Everything You Need to Know about DVD Copy

2019-08-16 03:53:05     Posted by Ada


Summary: Here are all the knowledge about DVD copy you want to know, including DVD forms and protections, how to choose the best DVD copy software and how to copy DVDs.

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As the world’s most complete multimedia backup solution package, DVDFab 11 offers four major modules, Copy, Ripper, Video Converter and Creator, and a bunch of other useful utility tools with amazing features.

Table of Contents

1.      What is DVD?

2.      DVD types and forms

3.      Why do you need to copy/back up DVDs?

4.      DVD protections – CSS, APS, UOP, RC, Cinavia

5.      Is it legal to copy DVDs?

6.      Free DVD decrypters vs. Paid ones

7.      How to choose a powerful DVD copy tool?

8.      How to use DVD copy tools?

9.      Recommended: Digitalizing DVD discs to folders/ISO files     


How much do you know about DVDs? Do you want to back up your DVDs? How to get a copy of a commercial movie? Which DVD copy tool should you choose to copy your loved blockbusters and classical DVD movies? If you come with all the above questions then we promise you are in the right spot. Here in this post we will answer all the questions that are floating around in your mind and also explain the things you never thought but do need to know about DVD copy.


1.     What is DVD?

DVD, digital versatile disc or digital video disc, is an optical disc which is compact and used to store movies or other data. DVD movie discs can be single-layered and double-layered. The former features a 4.7 GB storage capacity which is the reason we call it DVD-5, and the latter is capable of storing between 8.5-8.7 GB from which we name it as DVD-9.


2.     DVD types and forms

There are different types of DVDs. You may have heard of DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-R, DVD-RW and DVD-RAM. DVD+R/RW are formats supported by Philips, Sony, Dell, Yamaha and others while DVD-R/RW/RAM are supported by Panasonic, Toshiba, Apple, Hitachi, NEC, Pioneer, Samsung, Sharp as well as DVD Forum.

dvd copy

DVD+R and DVD-R: they are a recordable DVD format which can record data only once and then the data will be permanently saved on the disc.

DVD+RW and DVD-RW: they are a re-recordable format and the data on them can be erased and recorded for many times without damaging the discs.

DVD-RAM: it is a kind of disc that can be overwritten many times but it is only supported by a small proportion of DVD drives.

dvd forms

There are also DVD+R DL and DVD-R DL that are Dual Layer writeable DVD+R and DVD-R which can hold more data than those single layered discs.

You may be curious that why these DVDs have similar functions but are named differently, but you do not have to take time to figure this out because nowadays nearly all DVD drives are compatible with all these DVD formats (except for DVD-RAM). You can choose any of them to copy/burn your DVD movies.

The above we talked the physical formats of DVDs. There are also two digital formats of DVDs - ISO files and DVD folders, both of which can be attained by copying DVD discs. A DVD ISO file is an image file that contains all of the data found on a DVD disc. A DVD folder is a folder that contains DVD movie content and the video streams of a DVD are stored in the folder named as VIDEO_TS.


3.     Why do you need to copy/back up DVDs?

Now let’s talk about copying DVDs. Making DVD copies would be necessary due to the following reasons.

Ø  Though manufacturers claim that the life spans of DVDs ranges from 30 to 100 years, we cannot promise that we can keep them for so many years under the recommended storage conditions to avoid degradation.

Ø  The plastic and shining disc is fragile and easy to be disrupted. To avoid repurchasing your favorite DVD movies, you had better back up them in advance.

Ø  Sometimes when you rent DVDs from DVD providers like Netflix you may want to keep a copy of the rented movie for later watching.

Ø  If you have collected a pile of DVD movie discs and they are taking up too much space of your room, and then it would be the best time to back up the DVDs to DVD folders or ISO files to sort out and be stored on a compact hard drive.

Ø  Sometimes you may want to have several DVD copies for watching in different places. For example, you may need one disc to be played on the cumbersome DVD player in living room and also need a copied DVD folder/ISO file for playback on the computer in your bedroom upstairs.


