Take That, DVD CCA: 12 Ways to Rip DVDs

The courts and DVD CCA prefer users rip DVDs using software from overseas, rather than legitimate movie servers like Kaleidescape. So then, here are your options.

Julie Jacobson · March 15, 2012

Kaleidescape, maker of one of the most expensive DVD movie servers on the planet, has lost its legal battle with the DVD CCA, licensor of the Content Scramble System (CSS) required of all (legitimate) DVD players.

The Santa Clary County court found that Kaleidescape breached its CSS licensing agreement with the DVD CCA and punished the manufacturer with a severe injunction that prohibits the sale of its DVD servers, and the support of servers already in the field (although Kaleidescape CEO Michael Malcolm says the ban on tech-support is limited only to issues regarding CSS).

So it seems the DVD CCA - and the movie studios and CE manufacturers it represents - wants consumers to rip their DVDs the old-fashioned way: using cheap, unsanctioned software from overseas (either that, or pay $2 to $4 to rip DVDs you already purchased).
OK, then, allow us to guide you to some of the more popular products that let you copy and manage your DVDs - whether you actually own the discs or not. Naturally, we encourage users to rip only the DVDs they own, not ones borrowed from friends or rented from Redbox, Netflix or other agencies.

Photos: 12 Ways to Rip DVDs

Admittedly, we can’t police your DVD-ripping activities. At least Kaleidescape keeps ripped DVDs within its own ecosystem so they cannot be shared over a public network. And the company has another built-in measure for minimizing abuse: The products are so expensive they’re unlikely to be used by the rent-rip-return type.
The DVD CCA decided to go after this niche company, but there are still plenty of easy ways to rip your collections (and your rentals, but don’t do that) using a cheap computer and ubiquitous software, not to mention hardware from vendors who have opted not to do business with the DVD CCA (see why?) and just use CSS decryption software from the public domain. It’s been out there for years.

The DVD CCA can’t touch these companies. Furthermore, there appears to be no legal case in which consumers have been tried for buying and using these products, even though copyright law generally forbids DVD copying, whether the offender owns the disc or not. (Fair use? Don’t even go there.)

Would Studios Rather We Buy DVD Ripping Products Offshore?
Fair Use Added to DVD Copying ... Sort Of
Kaleidescape vs. DVD CCA: Judge Rules Against Movie Servers
Kaleidescape Ruling on DVD Copying Could Quash Innovation
Is Your DVD Server Legal? Manufacturers Say Yes!
DVD CCA Is an Innovation-Stifling Cartel

Rachel Cericola contributed to this report.

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  About the Author

Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson Email Julie at

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  Article Topics

News · DVD CCA · DVD Ripping · Kaleidescape · All Topics
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