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DVD Decrypter


DVD Decrypter

DVD Decrypter
Screenshot of DVD Decrypter, the last version to be released
Developer(s) Lightning UK!
Stable release / May 21, 2005 (2005-05-21)
Development status Discontinued
(replaced by ImgBurn)
Operating system Microsoft Windows
Type DVD ripper
License Freeware
Website DVD Decrypter Website

DVD Decrypter is a deprecated software application for Microsoft Windows that can create backup disk images of the DVD-Video structure of DVDs. While it was still supported, it could be used to make a copy of any DVD protected with Content Scrambling System (CSS). The program can also record images to disc — functionality that the author has now incorporated into a separate product called ImgBurn. The software also allows a copy of a region-specific DVD to be made region free. It also removes Macrovision content protection, CSS, region codes, and user operation prohibition, but cannot copy DVDs protected with newer systems such as XProtect.

Legality in the United States

As DVD Decrypter facilitates the removal of copy restrictions, certain uses may be illegal under the United States Digital Millennium Copyright Act unless making copies that are covered under the Fair Use doctrine (or in some cases illegal even when making copies under fair use). In countries without similar laws there may not be any legal restrictions.

On June 6, 2005, the developer, Lightning UK!, announced[1] via the CD Freaks[2] website that he received a cease and desist letter from Macrovision.[3] He later stated it was within his best interests to comply with the letter, and stopped development of the program. By June 7, 2005, a mirror site was up,[4] which allowed people to download the final version ( On November 27, 2005,, a Finnish website, announced that it complied with a letter received from Macrovision demanding that DVD Decrypter be taken down from its site. Shortly thereafter, an "original unofficial" mirror site with no connection to Lightning UK! reappeared.[4]

Under United States federal law, making a backup copy of a DVD-Video or an audio CD by a consumer is legal under fair use protection. However, this provision of United States law conflicts with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act prohibition of so-called "circumvention measures" of copy protections.

In the "321" case, Federal District Judge Susan Illston of the Northern District of California,[5] ruled that the backup copies made with software such as DVD Decrypter are legal but that distribution of the software used to make them is illegal.

In 2010 the Librarian of Congress instituted a DMCA exemption which protects circumvention of CSS protection under certain circumstances.[6] This exemption expired in 2013.

On October 4, 2005, Lightning UK! continued the development of the burning engine used by DVD Decrypter in his new tool, ImgBurn.[7] However for legal reasons, ImgBurn does not have the ability to circumvent copy protections of encrypted DVDs.

After development stopped, the software was still legally available for download in some countries that do not have such copyright restrictions. However in November 2005, Macrovision acquired the intellectual property rights to the software, revoked all licenses of use for the software, and started sending cease-and-desist letters to distributors on the grounds of copyright infringement.[8]

See also


  1. ^ "Cease and desist letter published at CD Freaks". April 22, 2006. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  2. ^ "". April 22, 2006. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Slyck News - Macrovision Forces Removal of DVD Decrypter". November 24, 2005. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "(now at, aka "The original unofficial DVD Decrypter mirror")". June 7, 2005. Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  5. ^ Judge: DVD-copying software is illegal,, February 20, 2004.
  6. ^ DMCA Rules for Exemptions Regarding Circumvention of Access-Control Technologies,, April 16, 2011
  7. ^ "Official ImgBurn website". Retrieved September 4, 2011. 
  8. ^ Pyyny, Petteri "dRD". DVD Decrypter to be removed,, November 24, 2005.
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