Copying DVDs?

I have recently gotten a spate of email spam from people claiming to sell software (or something) that allows me to copy DVD (movies, presumably) onto my CD burner, then play them back in my DVD player.

Is anyone aware of this? Is it something that can be done anyway with no special software? What are the downsides?

- Eric
You mean besides the fact that it is illegal?
Yes, I'm curious about the technology involved. I don't yet have either a CD burner or a DVD player.

I'm curious because I assumed that DVD-V and CDs are so different that you could never have a movie on CD. Also that DVDs hold more info, so that quality must be dropped if a movie goes from DVD to CD.

So is this actually possible technically, or are these complete scams?

I don't actually plan to do this, but my curiousity is piqued by the "format wars."

- Eric
Actually, under the "fair use" doctrine, it's not illegal to copy a cd or dvd for one's own use, eg, making a copy for the car.

But the original question leads me to another question:
I have been doing vinyl restoration, ie, copying it onto cd. I first copy at 24bit/96KHz and then depop it, clean it up, etc., and then convert to 16/44. However, with all the dvd burners coming out, does anyone know of any software which will allow me to take the 24/96 file and burn it to a dvd using dvd-audio format?
I purchased one of those programs to copy dvd's on a cdr, I have had this for a month now and have yet to try it. The reason? it's not just one simple program like your average burner program, you have to copy this file, copy that file, use this program, use that program etc etc, in other words a royal pain in the A##. And from what I gather what you come out with is not a dvd , but a cvd (computer video disk) which may or may not work in your dvd player. My advice, save your money. The price for dvd burners is dropping all the time. Just my opinion. TG
Gboren- not trying to split hairs, but I believe that's only true (fair use) if you own the DVD/CD/LP. Since you can't be in two places at once, its fair use if you make a copy for backup, archival, convenience purposes. If you copy software that you didn't pay for, or if you use it at two different locations simultaneously, I don't think that would be fair use. That's my story and I'm sticking to it ;~).
Swampwalker - Your fine tuning of the fair use rule is correct as I understand it!
What we have here is DivX or MP 4 technology. It works well but be need to be quite good with computers to use it. DivX is free by the way and can be seen at Also, if your home dvd player playes cdv it works.
This has been stated already but needs to be repeated. It is obvious that people do not understand their rights. You can copy anything for personal use. You can not copy anything for profit!

So photocopy, lp copy, cd copy or dvd copy. Just don't rip others off.

Also, in case you are unaware it is also legal to tape concerts as long as the venue or artist has not disclaimed it in advance.

Don't take away more of our rights before big brother or the corporation do!
I saw a small report on the news a few months back about copying movies that are in the theater now to a dvd. It was mostly kids using college computers. I dont know what kind of equipment you need but I understand it is very expensive.

They just downloaded movies off the internet. I dont know where to get the info but they were showing them doing it with current in the theater movies.

As far as legal rights I always thought that if it was for your own use it was legal but a judge didnt feel that way when it came to napster.
Not sure what those spammers have in mind, since I try my hardest to ignore them. There are two formats I know of, VCD and SVCD, which will store video on a CD which can be played back on certain DVD players. VCD format can store 74 minutes or so and SVCD about a half hour. VCD is mpeg1 (lower quality) and SVCD is mpeg2 (higher quality), comparable to about VHS and SVHS quality. I've used both formats, and they are very good options for putting video to CD. But you do have to know what you're doing, as it requires several pieces of software to generate the video, convert it to the proper mpeg with the proper specs, then press it to a CD. If you search google for VCD or SVCD there are lots of good forums and faqs at there to help you do it.

I'm speaking here of playback on a TV. I think there is a way (mentioned above) to store an entire movie on a CD for playback on a computer (probably using the DIVX codec).
I agree.
Probably DIVX....
All that stuff is freeware on the net. Go to
It's the best video codec I've seen so far out there.
And it's always being improved. Microsoft originally had it, but now it's open source. I think some DVD players support the format, but not sure which ones. Anybody know?
DIVX is usually made by copying a DVD to your harddrive and compressing the video with DIVX encryption and the audio with MP3 encryption. The freeware programs automatically do all this stuff. The final product is a .avi file that can be played on your Windows Media Player that has the DIVX codec installed.

The software varies the encryption so you can fit it on a 700MB CD.

All my university friends have huge collections >1000 DIVX.... The quality is not bad to very good if done correctly.

One drawback though.. you need a huge harddrive, a DVD-Rom, cd burner and a >1GHZ processor if you want to encrypt a dvd in under a day !