How To Copy A Protected DVD – A How to Guide

This article was put together for all of you that have asked me over the years how to copy protected DVD movie discs.  Since I have written back to so many of you so far about this I decided to put this guide together for all to benefit from. This is the BurnWorld method for copying DVD movies.  

What is the easiest way to copy a protected DVD?

This is probably the most common DVD-burning question I get asked daily.  Well, really this is an easy answer. A copy-protected DVD is a movie disc that contains CSS or Content Scrambling System, which is a digital rights management to protect commercial movies. Manufacturers or producers use a CSS key set which is a collective term for authentication key, player key, title key, disc key, second disk key set, and/or encrypted key to protecting the disc’s content from being duplicated by unauthorized parties. This is done to prevent casual home users from burning additional copies for their friends. Now, copying DVDs is nothing new and has been one of the most used reasons for using a DVD burner in households. So in reality, should this be done?

Now, this is where it gets tricky. I’ll just say this, it is illegal to circumvent the CSS in most countries. Now there is a handful of DVD Rippers available. However, there are constant arguments about whether people should be able to do what they want with the DVD media that they have purchased. Since you purchased the movie, should you be able to make a copy of it just because you now own it? This will be debated for years and the overall opinion is that you should be able to burn a duplicate as a backup if it’s for personal use only. But know the law in your area before attempting to copy a protected DVD disc. Now if the discs you want to copy are not copy protected then carry on.

Burn protected DVD movies using the right software

Now onto the fun part. I will say that there are ways to copy dvd’s and there are easy solutions to do so. The best products to use are:

  • 1 Click DVD Copy – the easiest and most reliable software on the market.
    (See Video Review of 1Click DVD Copy)
  • DVD-Cloner 9 – another great option that only takes 1 Click to use.

This is what I use:

1Click DVD Copy

Step 1: After you download the trial or make the purchase of 1Click and then install it, there is literally 1 step to complete, and that is to insert the DVD you want to copy and click the Start button as seen above. Okay, so that’s 2 steps if you’re being technical.

The screenshot basically shows everything there is to this software. Just choose the copy option, either Exact Copy, Shrink to Fit or Copy to Hard Drive. Yes, it really is that easy to copy a protected DVD movie. Watch out Hollywood. Word of warning though, read the copyright warning in front of the movie to make sure you have permission to make a copy.

So if you’re looking to backup your discs know the in’s and out’s before jumping in. 1Click has been around for years and knows what users need when it comes down to copy-protected DVD movies.

Second Option: Here is a video showing how to use 1Click DVD Copy 5. Regardless of which software you use they are both easy to use and both work about the same in terms of video quality, speed, and burning.

Is it possible to duplicate a copy protected DVD using freeware?

There are a few free downloadable apps like DVD43, DVD-Shrink, and DVD-Decrypter but it’s important to realize what these free apps lack over their paid counterparts. First off 43 and Shrink are no longer being supported and the last updates came in 2009. Secondly, if these do work you only have half of the battle completed since they are only decrypted DVD videos. They do not author videos or burn back to a blank, so you would still need to use a DVD burning software.

So is free really better? For the most part ‘no’ because it involves more work on your part and if a new movie comes out with new copy protection that these don’t support then you are basically out of luck.

To sum up, while a paid solution is not ideal for your wallet it is more ideal for completing the task of copying protected DVDs both easily and effectively.

Rob Boirun

Rob Boirun

Staring in the storage industry in 1999, I worked for a DVD Burning API company that provided the burning engine for iTunes and other burning software. Today my love for all types of storage is being displayed here.

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