Macrovision is a piracy protection system that darkens the video image if it is copied from a standard DVD player.
First off, this is NOT a subversive message to coax anyone to break the law. However, there are plenty of times when it is vital to a project to use “copyrighted” material ripped from a commercially sold DVD. Some examples of when this is important are:
1) You acted or were crew in a particular film and wish to present a clip of your scene in a montage of your demo reel.
2) You are making a “rip-o-matic.” That’s when, as a filmmaker, you create a fictitious preview trailer using clips and footage from a variety of different movies, since your film is not shot yet. This is useful to use as presentation tool to potential investors. Of course you can never broadcast, sell, or otherwise exploit the original material. The rip-o-matic is also useful for creating a living storyboard from which you can plan shots for your own movie in the style of the original.
3) You want to use footage in a montage at a wedding or other family occasion. For example, you may want to have famous love scenes (Casablanca, etc.) edited together with your own voices dubbed in for a spoof at your wedding reception.
4) You may want to digitize the footage into your own edit system so you can practice graphics and editing.
There are probably hundreds of other non-commercial uses where you may need to rip a commercial DVD. Of course, I’m not a lawyer and do not advocate breaking any laws whatsoever, but if you really want that footage without the Macrovision (and if it is legal), all ya gotta do is run it through a time-base corrector. Don’t have one? Many professional video decks have built-in TBCs. Just play your DVD and run the signal through a pro deck or TBC and you’re off to the races.