To start with, someone may want to sticky this so it doesn't get lost.
Why do I say that? Because what I am typing here is going to start biting lots of people soon.
I've been backing up my dvd's for a couple of years, specifically my kid's dvds because children don't know how much money they cost. At any rate, I recently purchased Batman Animated Season 3 on dvd and when I attempted to back up the dvd's I noticed something very odd.
DVDShrink, DVD-Decrypter, and SmartRipper all would consistently "extract" the movies to my hard drive, but when I attempted to burn or play the .IFO's or .VOB's, I would see a pop-up window telling me the media was Macrovision protected and that I did not have the media rights installed on my computer to watch the movie. When I clicked OK, the movie would play, but you could not make out anything on the screen.
I was like, WTF?!
So, I started searching the internet and at first I thought I had found my first dvd's with the supposedly "new" Macrovision protection Ripguard. As I started investigating further, I could not find anyone reporting the same issue as mine. I did see all the hype about the "Hitch" movie, but it did not sound like the same problem I was seeing.
Then, I thought about re-ripping one of my existing DVD copies. I own Batman Animated Season 1 and Batman Animated Season 2 and had successfully made backup copies for my kids to watch. So I pulled out Season 2 and ripped one of the dvd's again. Amazingly, when I went to play the dvd, I got the Macrovision pop-up again. This told me one very important thing, somewhere between May 2005 and July 2005, I picked up a "Windows Important Update" that circumvented the DVD ripping programs from removing Macrovision.
[b]The programs all report they are doing their job and removing the Macrovision, but in reality the Macrovision is transferred straight-across.[/b]
So, I reinstalled WinBlows XP, installed SP2, turned off ALL windows update capability (Windows really hates that too!) and viola!
I can play all of the movies that Windows previously reported as being Macrovision protected.
I am beginning to believe that Macrovision "Ripguard" is a myth and, in-concert with Microshaft, the movie industry is trying to pull the wool over our eyes and stop people from legitimately making LEGAL backups of movies they own.
Please spread the word about this. This is pure crap on the part of the already overbloated movie executives who cry wolf that they are losing money. If they are losing so much money then why aren't more of them homeless?
Anyway, I'm not trying to start further discussion on the effect of piracy, I am just trying to protect what I have legitimately paid for.