Duh: Report Says DVD Ripping Is A Lesser 'Threat' Than File-Sharing

from the snoooore dept

A research firm has released a new report saying that people are much more likely to get pirated movies from file-sharing networks than ripping DVDs from rental services or friends. While an article about the report says this is “contrary to popular belief”, it hardly seems surprising. While the number of tools to simplify and automate the task of ripping a DVD and turning it into a manageable file have proliferated over the last few years, they still pale in ease of use to the relative point-and-click simplicity of file-sharing networks, particularly for novice users. This is fairly obvious, but it’s an important point, because it underlines the fact that it’s really impracticality, not copy protection that stops people from ripping DVDs in the same way they do CDs. Despite the contention of the reports’ authors, copy protection and DRM really don’t stop anybody from ripping a DVD — they just frustrate legitimate customers.

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Comments on “Duh: Report Says DVD Ripping Is A Lesser 'Threat' Than File-Sharing”

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Simon says:

All my DVD’s get ripped to a central NAS box in my basement and piped to Xbox Media Center’s or PCs in the house on demand. Non-technical visitors to my house are starting to understand that their entertainment media is just zeros and ones now – and finally they start questioning why their more expensive, off-the-shelf PVR’s, DVD players etc. don’t offer the same flexibility.
Slowly the general population is starting to understand that the inherent advantages offered by technology are be artificially restricted by large corporations.

Brad says:

"DRM really don't stop anybody from ripping a DVD"

By “anybody” you mean technically literate people with newer generation computer hardware.

Judging from the support calls I get from the average consumer MOST of them have trouble with just using MS Office applications and don’t have the skills to defeat DRM.

DRM must be slowing direct pirating some. Too, copying DVDs one at a time at home is much less of a threat (due to the hassle and time spent copying) than posting on a file share network where the copying to physical media is distributed.

Don't sue me says:

Re: "DRM really don't stop anybody from ripping a

I can understand the argument that technically illiterate(sp? hehe) people have difficulty grasping the rip to central NAS and distribute homewide model, but saying only those with newer gen comps can do it is a fallacy.

All my ripping is done via a p2 266 w/128MB ram, no videocard, and only a flash drive. Why? Because it’s got 4 DVD drives and I can just pop them in before work and get home just after they finish (yeah, sometimes it takes a little longer, but 8-10 hours is usual for that little guy to rip ’em all).

Burning is done in the evening via a p3 600 w/ 4 DVD burners, and the DVDs are placed on a nice cool dry shelf in case something catastrophic happens to my disks…which are in a k6 box with a gig-E card that maxes out the CPU when streaming.

All in all, the most modern computer in my house is the xbox 360…next best is the Wii, and THEN my HTPC (it struggles with 720p content…not really watchable).

Lyle Holmes (user link) says:

Ripping vs. Sharing

Sure file sharing of DVD content is a bigger issue now. How about three or five years from now? For music retailers the bigger problem is ripping. I had a prominent music retailer who is located near a college campus share this with me: in past years students would line up on Tuesdays to buy a new release. Now two or three or four buddies will come into the store and pitch in to buy a new release. They go back to the dorm and copy it three or four times. File sharing is big, but much of it starts with a ripped CD. When the technology makes it simple and fast to copy a DVD three times, the movie industry will have a similar problem.

jeeper8788 says:

Im not so sure...

In my opinion file sharing movies is a big pain in my butt. when I use to do it, it would usually take a day or so to obtain in, then to my surprise it was in some other language, or I didn’t have a codec for it, or it just plain would not burn…. soooo many issues I had, so many waisted blank DVD’s. I found it was much much easer to get a netflix subscription and burn them. Now for sake of argument I am a very high end computer user, but I know people, (including my parents) who found my idea very intriguing to them. I installed the programs on their mid-level P-4 tower and they have not called me with a problem yet. (which is amazing because at least once a month calling me that they “messed the tv up” with their universal remote control) If you ask me, file sharing is much more of a pain then ripping, but hey thats just my opinion.

TheDock22 says:

Re: Im not so sure...

I think the point is that they can’t classify ripping your Netflix discs a loss of profit. I’m not sure how rental companies are setup, but either way that movie was bought and paid for by somebody. I used to get my Netflix discs, burn them, and send them back leaving me to watch my movies later. Trouble is, now I have stacks of movies I will never watch again. Actually, if I like the movie I usually go buy it anyway for the extras that come on the disc.

So…I don’t think this would count as a “lost” sale…I mean I did pay money to rent it in the first place.

Haywood says:

Re: Re: I'm not so sure...

I learned that lesson on VHS. I have several cases of movies ripped from rental or recorded off of Satellite that were maybe viewed once after copying. I have a few DVDs I’ve copied, but they gather dust. I seldom even keep the P2P stuff after seeing it, most aren’t that good to begin with, and there is a steady supply of new.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Im not so sure...

jeeper8788 – Your right. Ripping a DVD that was rented or borrowed from a friend is so much easier than downloading it from P2P.

