DVD X Copy Pulled From Shelves

The DVD X Copy saga is at an end. February 27, 2004 was the deadline for 321 Studios to stop selling copies of any version of the software containing code for ripping CSS-protected DVDs. The software will continue to be marketed without ripping capability, which means only being able to backup DVDs lacking CSS protection. The judgment impacts more than just the DVD X Copy customer base, however, creating a platform for the MPAA to target consumers of all DVD ripping solutions. It also represents the biggest missed opportunity for the Motion Picture Association to date.

Why is this bad for consumers?

First, and foremost, we should be able to make backup copies of DVDs. The judge reasons analog backups are good enough, but we all know that’s not true. Why not tell us we can only watch recorded programming on black and white screens? I remember the first time I saw a DVD movie playing on a screen-I was blown away by the improvement over VHS (I have the same astounded look on my face seeing DVD compared to HDTV). Now, in order to make backups of movies I purchase, I’m supposed to downgrade to a lower quality medium? Apparently the judge doesn’t watch movies at home.
Picture quality of acceptable backups isn’t the only issue. What about all the people who downloaded free software for ripping DVDs? Will the MPAA start attempting to go after those individuals in a fashion similar to the RIAA attacks on file sharing?
Burden of proof is a little more complicated since most people who rip DVDs aren’t sharing them out to the Internet, but the RIAA hasn’t exactly produced much proof in any of the cases it settles. A blanket legal attack on every IP address associated with every download of a DVD ripping solution isn’t impossible. After all, most of the solutions do include technology to circumvent copy protection schemes, making each software solution a potential violator of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
What is especially stupid about the judgment against 321 Studios is the MPAA eliminating a potential revenue stream. The MPAA could have negotiated a solution where 321 Studios paid them a royalty on every copy sold, putting more money in the pockets of the industry, while allowing consumers to do something they will figure out how to do, with or without DVD X Copy. I’d pay a few extra dollars for DVD backup software, knowing I was using a licensed solution.
Instead, the MPAA is reacting out of unfounded fear. DVD X Copy makes backing up DVD easy, so of course, everyone who uses it plans on going into the movie duplication business. We are all guilty in the eyes of the entertainment industry. Never mind the fact we want to make copies so our kids don’t destroy the original. Never mind that we don’t want to carry the original in our suitcase on the plane. Never mind we occasionally do dumb things like leaving the DVD out its case sitting near a window sill where direct sunlight wrecks the disk. This isn’t just about 321 Studios or DVD X Copy, insert your favorite DVD ripping solution in this rant-they might be next.


  1. I fully agree with your comments.To many bloody people are telling us what we can do and can’t without bloody Hollywood too.USA was or is still against Dictatorships,but from my point of view what with copying CD’s and backing up DVD’s etc being against the law is starting to look like it has thrown it out the door

  2. When you have two kids and some hundreds of CDs and DVDs to sday nothing of LPs etc. then one needs to make backup copies on DVD. If you’ve aprted with $40~$60 per DVD or $100 plus for VHS in Japan then backing up and copying makes sense to any user.
    If the MPAA and RIAA really want us to boycott their entire range of products, fine with me. I’ll keep my money in the bank instead of buying too expensive DVDs and CDs if these bloated price fixing rip-off artist in the MPAA and RIAA, including Japan (the worst country for price gouging and breaking of the DVD Forum’s own agreements) don’t grow up ad put the blame on money losses where it really belongs – their lousy quality, usually too expensive, so-called epics which cna’t break even at the box office.
    LOL to the MPAA, RIAA and M$ who is promoting DRM at the expense of the buyers of their products.
    All everybody needs to do is run a buying of DVDs and CDs boycott for six months and see how they like the zero income.
    Their choice. I’ve made mine.
    Remember the old adage if you want to sell a product:- ” The customer is always right “! Forget that principle and go broke.

  3. Hollywood used the same lame excuse about pirates when Disney sued Sony, and destroyed Beta, about VCR’s. They lost that idiotic suit, what is different now? This action against 321 Studios is going to have absolutely no impact on the real pirates. Only the average Joe on the street. I really get tired of the stranglehold so called “artists” have on the public. Can you imagine the problems we would have if automobile designers and architects felt the same way about their creations? What happened to the principle of you made it, you sold it to me, it is mine now and I will do as I wish with it?

