What are the laws related to copying DVDs to a computer for personal use?


Quick Answer

The current United States legislature does not take a stand on whether or not it is legal to copy a DVD to a computer for personal use. While Congress has yet to pass any law stating legality one way or another, as of 2015, the United States Copyright Office has denied various committees permission to make copying DVDs legal, which means individuals who copy DVDs with copy protection written on the disc could get in trouble with the law, as noted by Public Knowledge.

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Full Answer

Most commercial DVDs have a copy protection written on the disc itself. Fair Use believers argue that it should be completely legal to copy a owned DVD to back up the movie and to make it possible to watch on various devices. However, others argue that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act has jurisdiction over fair use, which would make it illegal to rip DVD information onto a computer.

It is illegal to rip information from a DVD to a computer with the intent to sell or broadcast that information without the consent of the owner of the information on the DVD. As for ripping information for personal use, it would be wise to refrain from doing so if the disc has a copy protection statement, and there are a number of cases in which individuals have gotten in trouble with the law for doing so, suggests MacWorld and Public Knowledge.

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