4.     DVD protections – CSS, APS, UOP, RC, Cinavia

For homemade DVDs, you can copy as many as you can easily and freely, but that is not the case for commercial DVDs. Commercial DVDs always come with some protection schemes to protect their copyrights. Here are some of the main DVD copy protection schemes we are going to introduce.


CSS, the abbreviation of Content Scramble System, is an encryption key that is used to encrypt the data on DVD discs. When you insert a CSS protected DVD into the disc tray, there will be an “authentication” process between the DVD drive and the player software. Only after the “authentication”, the drive will allow the player to access, decrypt and play the disc with the key it obtained.


APS, short for Analog Protection System, is a DVD protection scheme designed to distort the color and brightness of the unauthorized DVD copying made by DVD copy tools. The process works by adding pulses to analog video signals to negatively impact the AGC circuit of a recording device.


UOP means User Operation Prohibitions. Most DVD players prohibit the viewer to performance a large majority of actions during sections of a DVD that are restricted by this feature, and display the no symbol or a message when any of these actions are attempted. It is used mainly for copyright notices or warnings, such as an FBI warning.

dvd protections


RC, known as Region Code, is a digital rights management technique to protect copyright and the rights and profits of rights holders. With it, movie studios will be able to control the international distribution of a DVD release, including its content, release date, and price.


Though Cinavia is one of the major protections used on Blu-rays, it is founded on more and more commercial DVD discs. Cinavia is a protection scheme that embedded in the audio tracks of DVDs and can mute the audio tracks of an unauthorized copy of a copyrighted DVD. 

So, all of these protections stop your way of copying DVDs for different uses. But don’t worry, we will talk about some best DVD Copy software that can remove these protections completely and help you copy DVDs on Windows 10/Mac easily. But before we begin, you may want to know whether it is legal to copy a commercial DVD.


5.     Is it legal to copy DVDs?

In some countries it is illegal to bypass the CSS, APS or other protections on DVDs, so the behavior of copying DVD may be at a risk of violating the Digital Copyright Act. But in some countries, the law says that people have all the rights to deal with the things they purchased only you don’t infringe the copy right. That defines that you can decrypt and copy DVDs for personal use, but you cannot make copies of these copyrighted DVDs for distribution or any commercial use. Any actions of spreading these copyrighted contents should be illegal. So for the question “Is it legal to copy DVDs”, please first refer to your country’s laws and then think about your purpose to make copies.


6.     Free DVD decrypters vs. paid ones

Most of the DVD decrypters for circumventing the DVD protections we mentioned above are paid ones, but if you look hard enough you still can find several free decrypters. But when you are looking for them on the internet, please be alert to some fraudulent cases: some may be malware which may cause damage to your computer; some say they are providing free decrypter but the truth is that you can never decrypt any DVDs without purchasing their paid ones.

Actually, though these real free decrypters can decrypt DVDs, they are limited in many ways.

DVDSmith Movie Backup is a totally free but old DVD decrypter which can only remove “DVD Region + CSS Free” protections, which means that it is unable to manage those new protection schemes and is limited to some old commercial DVD movies. Also, it only allows you to back up DVDs to hard drive.

DVDShrink is a free Windows decrypter to back up encrypted DVDs to DVD discs with the help of Nero. But same with DVD Shrink, it cannot handle all the types of protections, such as the some new structure protections like ARccOS(Tm) and RipGuard.

Other free DVD decrypters have similar weaknesses.

Best free DVD decrypter – DVDFab HD Decrypter

Of all the free DVD decrypters, DVDFab HD Decrypter should be ranked as No.1 without any doubts. DVDFab HD Decrypter is a 100% free DVD decrypter that surpasses other free tools in many ways.

dvdfab hd decrypter

First, HD Decrypter allows you to decrypt and copy not only commercial DVDs but also protected Blu-rays. With it, you can copyBlu-rays released prior to 2018 and all the DVDs except for the adult DVDs and those containing multiple VTS protections.

Second, HD Decrypter can not only copy DVDs/Blu-rays to DVD/Blu-ray folders/ISO files that can be stored on hard drives but also burn DVDs/Blu-rays to blank discs with the help of ImgBurn or Nero Burning ROM.

