Most DVDs you purchased from stores are copy-protected. You may need to keep your rare DVDs safe. You may need to digitize them for flexible playback on our iPhone, iPad, computer, TV, Android device, etc. Sometimes you'll want to watch them offline during a business trip. But the copy protection makes it almost impossible to make a DVD copy directly.
The post will show you the ropes of ripping any protected DVDs on a PC. But before diving in, you're suggested to know some general knowledge about DVD copy protections.
What Are Common DVD Copy Protection Schemes
DVD copy protection refers to methods that are applied to DVDs for preventing DVDs from being copied, duplicated, or even played back on some devices.
Most commercial DVDs are restricted with DVD region codes, Content Scramble System (CSS), etc. Movie DVDs are commonly protected with Analog Protection System (APS), Sony ARccOS Protection, Playlist Obfuscation, and DVD Disc Corruption. And there also comes with Burst Cutting Area, DVD-Cops, ProtectDISC Software, ProtectDISC Video, DRMs, and more copy protections.
There are many DVD rippers, including paid and free ones. Honestly, freeware does not cover all needs and has some defects, such as complicated operation, slow conversion, and insufficiency in supporting different DVD copy protections. To bypass the DVD copy protection schemes, you have to rely on professional DVD rippers. Check the table below and choose the one you like.
Compare the Best 4 DVD Rippers
|Software Name||Supported OS||Pros||Cons|
For all types of copy-protected DVDs
Super-fast, GPU-accelerated, high-quality, 420+ outputs
Full featured and professional
Also able to convert, compress, edit, download, record, and fix media files
Lifetime free updates and technical support service
Does not have Linux and mobile versions
Windows, macOS, Linux
Free and open-source
Well supports common DVDs
Has to work with libdvdcss-2.dll to rip a copy-protected DVD
Only rips certain types of DVDs
Sometimes logs errors when opening VIDEO_TS
Not beginner-friendly yet has no technical support
VLC media player
Main desktop, mobile, Pad, and TV platforms
Free and open-source
Play, stream, convert, compress
Powerful decoding and encoding
Slow in converting a DVD
Fails to convert some strictly protected DVDs
WinX DVD Ripper Platinum
Specializes in DVD ripping
Supports GPU acceleration
Plenty of output profiles
Not run on Linux and mobiles
Cannot rip Blu-rays and CDs
Limited editing features
How to Rip a Copy-Protected DVD with VideoProc Converter
Compared with HandBrake, VideoProc Converter can deal with all types of copy-protected DVDs alone, without the help of some other tools. The built-in DVD backup engine makes it easy to read the buffer decoded by players and save it into digital files of movies, TV series, workouts, music videos, new releases, and that are produced from different countries.
- An all-in-one video software: DVD/video/audio conversion, compression, edits, downloads and recording.
- Well support Disney DVDs, Sony ARccOS, CSS, UOPs and more advanced techs.
- Output DVDs to any popular video/device format without extra settings.
- Intelligent Hardware Acceleration. Up to 47x real-time faster speed.
- Different output formats meet different needs: lossless copy, fast backup, or high compression.
Step 1. Download and install.
Click the button above to download VideoProc Converter. Install and open it without any hassle.
Step 2. Insert and load DVD.
Insert your protected DVD in your drive. Click DVD to open the DVD module. And select DVD Disc to read the DVD information.
Step 3. Choose an output format.
Choose among the 420+ output formats according to your needs:
- For a lossless copy (and not concerned about how large the file is): go to the Backup mode, and you can choose Main Copy, Title Copy, ISO (image file), Video_TS (folder), MKV Copy, or H264 MKV.
- To save storage space: Go to the Target Format, you can choose General Profiles, TV Video, HD Video, or 4K Video. We recommend converting a DVD to MP4 for great compatibility, high compression rate, and good quality.
- For playback on a device: Device > Target Format choose iPhone, iPad, Android, PS4/PS5, Xbox, and so on.
- Convert DVD to audio: You can choose MP3 (general), AAC, WAV, FLAC (lossless), M4R (iPhone ringtone), AC3 (stereo), and so on.
Step 4. Make some more edits and settings if you want.
- You can select and merge chapters, rotate, change playback speed, fix A/V out-of-sync problem, add some filters, adjust colors, cut, crop, add/choose subtitle and add watermark.
- You can change codec and resolution, tweak frame rate, bit rate, etc.
- You can browse to change the Output Folder.
Step 5. Start converting.
Click RUN and start converting the protected DVD.
Learn More about the DVD Converter in VideoProc Converter
How to Rip Protected DVDs with HandBrake
HandBrake is the best free way to rip some DVDs with copy protections, only if you use it in conjunction with libdvdcss.
HandBrake allows you to convert DVDs to MP4, MKV, Android, Apple, Chromecast, Fire TV, Playstation, Roku, Windows Mobile, and Xbox. But if your DVDs are encrypted, you have to install libdvdcss, a free DVD playback library to remove copy protections in DVDs. Follow the steps below.