Like others here, I too will go purchase the DVD if it’s a movie I really like. So, my netflix-ripping doesn’t harm the DVD sales I would be making. I wouldn’t have purchased all the movies I’ve ripped.

I’ve setup a number of computers for friends who are non-technical, and installed DVD Shrink for them to rip DVDs. They are all able to do so with no help, and no problems. Most non-technical users just wouldn’t know were to get a good program like that without help.

TheDock22 says:

Re: Re: Im not so sure...

I think one of the major points with ripping DVDs from Netflix is that it is hurting Netflix, not the movie companies.

The main reason people rip DVDs from Netflix is they might not have time that night to watch the movie, but why wait to watch the movie when you can simply rip the dvd, pop it back in the mail, watch sometimes over the next couple days, and still have a movie from Netflix on the way.

I think Netflix is hoping most people do not have such a fast turn-around time for movies. After all, they do want to make money.

Randall Lind (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Im not so sure...

How is it hurting Netflix? People keep their account to get more movies.

Also you must be new to Netflix they do the slow down if you rent to much. if you get movies then resend them back too fast the next month they will delay your shipping a day or two.

Really this is a none issue with me but a lot of people complain.

insomniac4104 says:

I definitely agree with jeeper8788. I have had waisted 2 days download time before to find the torrent was wrong or movie was in Japanese or a really lousy cam. Trying to dig though torrents to get one that is correct is not worth the hassle. Using DVD For Free (dvd43) and Nero Record I can usually make a flawless copy of my DVD’s without even having to rip it to the drive. Granted the burning is faster if I rip it to the hard drive first especially for multiple copies. But either way it is way more faster than downloading torrents.

Randall Lind (profile) says:

Netflix owns

just seems copies movies don’t last as long but I don’t see an issue as long as the person is not selling them.

Most people don’t copy movies from Netflix, Blockbusters is because a lot of people just don’t know how. I run in to people all the time that just don’t know or don’t want to take the time to do it.

I think people would buy movies if they stop all this DRM crap or lower the price to like $9.95 a movie. If we are not allow to skip ads etc then at least they can do is drop the price under $10!

The infamous Joe says:

Be fruitful and multiply.

File sharing is big, but much of it starts with a ripped CD.

Exactly– but after that is where file sharing becomes the bigger ‘threat’. If there are, say, 20 DVDs of Fightclub, then only 20 people can copy it first pass– now there are 40 that can be copied second pass, but if *one* person copies it and uploads it, then anyone with a computer can copy it second pass. So, you have a finite number of discs versus an infinite (for our purposes) number of copies that can be downloaded from a torrent site. File sharing is definitely a bigger ‘threat’.

In my opinion file sharing movies is a big pain in my butt. when I use to do it, it would usually take a day or so to obtain in

I am running a nothing special computer on a nothing special internet (cable) connection and I can download a popular movie (read: Well seeded) in 15-30 minutes. If you’re on wireless router, you probably need to set up port forwarding and a static IP address, if you’re directly connected, you need to change the default port of your torrent program because your ISP is probably blocking that port, being the tools that they are.

In my experience, downloading is far more convenient and quicker– the problem is setup and tweaking can sometimes be a pain. I don’t know that I’ve ever even ripped a DVD, so I don’t know how long it takes start to finish– but waiting for a DVD to come in the mail plus a monthly netflix subscription makes ripping an obvious no-go for me. I, too, end up deleting the movie after I download.. the good ones are worth buying (I’m a sucker for special features) and the bad ones make me wish I didn’t bother downloading it. (I’m looking at you, The Fountain..)

Gary says:

Another reason for burning DVDs is control.

I want absolute control over what my 4-year-old son views. This means that I must be able to skip past all the garbage, ads and previews that are on DVDs. But to do that, one needs a copy of the disk where the remote control buttons are not turned off…

Thanks, DVD CCA, you’ve FORCED me to do what I have to do…

Eric the Grey says:

Re: DVD Controls

I have to agree here. I watched the Last Mimzy last night and at one point, where I wanted to back up to hear something I missed due to noise in the house, and low volume, the DVD wouldn’t let me. I got that little circle with a line through it that you see if you try to jump through the FBI warning.

There’s no excuse for it.


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Thats is BS

Actually it depends what you use to download. A lot of you guys either overlook or simply just don’t know about newsgroups.

I have a good connection which gives me 1.55MB per sec, yes that’s 1.55 MEGABYTES not BITS download each and every second and is rock solid.

So lets do some maths 1.55MBs x 60 = 93MB per min.

93 * 35 = 3,255MB in your 35 minute rip window. So ok maybe you can rip a full DVD quicker than me. But in the time it takes you to get the DVD, insert it, faff about with starting your copy programmes, purchasing your blank DVDs yeah I got the DVD ages ago…..

