Chapter 4. Ripping DVDs

The Skim

But, Is This Legal?

Ripping DVDs

I'm not saying that the iTunes Store isn't a useful place to buy movies and TV shows. Just the other day, I was packing up after a week in San Francisco and wanted to download something to watch on my 6-hour flight home. So I got Mon Oncle, and ...

Oh. No, that isn't in the iTunes Store. So I got Mystery Science Theater 3000, and ...

Nope. Columbo? Raiders of the Lost Ark? Shadow of the Thin Man? Paul Blart: Mall Cop?

So I rented Paul Blart: Mall Cop and was mightily entertained for the first 14 minutes before I turned it off.

You see the problem. Thousands of movies and TV shows are available via iTunes. Hundreds of thousands of titles are available on DVD; more to the point, the movies and shows you actually want to watch on your iPhone are on DVD. Oh, and when you buy The Big Lebowski on DVD, you get all kinds of extras ... and you'll be able to watch it in all kinds of places other than your iPhone and iTunes.

Yeah. I buy DVDs and rip them into movie files. It gives me access to a much larger library, I get all kinds of premium content (yes, iTunes now has "iTunes Extra" content but now we're talking about a range of offerings that's a subset of a subset of what's available on DVD) and it's usually cheaper, besides.


Oh, legal, legal, legal! I swear! Is following the system of laws that keeps our democracy in place ...

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