It’s not a morality issue.  Shouldn’t be a morality issue, anyway.

There are times, though, when you need to make a copy of a DVD.  I’m not talking about grabbing a copy of your friend’s pirated Iron Man 2 DVD, nor checking something out from the library and making a copy because the kids like it so much.  Those are both illegal and immoral.

The type of DVD copying I am talking about is making a copy of the Christmas party DVD you got from your cousin, or making a copy of your friend’s cool skateboard videos he’s made of himself.  I’m not sure about the legality of this next one, but I’m sure of the morality: you buy a copy of a rare DVD off ebay (yes, there are individual DVDs selling for over a thousand bucks – your decision to buy them is your own), and you want to make an archival copy and use that for daily viewing.  Again, IANAL, but I find no moral problems with this.  You are not selling, releasing, distributing, or sharing it – you’re protecting an investment with no harm to the seller.  Enough preaching.

Having decided to take the plunge and make a copy of Billy’s Greatest Skateboard Tricks, As Performed By Billy Himself, you need to download CDBurnerXP.  Ignore the first part of the name, and the second part of the name, and the third part of the name.  Aside from unfortunate naming, this program’s a winner.  Download it, install it, and run it.  Extract the DVD to an ISO file (this is a copy of the disk contents, and may run into multiple gigabytes, depending on how good Billy is), and then burn the ISO file to another DVD.  Boom – a perfect copy!

So let’s review a bit.  CDBurnerXP is for DVDs, can extract as well as burn, is for versions of Windows up through 7.  And it works.

I can put up with the close-but-not-quites on the first three, since they did so well on the last one.  Nice and easy-peasy.