Not sure who to credit on this, but there is a fun little info-graphic hosted at i.imgur on the difference between a “pirated” DVD and one purchased legally.
As one who has purchased many more DVDs than than is considered healthy by the American Medical Association, I can say that the very first thing I do is rip them to a DVD-R. The original goes straight into a drawer where it either rots for eternity or gets re-ripped if (and often when) I end up destroying the backup. This is partly because of what is described in this picture, partly because I want to be able to play them on my computer without having to use up my 5 change limit on region-locking, and partly because the materials they use to produce these DVDs are notoriously flimsy and wouldn’t last 10 seconds with my two year old.
If you’re looking for some good software on DVD-ripping, I recommend checking out Handbrake which is a nice one-click affair (and of course free). Also free for all of your computer region woes, you might want to grab a copy of DVD43.