If I only want to use the free version of DVD fab 5 is there a way to turn off the welcome screen so I don't see it every time I open the application?
No, it is designed that way so that hopefully you will try out the Gold or Platinum versions and possibly decide to help support continued development.
I used the free version ONE time. I was so impressed, I bought it. That was about 150 backups ago. The support alone is worth it MONEY WELL SPENT, IMHO.