Is It Legal to Rip a DVD You Own?

Last updated on April 17th, 2024

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is it legal to rip a DVD you own

DVD ripping is a process of extracting data (audio, video & subtitles) from a DVD disc and converting it into a digital format like MP4, MKV, MP3, etc. that can be stored and played on various devices such as computers, smartphones, or media servers.

Ripping DVDs has many benefits including allowing you to conveniently watch their DVD collection on portable devices without the need to carry physical discs that tend to get old/scratched or damaged. You can easily back up copies to prevent loss or deterioration over time.

However, is it legal to rip a DVD you own? While some say ripping their own DVDs for personal use is allowed, others argue that it infringes upon copyright laws. Let’s dive into more details about the legality to rip a DVD that you own. 

The Copyright Law & DMCA Explained


When it comes to DVD ripping, copyright law plays a significant role in determining its legality. The act of ripping a DVD involves making a copy of copyrighted content, which potentially infringes upon the exclusive rights of the copyright holder.

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a United States copyright law that was enacted in 1998 to address copyright-related issues in the digital age.

In the case of DVD ripping, DMCA is generally considered illegal to bypass or circumvent Digital Rights Management (DRM) technologies or encryption on DVDs. But the truth is that many countries have their own law pertaining to DVD ripping.

One thing for sure is that ripping commercial DVDs is illegal and prohibited in most countries including the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada, but for other countries like Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Netherlands, etc., you are allowed to rip DVDs on their own for private use.

However, DMCA contains exceptions for “fair use”. This means you can rip the DVDs for personal use, you are probably safe if you don’t violate the copyright laws. 

The country like China, Japan, and South East Asia countries, you can copy the DVDs as also for most of other countries in the world.

So, the legality of ripping DVDs for personal use varies from country to country and is determined by copyright laws in each country. It is important to check the copyright laws in your own country to determine whether it is legal to rip DVDs for personal use.

How to Rip DVD That You Own Legally for Personal Use?

The Crucial Points to Take Note

Here are some of the important points to consider while trying to rip a DVD that you own for personal use:

1. Determine the legality

Find out from the government agency regarding the copyright laws in your country before ripping the DVDs. Some countries may have exceptions or limitations that allow for personal use copying.

2. Check for DRM

Commercial DVDs often come with DRM protections, such as CSS (Content Scramble System), region coding, Sony ARccOS protection, RipGuard, and more. Circumventing DRM is generally illegal under the DMCA in some countries.

3. Personal use and backup purpose

Ensure that the ripped content is strictly for your personal enjoyment and not for distribution, sharing, or any commercial purpose. Also, creating a backup copy of a DVD you own may be allowed in certain jurisdictions for personal use.

4. Use a good DVD ripping software

As you already know, it’s crucial to choose the best DVD ripper to successfully rip any DVDs. Reputable software like WinX DVD Ripper Platinum is good while the Mac user can go for MacX DVD Ripper Pro.

Steps to Rip the DVDs with WinX DVD Ripper Platinum

Once you are ready, then you can proceed to download and install the software to rip your DVD collections. If you are using WinX DVD ripper platinum, follow the guide below:

1. Place the DVD disc that you wish to rip into your computer DVD or optical drive. Then, launch the WinX DVD ripper platinum software. 

WinX dvd ripper platinum started screen

2. On the top menu, click on the “DVD Disc” option. You will be prompted to choose the source DVD disc drive, make sure the DVD drive is selected, and click on the “OK” button. This will load the DVD contents and display it on the screen.

WinX dvd ripper platinum ripping steps

3. From the “Output Profile” window, you need to choose the output format of the ripped file. You can choose the “MP4 Video” under the “General Profiles” category or other suitable file formats of your choice. When ready, click on the “OK” button.

4. [Optional] You can set the “Destination Folder” location, i.e., the folder to store the ripped DVD files.

5. When ready, click on the “RUN” button to start the ripping process. The software will automatically remove any protections on the discs and start converting the DVD contents.


When you want to rip a DVD, it is crucial for individuals to educate themselves on the copyright laws applicable in their specific region and understand the boundaries and exceptions provided by those laws. 

To answer your query on “Is it legal to rip a DVD you own?”, it depends on where or in which country or region you stay as a different country has its own law related to ripping commercial DVDs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is it illegal to rip your own DVDs?

Technically, ripping a DVD, especially commercial DVDs is illegal. However, most country does not have strict governing on what people do offline at home for their personal use.

2. Is it legal to make a backup copy of a DVD in the USA?

According to, You are not permitted under section 117 to make a backup copy of other material on a computer’s hard drive, such as other copyrighted works that have been downloaded (e.g., music, films).

3. How do I rip a DVD with copyright protection?

You can use paid DVD ripper like Wonderfox DVD Ripper Pro that can remove the copyright protections on DVDs. Else, if you want to use the free HandBrake, follow the guide here.

4. Is ripping a DVD the same as copying?

Both ripping and copying DVDs are meant to back up DVDs. Ripping DVD usually refers to converting the DVD to a digital format like MP4. On the other hand, copying a DVD refers to DVD duplications using DVD copy software.

Author: wong

Powell Wong is a chief editor and writer at SmartPoint Inc., the company that manages this website. He graduated from university in computer science, has over 20 years of experience in the field, mainly writes about multimedia software, and edits almost all the articles before publishing on this site.