Is Microsoft trying to thwart DVD-ripping on PCs using Windows Vista with the new beta of Vista Service Pack 1? As I tested the public beta release of Vista SP1, I noticed the update crippled a popular DVD cracking program called DVD43. DVD43 is a free utility that disables a DVD's Content Scramble System (CSS) copy protection technology. Once a DVD's copy protection is disabled, you can copy its content using one of several third-party programs. You may be using DVD43 and not realize it, because it often is the engine of other ripping programs.
When I updated my Windows Vista operating system with the beta of Vista SP1, DVD43 wouldn't load. Instead, I saw an error message about a missing driver--even after I uninstalled and then reinstalled DVD43. A colleague of mine had a similar experience on a PC that also had been updated with the latest beta release of Vista SP1. Stripping DVD copy protection (CSS) from a DVD is illegal but many people do it.