Is Microsoft Cracking Down on DVD Ripping?

Not open for further replies.


In the zone
Is Microsoft trying to thwart DVD-ripping on PCs using Windows Vista with the new beta of Vista Service Pack 1?

As I tested the public beta release of Vista SP1, I noticed the update crippled a popular DVD cracking program called DVD43.

DVD43 is a free utility that disables a DVD's Content Scramble System (CSS) copy protection technology. Once a DVD's copy protection is disabled, you can copy its content using one of several third-party programs. You may be using DVD43 and not realize it, because it often is the engine of other ripping programs.

When I updated my Windows Vista operating system with the beta of Vista SP1, DVD43 wouldn't load. Instead, I saw an error message about a missing driver--even after I uninstalled and then reinstalled DVD43. A colleague of mine had a similar experience on a PC that also had been updated with the latest beta release of Vista SP1.

Stripping DVD copy protection (CSS) from a DVD is illegal but many people do it.

I've made formal requests for comment from Microsoft and the company behind DVD43. So far, I've heard nothing back. I'll let you know what either say, if and when they reply.


It's hard to say whether Microsoft is intentionally disabling DVD43. Certainly the software giant doesn't mention anything about DVD copying in its documentation for the beta of Vista SP1. But given Microsoft's interest in making friendly with Hollywood movie studios, it wouldn't surprise me if Microsoft intentionally disabled a popular and free tool that aids in ripping DVDs.

DVD43--and programs like it--have long been a thorn in the side for Hollywood, as DVD-ripping is one of the first steps in cracking and distributing copyright-protected movies online.

Despite the Motion Picture Association of America's efforts to crack down on DVD-ripping and despite U.S. copyright laws that make it illegal, sales of software that bypass DVD copy protection continue online and at retail stores.

Many of these DVD programs have been, and still are, sold by major retailers. However, when purchased, some of the programs can't copy DVDs equipped with copy protection. You must use an Internet search engine to find and download a program, such as DVD43, that empowers your DVD copy program to duplicate the contents of any CSS-protected DVD.

It's my experience in reporting past stories on DVD-ripping that many DVD-ripping programs recommend DVD43 to their customers., a Web site that lists download sites for DVD43 as well as the DVD-ripping packages it works with, is owned by a company based in Beijing, China, according to Internet domain registration records.

In further tests, I did find that at least one other popular DVD utility, AnyDVD, which promises to "unprotect encrypted movie DVDs," did work with the beta of Vista SP1 installed--as its product description asserts. However, this is not free software: It will cost you 49 Euros, or about $72.

At least for now, it appears that casual DVD rippers will be stymied if they choose to update their Vista PCs with the Vista SP1 beta--and that those who want SP1 and copies of their Hollywood DVDs will have to pay up to keep ripping.


some programs would go haywire after installing service packs and there will be an update for the program. this is also true for AV softwares. it happened during SP1 and also SP2 of windows xp. whats new in this ???
Not open for further replies.
Top Bottom