Report: DVD ripping less a threat than file sharing

Only 2 percent of Internet households have installed DVD-ripping software on their computers, according to NPD Group.

Greg Sandoval Former Staff writer
Greg Sandoval covers media and digital entertainment for CNET News. Based in New York, Sandoval is a former reporter for The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. E-mail Greg, or follow him on Twitter at @sandoCNET.
Greg Sandoval
2 min read

At last, news that Hollywood studios and file sharers can both celebrate.

Researchers at the NPD Group have found that, contrary to popular belief, far fewer consumers copy, or "rip" DVDs as a means of obtaining movies and TV shows. DVD ripping is far less prevalent than sharing files via peer-to-peer services, according to the report.

"There is an urban myth or feeling," said Russ Crupnick, an NPD senior analyst, "that people are using services such as Netflix to borrow and burn. We're not seeing any evidence of that."

Ripping CDs, which some in the music industry say is more responsible for falling music sales than file sharing, is far more prevalent than DVD ripping, Crupnick said. NPD's findings is further proof that the movie and television sectors are confronted by fewer copyright threats than the music industry.

NPD said in a statement Tuesday that fewer than 2 percent of Internet households have DVD-ripping software installed on their computers.

In the report, titled "Digital Video in America," researchers credited the small percentage to Digital Rights Management schemes and the wide perception that ripping DVDs is more time consuming and labor intensive than ripping CDs.

Crupnick acknowledged that there are plenty of software applications available that crack DRM schemes. Why people choose not to use them is a mystery to researchers.

"In my brief experimentation with these applications, they seem to work fine," Crupnick said. "It seems to come down to consumers saying 'If I can't do it in a minute, I'm not going to do it at all."