The (Calacanis) Ethicist: Can I rip my Netflix DVD to my laptop/iPod for a flight?

The image Folks seem to be really enjoying my ethicist column. I launched this column after an interesting debate with Walt Mossberg over the downloading and movement of content around our various devices.

Today I have a question that started the debate:

I have a Netflix account and I’m about to go on a road trip. I’d like to rip the three DVDs I have onto my hard drive and iPod so a) I don’t have to carry the DVDs and b) so I don’t waste my battery life on my computer (dvd spinning kills the battery quicker than a compact flash card).

If I don’t send the DVDs back until after I delete the files when I return from my trip, and I don’t share the files, have I done anything wrong?

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