Ripping is the process of copying audio or video content to a hard disk, typically from removable media. The word is used to refer to all forms of media. Despite the name, neither the media nor the data is damaged after extraction.

Digital Audio Extraction (DAE) is a more formal phrase applied to the ripping of Audio CDs. Ripping is distinct from simple file copying, in that the source audio/video to be "ripped" is not formatted for ease of use in a computer filesystem. For example, the hierarchy of files making up the audio/video data on a DVD-Video disc can be encoded into a single MPEG file. In addition, the copied data are often compressed with appropriate codecs. Ripping is often used to shift formats, and to edit, duplicate or back up media content. Media files released on the Internet may describe the source of the rip in their names, e.g. DVD-Rip.[1]


Ripping software

A CD ripper, CD grabber or CD extractor is a piece of software designed to extract or "rip" raw digital audio (in format commonly called CDDA) from a compact disc to a file or other output. Some all-in-one ripping programs can simplify the entire process by ripping and burning the audio to disc in one step, possibly re-encoding the audio on-the-fly in the process.


United States

On the whole, it is legal for an individual in the United States to make a copy of media he/she owns for his/her own personal use. For instance, making a copy of a personally-owned audio CD for transfer to an MP3 player for that person's personal use would be legal.[citation needed]

In the case where media contents are protected using some effective copy protection scheme, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act makes it illegal to manufacture or distribute circumvention tools and use those tools for non-fair use purposes. In the case RealNetworks v. DVD CCA,[2] the final injunction reads, "while it may well be fair use for an individual consumer to store a backup copy of a personally owned DVD on that individual's computer, a federal law has nonetheless made it illegal to manufacture or traffic in a device or tool that permits a consumer to make such copies."[3] This case made clear that manufacturing and distribution of circumvention tools was illegal, but fair use of those tools was not.

There are also legal restrictions on what may be done with rips. As made clear above, ripping unencrypted media for personal use is legal. However, it is often the case that musical works and videos are not ripped solely for personal use, but are distributed to others. Unless this distribution fits into one of few circumstances, then this constitutes an offense under U.S. copyright law as distribution is one of the exclusive rights granted to copyright holders.[4] This is regardless of whether the distribution is commercial or free of charge. The circumstances under which the ripped media may be distributed to others without infringing on copyright law include narrowly-defined fair use distributions and distributions of material that is either in the public domain or is available under a license that specifically grants distribution rights, such as various Creative Commons licenses.

An update to this ruling was issued to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act on July 23, 2010. Video remix artists and other noncommercial users of copyrighted material that falls within Fair Use doctrine are no longer shackled to a DVD copy protection measure that prevented them from legally ripping a DVD for such purposes.[5]

"Noncommercial videos are a powerful art form online, and many use short clips from popular movies. Finally the creative people that make those videos won't have to worry that they are breaking the law in the process, even though their works are clearly fair uses. That benefits everyone — from the artists themselves to those of us who enjoy watching the amazing works they create," confirmed Corynne McSherry, senior staff attorney for Electronic Frontier Foundation.[6]

Recording industry representatives have claimed (in the context of Atlantic v. Howell) that ripping itself may be regarded as copyright infringement.[7] However, there is no legal precedent for this and, even within the industry, this is the minority view. In oral arguments before the Supreme Court in MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd., Don Verrilli, representing MGM stated: "And let me clarify something I think is unclear from the amicus briefs. The record companies, my clients, have said, for some time now, and it's been on their Website for some time now, that it's perfectly lawful to take a CD that you've purchased, upload it onto your computer, put it onto your iPod. There is a very, very significant lawful commercial use for that device, going forward."[8]

Other countries

In countries such as Spain, anyone is allowed to make a private copy of a copyrighted material for oneself, providing that the copier has accessed the original material legally. A directive of the European Union allows its member nations to instate in their legal framework this private copy exception to the authors and editors rights. If a member State chooses to do so, it must also introduce a compensation for the copyright holders. In all of Europe, except for a few exceptions (the UK, Malta...) the compensation takes the form of a levy excised on all the machines and blank materials capable of copying copyrighted works. Making copies for other people, however, is forbidden, and if done for profit can lead to a jail sentence. This is also true for Sweden and Poland and most European countries. All of them have introduced a private copying levy, except for Norway, that compensates the owners directly from the country's budget. In 2009 the sum awarded to them was $55 million.