Third, it provides two copy modes – Full Disc and Main Movie – for you to use according to your personal habit. Also, there are many advance options for you to specify your preferred output audio track and subtitles, choose the chapters, preview your movie source and more.

Last but not the least, this free DVD decrypter provides an intuitive and clean picture for both Windows and Mac users. Moreover, the multi-lingual interface should also be a feature for bonus points.

Paid decrypters – decrypts all kinds of protections

Different with the free ones there are tons of paid decrypters in the market for you to choose. DVD decrypters like DVDFab DVD Copy and DVD Ripper are powerful enough to remove all known DVD protections, including CSS, RC, RCE, APS, UOP, ARccOS, RipGuard and more. With DVDFab DVD Cinavia Removal, DVDFab DVD Copy even can remove the stubborn Cinavia watermark.

In addition to the decrypting feature, paid decrypters often come with some other useful copy features. For example, DVDFab DVD Copy also provides users some advanced options to choose: 6 copy modes, several output sizes and 3 different output forms, etc. So basically it is not only a decrypter but also a complete and professional DVD copy software for Windows/Mac. In next part we will focus on introducing the features of this paid DVD copy tool.

You can click HD Decrypter vs. DVDFab DVD Copy to learn the differences between the free tool and the paid tool.


7.     How to choose a powerful DVD copy tool?

As we have talked about protections and decrypters in the previous parts, so the first and foremost feature for a powerful DVD copy is that it should come with a decrypter that can bypass the protections on commercial DVDs. It’s easy to find such a DVD copy tool because a decrypter has become a standard for almost all paid copy software programs. But a powerful DVD copy should not end here. So what other factors should we take into consideration for a top DVD copy software? Now let’s dig into the details.

dvd copy software

Ø  Copy mode: a good DVD backup software program should not only copy DVDs in 1:1 ratio without compression but also have the ability to compress DVD-10 to a smaller size.

Ø  Copy speed: though a DVD is not as large as a Blu-ray movie, you still need take some time to copy the nearly 5 G or 10 G contents from a disc. You won’t want to spend more than one or two hours to copy a DVD disc.

Ø  Quality: quality is important if you want to get a perfect copy of your favorite DVD movies. A good DVD copy software program should output exact copies which are indistinguishable from the original under 1:1 copy, and should give a copy with minimal quality loss when users choose to compress their DVDs.

Ø  Input formats: a powerful DVD copy program should not be limited to disc sources. What if you want to make a copy of a DVD ISO of DVD folder?

Ø  Output formats: DVD-5 or DVD-9 should be the basic output formats. But if a DVD copy program has the ability to output ISO files or DVD folders for digital storage we believe it will bring great convenience to you.

Ø  Customization tools: a DVD copy expert will give you some customization tools to copy your DVDs in your way. You should have the choices to copy the exact part you want or to get rid of the protections or not.

Ø  Ease of use: a great DVD copier should be modern, clean and intuitive, which allows you to begin a copy process with minimal effort. You won’t want to take a long time to find out all the features you need.

DVDFab DVD Copy - Easy, fast and versatile

DVDFab DVD Copy would be such a powerful DVD copier you can choose. It meets all the standards we listed above and is easy, fast and versatile enough to satisfy all your needs.

It comes with 6 copy modes: Full Disc, Main Movie, Customize, Split, Merge, and Clone/Burn. Just as their names imply, every mode has a different purpose:

Full Disc is to copy the whole DVD disc;

Main Movie is for copying the main movie title;

Customize allows you to copy DVDs in your way;

Split is to split one DVD into two, Merge is to merge two or more DVDs into one

Clone/Burn is for lossless copy;

The first 5 modes can be used to compress the contents on DVD-10 to fit for DVD-5 and the Clone mode is for 1:1 copy only.

copy dvds on windows

Therefore, when you are going to copy a DVD with it, you can choose to make a 1:1 copy without losing any quality or compress a DVD-10 disc for a smaller-capacity one.

With its support to the latest hardware acceleration technology, DVDFab DVD Copy is the fastest DVD copier you should choose. It is able to copy a DVD movie in only a few minutes.