  4. You failed to mention the flood of people buying the software in this past week after the judgment. I am not sure of ALL details and hope my purchase a few days ago was not in vain. I personally have been eyeing the software for over a year. But had not purchased it because I haven’t been able to fit the cost of a burning drive in my budget. I did however decide to purchase the Gold copy this week:
    1. in hopes I will be able to afford a burner within the next few months
    2. it is (according to reviews and friends) kick ass software
    I am one of many people with negligent children (ages 5 through 8) and a wife that doesn’t seem to understand what $20 is worth (I guess since she doesn’t have to work).
    I cannot wait until 3/3 when my software is delivered, even though I will only be able to look at the pretty box. I will be happy to the fact that I helped pay their lawyer bills and hopefully enough of us will buy it to help foot the bill to take this to the supreme court and our rights will (hopefully) be upheld!!

  5. Thanks Jake. I hope that a future more liberal administration will return to the sensible common law approach of “fair use.” Congress needs to dump the Digital Millenium Act. And the Hollywood Cartel needs to wake up and get with today’s world.

  6. I’ve decided not to give my full name because I’m easy to find and it is possible that some Motion Picture Association (MPA) Lawyer may be reading this and want to invite me to a courtroom near them. The name and email I have given are false.
    I have a copy of DVD X Copy and also of DVD X Rescue. X Rescue can also copy and duplicate virtually any Encrypted DVD, so I am sure it will be included in the ban. One of the things that disturbs me is that 321 Studios retains limited control over the software I have legally purchased from them, and may, if ordered by the court, refuse to allow me to reinstall the software if I need to reformat my computer or if I wish to transfer the software from one computer to another. The reason for this is that after setup, the user must enter a serial number and a password, which is checked against a 321 Studios database which is on a computer at 321s office in Missouri. The court could order that 321 not allow the user to register the software, and the software would become useless.
    It is for that reason that I suggest that anyone wishing to back up their encrypted DVDs use other software, other software that does not require registration. At present, the best software that I am aware of is the freeware DVD Shrink which be found at
    http://www.dvdshrink.org .
    I suggest that if they download a copy of this software, that they keep any copy of the software that works (decrypts) permanently, since it is rumored that DVD Shrink may lose the ability to decrypt the DVD sometime in the future because of actions by the fine Lawyers of the MPA.

  7. I honestly believe that we should be blaming the individuals who ruined our freedoms by taking advantage of the technology we have today. There are way too many free loaders in this country today. They all think they can get away with everything, in the end we ALL take the heat and are punished for the minority’s wrong doing.

  8. Agreed! I remember as that a kid in school the whole class would be punished for one or two boneheads misbehaving. As an adult I thought that kind of mindset would end. Obviously not. It’s just one more case of judges making the law from the bench.

  9. Why the surprise at the court’s action? The government and the courts are there to protect Big Business, (Read:Heavy contributors to the campaigns) not the Little Man.

  10. Gee, you’re all so right. I mean what’s a little bit of theft here and there anyway? I’m sure none of you are going to start distributing your “backed up” copies of these movies anyway right?
    No, of course not . . .
    Well, we might make a copy for a couple of our friends at work though. I mean, they could just borrow it anyway, so it’s not a big deal right?
    Or maybe we’ll rent the movie, but since we didn’t have time to watch it when we rented it, we’ll just copy it and watch it later. I mean, we’ve already rented it so what’s the big deal?
    No, we’re not distributing movies, we just want it to “backup” our own legally purchased products . . . riiiiiggghhhtt

  11. I can rip my CD’s to what ever portable device I want to including changing it to most any format. I can record and digitalize my old albums(LP’s) and rip Digitally to CD’s. I can record my pay channel TV shows onto DVR with Tivo and watch when I want to or have time, but I can’t legally make a backup copy of a movie DVD that I paid $14.95-$25.00 or more for to prevent the original from getting marred or scratched by one of the kids, or even myself! Makes a lot of sense right??? -NO- It doesn’t. I try to do everything legally, but if I can’t do it legally I can most always find the way to do it anyway, if I want it bad enough. We’re all not out here to sell illegal copys of DVD’s the majority I believe are law abiding citizens.
    Why don’t the Motion Picture ASSociation take a portion of each legal sale of DVD XCOPY and get their opportunity to make a few more million from that too! There’s always a work around if you have OPEN MINDS!