In Australia[9] and New Zealand[10] a copy of any legally purchased music may be made by its owner, as long as it is not distributed to others and its use remains personal.

In the United Kingdom, making a private copy of copyrighted media without the copyright owner's consent is currently illegal,[11][12] but the UK government's new Digital Economy Act is likely to make copying of CDs for personal use legal.[13] According to one survey, 59% of British consumers believed ripping a CD to be legal, and 55% admitted to doing it.[14][15]

See also


  1. ^ DVD-Rip
  2. ^ RealNetworks v. DVD-CCA (RealDVD case), Electronic Frontier Foundation, 2009-08-11, 
  3. ^ RealNetworks v. DVD-CCA - MEMORANDUM & ORDER, Electronic Frontier Foundation, 2009-08-11, 
  4. ^ Krasilovsky, M. William; Shemel, Sidney; Gross, John M.; Feinstein, Jonathan, This Business of Music (10th ed.), Billboard Books, ISBN 0823077292 
  5. ^ Statement of the Librarian of Congress Relating to Section 1201 Rulemaking, U.S. Copyright Office, 2010-07-23, 
  6. ^ Rulemaking Fixes Critical DMCA Wrongs, Electronic Frontier Foundation, 2010-07-26, 
  7. ^ Fisher, Marc (2007-12-30). "Download Uproar: Record Industry Goes After Personal Use". Washington Post. 
  8. ^ Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd. (3/29/05), 04-480 Similarly, there are some who argue that existing copyright laws need revision to allow legal filesharing. See, for example, Kusek, David; Leonhard, Gerd (2005). The future of music : manifesto for the digital music revolution. Boston: Berklee Press. ISBN 0876390599 
  9. ^ Australian Copyright Act 1968 - Section 109A: Copying sound recordings for private and domestic use
  10. ^ New Zealand Copyright Act 1994 - Section 81A: Copying sound recording for personal use
  11. ^ Chancellor urged to decriminalise ipod users, Institute for Public Policy Research, 29 October 2006
  12. ^ Digital lock's rights and wrongs, Spencer Kelly, BBC Click, Friday, 16 March 2007
  13. ^ "Government drops website blocking". BBC News. 2011-08-03. Retrieved 2011-08-03. 
  14. ^ "UK 'has the worst copyright laws'". BBC News. 2009-04-15. Retrieved 2010-05-22. 
  15. ^

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ripping —   [dt. »aufreißen«] (rippen), Einlesen von Musikstücken einer Audio CD oder eines Spielfilms von einer DVD in ein Anwendungsprogramm, verbunden mit der Kodierung der eingelesenen Daten in ein computerlesbares Format (z. B. WAV, MP3 oder MPEG 4) …   Universal-Lexikon

  • ripping — ► ADJECTIVE Brit. informal, dated ▪ excellent …   English terms dictionary

  • ripping — [rip′iŋ] adj. 1. that rips or tears 2. [Old Slang, Chiefly Brit.] excellent; fine; splendid rippingly adv …   English World dictionary

  • Ripping — Rip Rip, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Ripped}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Ripping}.] [Cf. AS. r[=y]pan, also Sw. repa to ripple flax, D. repelen, G. reffen, riffeln, and E. raff, raffle. Cf. {Raff}, {Ripple} of flax.] 1. To divide or separate the parts of, by… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Ripping — This interesting and unusual surname, recorded in London church registers from the mid 16th Century under the variant spellings Riping, Rippin, Rip(p)on, Rippen etc., has two distinct possible origins. The first and most likely origin is French… …   Surnames reference

  • ripping — adjective Etymology: probably from present participle of 1rip Date: 1846 chiefly British excellent, delightful < I ve had a ripping time here W. S. Maugham > …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • ripping — adjective a) That rips, or can be removed by ripping. b) Excellent …   Wiktionary

  • ripping — adj. Ripping is used with these nouns: ↑yarn …   Collocations dictionary

  • ripping — rip·ping || rɪpɪŋ adj. excellent, great, fine (Slang) rɪp n. tear, rent, opening caused by ripping; area of water with a strong or turbulent current; ripoff, cheat, instance of deception v. tear, rend; be torn, be rent; criticize sharply,… …   English contemporary dictionary

  • ripping — adj. Brit. archaic colloq. very enjoyable (a ripping good yarn). Derivatives: rippingly adv …   Useful english dictionary

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