explanatory layout make it fairly easy-to-use.

Free downloadFree download the best DVD ripper and follow the instructions to legally rip the DVD for personal use.

Free Download

Compatible with Windows

100% Clean & Safe

Free Download

How to Fast Rip Your DVD Collection in 3 Simple Steps?

Preparation: Before we get started, insert a homemade or copy-protected DVD into your DVD-ROM drive.

Step 1 - Load a DVD Source

Launch WonderFox DVD Ripper Pro and press the "DVD Disc" button to load all available DVD titles and remove all DVD copy protection (if any). After that, it will intelligently select all the right titles for either a movie DVD or a TV shows DVD.

Tips: In addition to the physical disc, this program also supports DVD ISO image and a complete Video_TS folder input and export.

Load a DVD Source

Step 2 - Select an Export Format

Click on the "Format" image on the right side to expand the full 300+ configured presets. You can choose any preferred profile based on your need. You're recommended to navigate to "Video" category and choose "MKV" for ripping DVD with multiple audio and subtitle tracks.

Need a complete DVD to DVD copy with all content preserved? No problem, just switch over to "1:1 Quick Copy" category and choose "ISO" or "DVD Folder" right there.

Choose an Export Format

Step 3 - Start DVD Ripping Process

Choose an output folder on the bottom and hit "RUN" button to rip your own DVD.

Tips: Before getting started, you're entitled to choose audio track, add subtitles, cut a specific clip from the DVD, and even open "Settings" column to upscale DVD, change bit rate, frame rate, deinterlace DVD, and the like.

Legally Rip DVD for Personal Use

Disclaimer: WonderFox doesn't advocate any copyright infringement, all information provided in this article is presented to make digital copies of personal DVDs for fair-use only. Figure out the relevant policies and laws about if it is legal to rip a DVD for backup and private use in your country beforehand.

Highlights of the Best DVD Ripper:
Highlights of the Best DVD Ripper
  • Rip DVD to MP4, MKV and 300+ presets with GPU acceleration.
  • Remove all DVD encryption like Cinavia, region code, CSS, etc.
  • 5-minutes to fast digitize DVD to MPEG-2 MPG format.
  • Make a 1:1 intact digital copy (VIDEO_TS or ISO) with all content.
  • Simply compress 8 GB DVD to 1-2 GB digital video file.
  • Multiple audio tracks, hard/soft and forced subs are supported.
  • Support homemade/commercial DVD & ISO & Video_TS folder.
  • Basic editing features and customize output video/audio parameters.
Download Free Download
Download Free Download
Check Details Check Details
Compatible with Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, Vista Windows, 100% Clean!

Final Words...

To sum up, ripping DVD's is a complex legal landscape, and you should be careful to make sure you're not violating any laws. Someone stands for the strict law and responds that ripping copy-protected DVDs for personal use is still technically illegal, even if you just want to make a backup on your computer.

On the flip side, however, most people are more willing to accept such a point of view: I bought the DVD's, I have made back up copies of my own DVD's and I don't share them or put them on the Internet or sell them. My backup copies are just that back ups in case my store bought DVD gets scratched or becomes unplayable for whatever reason, it’s for my personal use. Therefore, why is it illegal to rip a DVD? It turns out that you're more likely not going to get into trouble or caught for that matter.

Actually, it's always an ongoing debate on whether or not it's legal to rip DVDs. Hopefully, I was able to shed some light on the matter and help you decide where you stand on the issue. Any different ideas? Your thoughts would be appreciated! Thanks for reading.

All-in-One yet Easy-to-Use Video & Audio Processing Toolkit
HD Video Converter Factory Pro

WonderFox HD Video Converter Factory Pro

500+ optimized presets for fast conversion.

Compress large-sized videos with no quality loss.

Trim, merge, crop, rotate, flip, watermark video.

Download HD/FHD/2K/4K/8K videos from 1000+ sites.

Record live streams, gameplay, webcam, video call

Make animated GIFs from video or image sequence.

Make ringtones, extract subtitles & more...

Specialized in multimedia software solutions.
Since 2009

Privacy Policy | Copyright © 2009-2024 WonderFox Soft, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Back to Top