A Spam Scam?

  jack 19:47 27 Mar 2003

I have three mails on the same day and others on other days each from a differing source[?]
all offering Software to enable your CD Rom /CDburner to Read and burn DVD's
Is this for real ?
Or is it another SPam Scam?

  Lú-tzé 19:58 27 Mar 2003

It's a sort of scam - all it does is point you to a few freeware sites on the net, especially these: click here and click here .

Fred Langa (who produces the LangaList decided to follow one in the interests of investigation and that was his conclusion. I will post the link to his site if I can find it.

  Lú-tzé 20:01 27 Mar 2003

click here

I get the same spam mail that many of you do, including the ones that said something like this:

DVD Detective will give You Everything you need to make copies of your DVDs! DVD DETECTIVE comes complete with all of the software and easy to follow step-by-step eGuide that runs right on your computer that visually walks you through the exact process of copying a DVD with your computer CD-R Drive. All you need is a computer with a DVD Player, CD-R or CD-RW drive, minimum 5GB Hard Drive space, and blank CD-Rs. DVD Detective runs on Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows 2000, and Windows XP platforms....

I never, ever reply to spam offers on my own, but a *lot* of readers were intrigued by this claim, or by the many other variants ("DVD-Detective" is just one name for this type of offer). After getting literally dozens of emails asking me to check it out, I broke my own rule and followed the spam link to the sales site.

The pages there were full of breathless prose, but offered no way to tell exactly what they were really selling until you ponied up your credit card. So I took a deep breath and placed an order.

What I got in return was just a URL. It led me to a private page containing links to a collection of freeware tools that I could have assembled on my own. The one thing the site offered that you might not easily find elsewhere is some basic how-to info on the actual steps involved in decoding a DVD into component files on a hard drive, then "ripping" the files into a more generic format, such as DIVX, that can be stored either on a hard drive or on a standard CD.

In short, this DVD copying software offer was mostly a ripoff repackaging of otherwise free info and software.

If you want the same capabilities, for free, check out any of hundreds of sites that offer the exact same info--- and software--- without charge. One such free site is click here , but a Google search can turn up many others.

Given the high level of interest in this kind of software, it bears mention that there are unresolved copyright issues in cloning DVDs. I personally believe that it's completely ethical to make a private backup of a prized DVD that you legitimately own, or to make a copy of a legitimately-owned DVD for your own private use, say, on a PC that has no DVD player. As long as your use of DVD-copying software doesn't cost the DVD copyright holder a sale of a DVD disk, I see nothing wrong with it. Hollywood feels differently, of course; they feel that there is no legitimate use for DVD copying software, ever. And they have deep pockets to help them make their case in court.

On the other hand, if you or your buddies use DVD copying software to make pirate discs for each other or otherwise to cheat the copyright owner out of sales of new DVDs, that's clearly wrong--- a form of theft. In that regard, I am in total agreement with the anti-copying lobby.

So, if you want DVD copying software, forget the spam offers and use any of the freely-available tools on the web. But no matter what, please don't pirate DVDs--- or CDs, or software or any other copyrighted material. It's just plain wrong to make copies for others, or to accept copies from others.

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