  12. What next? If I copy the movie I watch on cable to either Vhs or Dvd is the Fbi going to come knocking on my door. Going after Studio 123 is not going to stop people who alrady have the software from cpying Dvd’s nor is it going to stop anyone from devising ways of getting around codes. Next step, I understand is the Tv devises that let you record or skip ads/commercials are going to be declared illegal because it takes away profits from the ad makers. Well its time people stand up and speak out instead of sitting in their trutle shells called home. Dont ya think!

  13. I worry more about the fact that our rights are being taken away little by little. I have never felt the need to make a back up copy of any movie I ever bought be it VHS or DVD. I just want the right to be able to do it if I choose. One thing they could do is include TWO DVD’s in each box, one original and one a backup. That should solve the problem.

  14. The MPAA is not protecting anyone’s interests but their own greed. The MPAA simply wants more money from consumers.
    Whaterver happened to the “innocent until proven guilty” philosophy that this country was founded on? According to the MPAA, I’m guilty merely by having the ability.
    Maybe the MPAA will guarentee a free lifetime replacement for any DVDs I purchase? Fat chance of that!

  15. I agree 100%. I own DVD X-Copy and use it primarily for making backups of the kid’s movies. We tend to be a bit more careful with ours, but the kids have wrecked a few movies from abuse and at $20-28 a pop I don’t like to replace them.
    We now have all of the originals safely tucked away. I peronally OWN more than 100 movies, and we rent or go to movies once a week, buy the ones we like at a rate of 1 every month or two.
    Exactly how would I be ripping off the industry???
    I get really annoyed with the fact that they pull this crap for software that in my opinion promotes people buying DVD’s. My brother is the perfect example as he doesn’t buy them any more. He only owns a few and one of them accidently was scratched, or chipped hard to say waht is wrong with it…. but it fell of his entertainment unit, was sitting on top, and hit a ceramic planter. Now the movie skips, and freezes. Really annoyed him as it is part of a trilogy. Any how there’s my 10 cents….

  16. DVDSHRINK.ORG is GREAT *FREE* SOFTWARE. Have a backup in 30 minutes!
    DVDxCopy charges for the same thing that is free.
    Serves them right charging the public for what is free. Ban 321 and think SHRINK.

  17. I also agree with your comments on this. The MPAA is using scare tactics like the RIAA is with music downloading now. I think that I should have EVERY right to copy a product that I have now bought with my own $30.00. I know how easily a DVD can get messed up and I think that the MPAA is stupid for making this happen. Its just like saying “Hey, you cant use a copy machine to make a copy of a paper someone else wrote anymore. Im sorry but your going to be fined $3000 or what nought. I think it is just useless. I already have other programs that i am going to use to backup my DVDs and frankly, the MPAA AND RIAA can kiss my as*. 🙂

  18. I remember our President saying “…we’re not going to let anyone change our way of life in the United States.” Well, he’s 100% correct. They haven’t, we have! Laws (loop-holes and generalities) that were passed to protect us, are being used against us! This decision clearly imposes a presumption of quilt. Is that the new American way? These decisions disinter the stench of late 1940’s McCarthyism. So far, all most of us have been doing is sitting on our hands and crying. I say let’s turn these stupid rulings around on them. If enough of us get together and raise enough hell to draw the attention of some high-powered lawyers we could bring suit to stop the production of all firearms because the end user WILL commit homicide. And lets continue the suit to blanket the automotive industry because the end user will commit vehicular manslaughter. Ridiculous you say! Well, I say this would parallel the decisions made against 321 Studios and those to come against ALL producers of like kind software. Let’s ask CloneCD what caused their problems and the loss of their top package. With the laws in effect at the present time, I foresee a reversal of the “Sony Decision”. By george, if we don’t hurry up and do something, we’ll just be a bunch of blubbering idiots over a $45 scratched DVD with nothing to do but buy another!

  19. I just got my copy of DVD XCopy Express and will be using it as soon as I get my new DVD RW up and running. MPAA can kiss me where the sun don’t shine. My kid is a one person Destruction Derby. I already have some CD’s that are of the Copied Variety Only (no apologies to RIAA) due to the Destroyer. I am missing a couple DVD’s (the kid Loans them and the ‘friends’ never return them or return them in somewhat scratched condition). DVD XCopy will stop that. I guess if the Court has its way, someone will be knocking at my door one of these days to cart me away to DVD Copier’s Prison. Too bad that as a felon, I won’t be able to vote. Wonder if I will be able to watch DVD’s??

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