Fuck torrents use newsgroups.

Oliver Wendell Jones (profile) says:


I went to a local estate auction last month – the ad promised “lots of movies on tape and DVD!”. Upon arrival I noticed that there were literally thousands of DVDs and several hundred VHS tapes – and less than 2% of them had original store-bought labels. The remainder were all handwritten labels. I opened up a few of the jewel cases and inside were DVD-R and DVD+R discs with handwritten movie titles. Turns out the guy ran the local video store and made a copy of (apparently) EVERY movie they ever stocked for himself.

I mentioned to the auctioneer that it wasn’t at all legal for him to try and sell the discs or tapes, he said he was covered because he was specifically selling “only the boxes and you get whatever comes inside for free”…

The infamous Joe says:

One man's BS is another man's...BS?

Ripping takes 15-20 min per dvd w MacTheRipper, burning takes 10 min. Takes much longer to download, and once its on dvd it copies in

I can figure out what you were going to say– and I’m sure that’s true, but how long does it take for that movie to get to you? A day? 24hrs + 20min + 10min > 45min ๐Ÿ™‚

Also, I don’t have to worry about such pesky things as queues and subscriptions– though, I’ve heard really good things about that MacTheRipper program.. is there a PC equivalent? I still have some old discs I’d like to move to a hard drive, I’m just a procrastinator. ๐Ÿ™‚

I want absolute control over what my 4-year-old son views. This means that I must be able to skip past all the garbage, ads and previews that are on DVDs.

Gary, I think I’m going to go out on a limb and say that a few previews and an FBI warning aren’t going to scar your toddler for life– I mean, the previews seem to be all geared to the movie you’re watching… sci-fi flicks get sci-fi previews, western flicks get western previews, more.. ah.. adult flicks get similar previews… so, it stands to reason that if it is a flick you, even with ‘absolute control’, would allow the tyke to view, then the previews and an FBI warning should hardly be a concern. It just seems like a watery reason to justify it to me. But hey, you’re allowed to make personal copies for yourself (and I think immediate family) so you’re still in the green with IP laws anyway. ๐Ÿ™‚

jb says:

Re: One man's BS is another man's...BS?

I wish there were a windows equivalent. And yes you can make all previews go away, but I do this with toast titanium v8,it lets you remove any language or extra audio layers as well as subtitles in other languages. Only drawback is the movies start with sub-titles on and I have to manually tell the player to turn off.

It has the same learning curve as falling off a bike, insert disc from any rental store, or in your collection, hopefully redbox now, open macthe ripper, it tells you which setting are optimal and if rce is on or off, always on for sony.

jeeper8788 says:

Im not so sure...

I did have one other thing to add. I use to work at Best Buy and you would be amazed how many tech-illiterate people asked me how to burn DVD’s from netflix or wherever. Most people told me they wanted to do this because they wanted a copy for the kids, a copy for the car and keep the original in a safe place… (which that could lead into a whole new topic) but the point is people want copies for legit reasons (most that I talked to anyways) and more and more non-techy people are learning how to do it.

bob says:


They don’t want you to copy but they don’t want to give you a NEW copy either.If you lose the cd-key of your vgame for exemple.
Even if you have the original-BOX-CD , if you lose the cd-key you’re doom and you have to pay another 49.99 $. So what do peaple do? Copy and use crack or gen-key program.
But they still call you a criminal by doing so.

Yet it’s not legal.Just like it’s illegal to download a movie.Same thing can applies.You watch it at the cinema , you want to watch it again or you already have seen that movie a bazillion of time.But you don’t feel like paying again to watch something you have seen so many time.It’s illegal also to watch a movie at a friend house?

Nope . it would start to be illegal the second your friend would make you pay to watch his t.v.Like – Hey man i rented this movie but you have to pay 4.99$ to watch it! lol

90 % of what p2p share it’s *illegal* stuff.But ppl sharing them don’t make money out of it.The one making money it’s the one publishing and pubing.That why Napster and Kazaa for exemple got most of the pirated stuff deleted.That why Youtube get sued.Because the company make money out of illegal stuff.Other company pay a lot you have a publicity in youtube.because of the amount of people vising that site.
That the same for tv .Superbowl pub for exemple.

If i’m a criminal because i download a movie.Than arrest me when i copy a movie at the t.v

bob says:


yes true. It’s different
T.V pay the right for the movie.That why we have long publicity

But when i upload a movie or share a movie.It’s not for my own profit.Because i make no profit.Unlike the local cable or satellite tv via the pub.

The one responsable it’s the one giving access to it via publicity.That why Torrent is almost safe from extinction.Because they make no money out of it.Since it’s directly via p2p.Unlike Napster who had ton of Pub and spyware crap.That why Napster and kazaa suck.because they sell your personal information without your authorization and make money out of your personal life.

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