Even as I begin to write this, there’s a bit of irony here because very soon people may start sharing movies old-school style by trading ripped discs with each other. I’ll explain that further in a moment.
To “rip” a disc simply means to make a copy of it, either to a file (like an ISO) or another disc. When DVD writeable drives starting becoming affordable, the DVD was already well-established in the home video marketplace and people hadn’t used VHS for years, so people started ripping discs like crazy.
DVD ripping became very popular once Netflix became widely available. It was a very common thing for people to get their Netflix movies on DVD in the mail, rip them, send back, get more movies, rip again, repeat. I knew a guy once who had at least 3 full large flip-folders full of nothing but ripped movies he rented from Netflix. Each folder held somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 ot 75 discs.
When Netflix changed their cheap renting and started charging more, that’s when many thousands of subscribers dumped the service because the party was over, so to speak. (To note: I am a Neflix subscriber but only subscribe to the online streaming portion because I never had interest in the physical DVDs from that particular service.)
DVD ripping has been largely replaced either with watching movies streamed online, or just outright downloading them illegally via torrent and watching locally on your computer.
However, there’s a very good possibility DVD ripping may come back in style due to ISPs becoming their own “copyright cops”.
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