Step 1. Download and install HandBrake.
To rip copy-protected DVDs, you need to head to the archive page of HandBrake to download HandBrake 0.9.9 or the earlier version on Windows, macOS (or Linux). Install it.
Note: If you have installed a version newer than 0.9.9, you have to uninstall the version and re-install the older one.
Step 2. Install libdvdcss on your Windows or Mac PC.
If you are on Yosemite (OS X 10.10) or the even older version, you can download libdvdcss file for Mac here.
But if you are using El Caption (OS X 10.11) or newer, you have to take a detour by disabling System Integrity Protection (SIP) first before you can install libdvdcss file successfully:
- On your OS X, press Command + Space and find Terminal to launch a command line window.
- Type in brew install libdvdcss.
- Press Enter and let Homebrew install the libdvdcss file.
- Restart your computer.
Step 3. Load your protected DVD.
Get your source DVD ready, insert it into your DVD-ROM. Launch HandBrake, choose the DVD location in Source Selection and let the software scan DVD titles in a minute or so.
Step 4. Choose something for the output.
Choose a title that you want to rip. Change the Destination if you like. Choose a profile under Output Settings, or under Presets on the right.
Step 5. Try to rip the protected DVD.
After finishing all the necessary settings provided by HandBrake, you are good to go. Hit Start Encode on the upper part and try your luck. On most occasions, it can rip DVDs successfully. But if HandBrake won't rip your DVD, you should go for another method below!
How to Rip a Copy-Protected DVD with VLC media player
VLC media player is a free and open-source software that many people use to play videos, music, and DVDs. It can also convert DVDs, even some copy-protected DVDs. The operation sequence is simple only if you succeed in ripping your DVD. Try your luck with the following steps:
Step 1. Download and install VLC media player.
Go to the official page of VLC to download the program on your computer.
Step 2. Load your source DVD.
Run VLC media player. Click Media on the top left of the interface, choose 'Convert / Save' on the drop-down menu and click on the Disc tab. You can load a DVD, Blu-ray, audio CD, or SVCD/VCD by browsing on your computer. You can also add an ISO file to the File option. But not all DVDs and ISO image files can be recognized and read by VLC.
Step 3. Decide what to rip exactly.
You can choose the title, chapter, audio track, start time, and stop time. Then hit the Convert / Save button and go to the next window.
Step 4. Choose the output format and destination.
You can make more settings, including Display the output, Deinterlace, Profile, and Destination file. Then hit Start to begin the conversion.
How to Rip a Copy-Protected DVD with WinX DVD Ripper Platinum
WinX DVD Ripper Platinum is another solution for converting protected DVDs to MP4 and other formats. It can remove UOP, CSS, RCE, APS, and can handle Disney 99-title DVDs. Besides ripping DVDs, it can copy DVDs to a computer at a 1:1 ratio.
Step 1. Go to download WinX software on its official site. Install and open it.
Step 2. Input the source DVD in the DVD-ROM, tap DVD Disc on the top left, and follow the instruction to select the source DVD.
Step 3. After the DVD is loaded, choose an output format under Output Profile.
Step 4. Change the Destination Folder if you need it.
Step 5. Tap RUN and get the job done at a fast speed.
A Legal Warning
Is it legal to back up a copy-protected DVD? Technically no. According to Title 17 of The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), it is illegal to circumvent "technological protection measures" and rip DVDs protected with Digital Rights Management (DRM). But it is a grey area for ripping DVDs for personal use offline.
According to Fair use, a legal doctrine, it is legal to use copyright-protected works for criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, research, and so on without having to get permitted by the copyright owners. And you can refer to Section 107 calls to evaluate the purposes of fair use.
In a word, we do not advocate any commercial use or redistribution of any copyrighted works and suggest you make sure you are not going to share, upload online, or sell them. Please learn about the laws in your regions and countries before making a copy of your own purchased DVDs.
Frequently Asked Questions about Ripping Copy-Protected DVDs
Can VLC rip copy-protected DVDs?
Partly yes. With the installation of libdvdcss in its library, VLC can read and convert some encrypted DVDs. But the process is basically recording the DVD content, instead of the traditional ripping. Besides, not all copy-protected DVDs can be converted by VLC media player.
Will Nero rip copy-protected DVDs?
No. Although Nero can copy (burn) a DVD to another DVD, it does not rip a DVD, let alone rip a copy-protected DVD.
Can MakeMKV rip copy-protected DVDs?
Yes and no. MakeMKV can read most region-code-protected DVDs but not all kinds of DVDs. Sadly, however, the MakeMKV download page has been removed from Google for Blu-ray copyright issues. To rip a protected Blu-ray or DVD, you need to find a MakeMKV alternative.