CD / DVD / Blu-ray Drives / Writers

CD/DVD/Blu-ray disc copy protection

You cannot use DVD-burning software to make copies of DVD or Blu-ray movies, because it is illegal to do so, therefore, burning software cannot legally copy commercial DVDs and Blu-ray discs.

All commercial DVDs are protected by the Content Scrambling System (CSS), and it is illegal to create software that decrypts CSS.

However, DVD-copying software is still useful for use with home movies, which you can make unlimited copies of. Moreover, DVD-copying software can also recode and recompress home movies, which allows you to change the format to suit different playback modes for use on, say, portable media players and CDs.

Note that many new audio CD/DVDs won’t play on a computer’s CD/DVD drive because they are prevented from doing so by copy-protection measures built into the disks.

You can still use a computer to listen to such discs by plugging, say, a CD player, such as a CD Walkman, into the sound card’s line-in port, but you won’t be able to use the computer to copy them.

There are also cases of new stereo CD players that won’t recognise some CDs, and of audio CDs that play in a stereo hi-fi player, but don’t work in in-car CD players that are no more than two years old.

BMG, which is part of the Bertelsmann AG Media corporation and is the third largest music publisher (now owned by Sony) has implemented copy-protection on its audio CDs. Visit for more information and to access the contact information if a BMG CD won’t play on your system.

You are advised to contact the publisher and ask for an explanation if you can’t play its discs.

Note that I have read of cases in which the copy protection on CD/DVDs have trashed a system and made it unbootable. So, if you have tried to play any kind of copy-protected material on your computer and it suddenly becomes unbootable, try booting from the Windows XP/Vista CD and, if successful, reinstall Windows. Note that in order to boot from a bootable CD/DVD disc, the PC’s BIOS must have the CD/DVD drive set as the first boot device.

Compact Disc and DVD copy protection –

DVD and Blu-ray Copy Protection –