When it comes to DVD burning, many people have questions and concerns. Some people may be performing illegal acts without realizing it. Other people may be afraid of doing something that is against the law. So we are going to clear it all up once and for all.
Just like copying music files from the internet, DVD burning is a highly controversial process. Many people may be very confused as to whether or not what they are doing is legal. In the past, there have been several products designed to help the consumer make back up copies of their DVDs. However, in February of 2004, the laws on this changed and many companies were no longer allowed by law to sell their software copy programs.
Burning a copy of the DVD you have purchased for personal use has long been accepted as legal. People did it for many years. The fair-use doctrine of the U.S. copyright law accepted that back up copies for personal use were okay. However, the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) that stated that it is illegal to break the CSS copy protection mechanism that is on most commercial DVDs. So technically, the law does not state that it is illegal to make copies of movies. It does however; state that it is illegal to circumvent the anti-piracy technology.
So DVD burning products that ripped the movies coding were considered illegal. New ripper-free versions of software were created but these do not usually work on commercial DVDs. For now, the law basically states that you can not make a copy of a commercial DVD, even if that copy is intended as a backup for personal use. You certainly can not give that copy to anyone else or sell it or distribute it in any way.
There is a lot of software out there that surpasses the copy-protection schemes on store-bought DVDs and will allow you to make copies but you should be aware that you use these at your own risk because the law could charge you in violation of intellectual property laws.
There are however, legal DVD burning programs for unprotected discs such as your own home movies. These disc burning programs can also help you burn your home movies from VHS to DVD. If you purchase your software from the internet, you may want to be careful to make sure you are purchasing legal software. You would not want to become the subject of a legal situation later.