Are DVD copies illegal?

Dennis Faas's picture

Are DVD backups illega l?

On February 20th, "a federal court has ruled that 321 Studios must stop making software that allows users to copy DVDs ... [The] St. Louis-based [company] said it would appeal the ruling by Judge Susan Illston of U.S. District Court in San Francisco ... [The court] has barred 321 from selling its DVD copying software within one week [ending February 27th, 2004]. " (Source:

Despite the ruling, "321 stands firm ... to fight the Hollywood Studios in their effort to take away our customers' digital rights,' said Robert Moore, Founder and President of 321 Studios. 'There is no difference between making a copy of a music CD for personal use and making a backup of a DVD movie for personal use. We are so firm in our belief in the principle of fair use that we will appeal this ruling immediately. And we will take our fight all the way to the Supreme Court, if that's what it takes to win.' " (Source:

As part of their appeal, "321 Studios said it would seek to stay the ruling so it can continue selling its DVD X Copy program. [If the current ruling holds, 321 Studios has vowed to] replace its products with a modified version that does not include the disputed software code allowing DVD copies to be made ... In [essence], users could still buy DVD X Copy for its compression technology, then download the so-called 'ripper' software off the Internet, he said. " (Source:


I have personally been using DVD X Copy Xpress to backup my own DVDs since November (when I bought my first DVD recorder), and have found it to be a very useful product.

I planned to write a review on DVD X Copy earlier this month, but was side-tracked due to the recent problems with the main server.

Oh well, better late the never.

Breaking it down: What is DVD X Copy?

DVD X Copy allows you to backup (copy) DVDs using a DVD burner for your PC. Copied DVD discs can be played on the computer and most home DVD players (most newer DVD players support DVD-R or DVD+R media).

There are 3 flavors of DVD X Copy: Platinum, Gold, and Xpress. Based on my own experience, DVD X Copy Xpress is by far the most straight-forward and easiest to use.

How to Copy (Backup) a DVD using DVD X Copy Xpress

Copying a DVD using the Xpress version can be done in 3 simple steps:

  1. Insert the DVD into your DVD drive.
  2. Choose to copy the entire disc and click Start; the DVD begins to copy to your hard drive.
  3. Write the DVD to DVD-RAM / +R / -R / RW media.

Side note: The major difference between DVD X Copy Xpress and Gold / Platinum -- aside from a few extra features -- is the price. Xpress [$69 retail] is able to copy DVDs onto 1 disc; the Gold and Platinum versions of DVD X Copy [$119 and $149 respectively] will typically require more than 1 disc to copy a DVD.

DVD X Copy Hardware Requirements

DVD X Copy requires Windows 98 / ME / 2000 / XP, a 500 MHz processor, 128 Mb of RAM, and 10GB of free hard disk space [plus a DVD-R(W) or DVD + R(W) recorder].


DVD X Copy is by far the most popular and best selling DVD backup software on the market today. DVD X Copy has won many prestigious awards and has been reviewed in countless publications, including: PC Magazine, C|Net, PC World, USA Today, and Computer Power User.

Unfortunately, DVD X Copy will no longer be available after February 27th, 2004 unless the current court decision is overruled -- and that may take months (or years). With that in mind, you can bet that just about everyone will be snapping up a copy of DVD X Copy while it's still available.

Infopackets Readers: Get DVD X Copy while you can!

All versions of DVD X Copy are covered by an unconditional money-back guarantee with free 24x7 technical support. Click to find out more: DVD X Copy Xpress (recommended), DVD X Copy Gold, or DVD X Copy Platinum.

Update 2004 / 02 / 25: Get a 4x DVD burner for only $99.00 when you purchase *any* version of DVD X Copy! Just click "add to shopping cart" at the checkout. Details are on the order page (using the DVD X Copy links above).

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