I've taken some flack from subscribers to the Digital Lifestyle newsletter for promoting DVD X Copy as a DVD backup solution. Some people claim DVD X Copy is nothing more than a tool for content pirates. Others prefer to use free tools, like dvdshrink, which are specifically designed to circumvent copy protections in DVDs. I personally find DVD X Copy to be a great solution for making backup DVDs designed to protect the originals, while still maintaining the intended copy protections.
321 Studios, creators of DVD X Copy, go out of their way to ensure software is used for its intended purpose. Unlike the freebies, which encourage Macrovision defeating and other obvious attempts to circumvent the content creators right to protect material, 321 Studios is very serious about deterring pirates from using their software. DVD X Copy watermarks every DVD created, making it traceable back to the license code associated with the software. Making copies of DVD backups is prevented using special encryption. Use of the software is limited through license verification. Proof of piracy leading to the arrest and conviction of offenders is rewarded with $10,000 cash.
Is the system working? While I'm sure a small percentage of users will find creative ways to abuse DVD X Copy, 321 Studios takes piracy accusations seriously. Back in November, Paramount and Twentieth Century Fox brought a charge against 321 relating to an Illinois man's alleged abuse of DVD X Copy. From what I understand, DVD copies were being sold, watermarked with the individual's DVD X Copy license. Within moments of being presented with the allegation, the individual's license code was cancelled, effectively preventing him from further abuses.
Should you be scared 321 Studios might turn your license off at anytime? I don't think so. If you are using DVD X Copy for its intended purpose, movie studios should have no reason to know what you did or did not backup.
While I'm not suggesting there aren't legitimate users making legitimate backups with less restrictive tools; DVD X Copy provides a clear path for staying within the bounds. As the court case surrounding the software's future is now under way, let's hope the courts understand we users want to protect our substantial investment in media and side with the ability to continue making backups.