Ripping DVDs for Personal Use – Is It Legal, What You Need to Know

Last Updated: September 19th, 2022By Categories: Rip DVD

Rip DVD for Personal Use Poster

DVD ripping – the process of bypassing the DRM and extracting the contents of a DVD movie and transferring them to a different storage device, like a hard drive – was developed almost as soon as DVD itself. The reasons for that are obvious:

  • You can back up your movies and data to more reliable storage, like a cloud service or a hard drive.
  • Ripped DVD files are in formats that are compatible with a wider range of devices. In fact, many DVD ripper apps support hundreds of formats.
  • It is possible to salvage the contents from a damaged DVD by ripping it, thus saving you the trouble of buying a new DVD or the hardship of losing a unique home movie forever.
  • In cases of region-protected DVDs, a DVD could be completely unavailable in certain regions. Ripping said DVD can remove all restrictions from it and give you access to its contents.
  • Video files may be edited or trimmed to use in personal or school projects.
  • Movies in digital form are easier to share with friends and family.

Yet, one issue must be raised before we can start ripping DVDs: whether it is legal to do so or not, and if yes, for what uses.

In this article, we have compiled all the information you need to avoid getting sued by a film-making studio because you ripped a DVD you shouldn’t have.

Is it legal to rip DVDs for personal use

In theory

The short answer is no; In most countries bypassing the DRM placed on a commercial DVD is in breach of copyright laws and considered a crime with varying penalties from one country to another.

For example, in the US, the moment you break the DRM on a DVD you have committed a crime. To make matters worse, there are very few exceptions to this rule -like academic ones -, and even then, they are rarely used successfully, if at all.

As we can see above, the law doesn’t concern itself with what happens to the ripped files themselves. This means that, regardless of how or where you use the files, you will still be on the wrong side of the law.

Can I legally rip a DVD I own

No, you can’t.

What we just mentioned, however, is the theory; in practice, neither the copyright owners nor the producers and distributors of a commercial DVD will bother to press charges against an individual who has ripped DVDs on their computer.

The key aspect here is “personal use”.

To explain, while ripping DVDs is illegal, it is very unlikely that you will get caught if you keep the ripped files on your computer and do not post them online or upload them to any sites. Even sharing them with friends and relatives might be a bit too risky.

This happens, mainly, because of the reason behind the concept of copyright. And that is, the rights to profit. Thus, redistribution (sharing) or uploading of ripped DVDs is considered a profit-producing activity (even if you are not) from material you don’t own.

Knowing this, we can move on to ripping DVDs.

How to rip DVDs for personal use

This is a very easy four-step process.
Step 1: Download and install Tipard DVD Ripper

Launch after installation.

Step 2: Load your DVD onto Tipard’s interface

Tipard DVD Ripper Load DVD

Step 3: Set up the ripping parameters; Choose subtitle and audio tracks, edit the video and select the output format.

Tipard Customise DVD

Step 4: Set the storage location and Rip your DVD

Tipard Rip DVD


While ripping DVDs is considered illegal in most countries, doing so and keeping the files for personal use, not sharing them with anyone for any reason, will rarely result in any trouble.


The same rules apply for movies in their digital form too. That includes Netflix, Hulu and most other major streaming services.

Yes, VLC can be used to rip DVDs that do not have any DRMs. Here is how.

No, bypassing the DRM on any DVD is punishable by law in England.

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