Quality is always the ultimate pursuit of DVDFab. Even the most experienced experts cannot find quality loss on DVDFab burned 1:1 copy. And for the compressed output, only minimal quality loss can be seen.

This DVD copier works on not only DVD discs, but also ISO files and DVD folders. The DVD source can be DVD ISO files or DVD folders you get from other places and the output can be ISOs and folders that can be stored on your computer. Namely, with it you can directly copy DVDs to hard drive.

DVDFab DVD Copy also contains many customization tools. You can copy the exact parts of a DVD by choosing the titles, chapters, audio tracks, subtitles you want. You can also go to the “Common Settings” of the software to choose the DVD protections you want to get rid of.

Yes, there are so many features in this copy tool, but DVDFab DVD Copy is never a complicated one to use. Its interface design is modern and intuitive. With all the major features shown on the main interface, even novice users can learn how to use it easily. For details of how to use it, please go to the next part.


8.     How to use DVD copy tools?

The using steps of DVD copy tools are similar. Usually you need first to choose the copy mode you want, then load your DVD sources and customize your settings and finally click the “Start” button. DVDFab DVD Copy has the same steps if you do not want to bother yourself with many customizations.

First, launch DVDFab 11, choose the Copy module and choose a copy mode.

Second, load your DVD source, whether it be commercial a DVD disc, ISO file or DVD folder.

copy dvds on win/mac

Third, choose the titles, chapters, audio tracks, subtitles you want. For choosing the output as DVD-9 or DVD-5, please click the “wrench” icon. For more settings about DVD, please click the “down-triangle” menu button on the top right corner of the main interface. Of course, if you want make things easier, you can skip this step. The default settings should be okay for you.

copy dvds on win/mac

Fourth, navigate to the bottom of the main interface to choose the output as a DVD disc, ISO file or DVD folder. Then click the “Start” button.


9.     Recommended: Digitalizing DVD discs to folders/ISO files

As we have said, you can back up DVDs by burning them to blank DVD-5/9 discs or copying them to digital DVD folders or ISO files. Well, we strongly recommend you to choose the second way to copy your DVDs to hard drive. If you are a DVD movie enthusiast, you won’t keep only several DVD discs. On the contrary, you probably have collected several shelves or boxes of DVD discs and are wondering how to deal with discs to free up more space for your daily activities.

So just right, one of the obvious benefits of digitalizing DVDs is that you can put all of your DVD movies into a small and compact hard disk drive and therefore frees up a lot of space. Furthermore, after you digitalize your DVD discs as ISOs or folders you can sort out your DVD movies easily according to different genres and then find the one you want to watch with only a few mouse clicks.

copy dvd to hard drive

Second, the plastic DVD discs are fragile and needs to be preserved carefully. While if you turn them into digital files in ISO or folder formats you can have them for a longer time without worrying too much.

Another benefit of copying DVDs to ISOs/folders is that you can free yourself from cumbersome DVD players. If they are stored in digital formats, they will be not only limited to the physical players but some DVD player software programs available for Windows or Mac. That means, you can also watch DVDs on your computer without a connection to a physical DVD player.

Finally, if you choose the output as an ISO or folder, you can even copy DVDs to a USB stick so that you can carry your DVDs easily to share with your friends and to watch anywhere only if you have a computer.

Now in the article, we have introduced you all the things about DVD copy we think you need to know. We hope you do learn some useful knowledge here and know how to make your decision to choose a good DVD copy tool and to make your own DVD copies. Now get moving to back up your DVDs in your way!

1. Convert DVDs to MP4, MKV, and etc., to watch on PCs, portable & mobile devices
2. Extract DVD audios to AAC, MP3, and etc., to listen on iPod, or other music players
3. Customize the audio & video parameters to meet specific needs from different users
4. Edit the output videos like cropping, trimming, adding text/image watermark, and etc.

You May Need Other Tools
DVDFab DVD Ripper

Rip DVDs to various video/audio formats

DVDFab DVD Creator

Burn any videos to standard DVDs

DVDFab Blu-ray Copy

Copy any Blu-rays to Blu-ray discs/folders/ISO files