Comment from: David Currey [Visitor]

Thanks for the useful information.

I recently purchased a 24-disc DVD set of The Office (TV comedy show) released about 14 years ago. Everything about the external packaging (box) seemed fine, however, inside the big box, things were strange:

+ The Season 1 DVDs nowhere stated they were Season 1.
+ The Season 1 DVDs had Japanese or Chinese characters (letters) on them in addition to English.
+ The other DVDs seemed lettered properly, except the set was supposed to be Seasons 1 through 5, but Season 2 was missing, and would not have fit into the box.
+ The box had a thin piece of very, very rigid cardboard with label paper taped around it seemingly by hand, and had come unglued from the lid that opens like a book.
+ The sleeves that the DVDs fit into are the flimsiest I've ever seen in a DVD set, and are multi-page clear unlabeled plastic, and it's difficult to remove and return each DVD.

The DVDs play fine and the video quality is excellent, but the way the DVDs function does not match the labeling on the DVDs:

+ Each episode has a "(Deleted Scenes)" literal, but you cannot select it.
+ Usually, other DVDs I have purchased have the same number of episodes each disc, with only the last disc having fewer in number, but in this DVD set, the number of episodes varies from 2 to 5 on each disc, seemingly at random.
+ One disc had an episode listed that was on a previous disc, but you can't select the episode on the second disc.
+ Some discs have the literal "More" as a selection, but usually it can't be selected.
+ I was able to copy one of the discs (the only one I attempted) onto my PC hard drive.

While I am reluctant to say so, I believe this to be a bootleg set of DVDs. What's your opinion?

Feb. 2, 2020 @ 20:34
Comment from: Paul Rudoff [Member]

Sounds like a bootleg, which is different from a counterfeit. A bootleg looks fake, a counterfeit tries to look like the real thing. I've seen my fair share of bootlegs with Chinese characters on them in flea markets. Sometimes I'll buy them if they're dirt cheap (read: practically free) just out of curiosity.

I picked up bootlegs of The Godfather 2 & 3. Both had their own unique cover art using more modern photos of Al Pacino (not the original DVD art). Both were actual factory-pressed discs, and not DVD-Rs. Things got really interesting when I played them. They were ALTERED copies of the original DVDs from Paramount. Same menus, but they replaced some languages with other languages. I think they dropped Spanish and French and added Chinese. I don't remember, for sure, because I don't have the discs anymore. (I got the legit Blu-ray Trilogy set as a gift back in 2018.)

The other bootleg I bought was a HUGE Star Trek: Voyages - The Complete Series box set. When I say "huge", I'm talking about a box about two inches thick with the height and width of a large atlas book. I knew right away that it was a bootleg because no professional studio would release a set in a box like this. The box also had Chinese characters, and if that wasn't enough of a giveaway, the photo on the front was of the Next Generation crew! The discs were put in little sleeves tied together with a ribbon and placed in a square opening in the middle of this box, which opened like a book.

Playing the discs is where things got really interesting. Yes, I know I just used that line when talking about the other bootlegs, but these were even MORE interesting. Each disc contained copies of FOUR legit DVDs! The bootleggers decided to cram the contents of FOUR discs onto each one. The discs would bootup to a 4-page menu screen, which allows you to select which "disc" to view. Once you go to the "disc", you're treated to the same menus as the legit DVDs, complete with bonus features. Surprisingly, the discs played well as long as I didn't try to "overwhelm" the disc by quickly selecting a bunch of different things. I also don't have this set anymore, as I gave it to a relative who likes Star Trek.

-- Paul

Feb. 3, 2020 @ 11:14
Comment from: Mark [Visitor]  

I found your informative page when I was trying to find some info in bootleg and counterfeit blu-Ray discs. I bought the season 8 set of Game of Thrones from a seller on eBay for yes, cheap. The discs are bd-r discus. That’s a dead giveaway isn’t it? I don’t use as PC so I don’t have a program to tell be more about the discs, I just use a iPad and iPhone. You can see the data on the backside of the the color isn’t the usual gold color of a bd-rom disc. I just want to know for sure if it’s a counterfeit before I ask to return the set back to the seller.

Apr. 20, 2020 @ 23:26
Comment from: Paul Rudoff [Member]

Mark, yes it sounds like you got a fake. I would definitely return it for a refund. I added some information on recorded discs at the bottom of the original article, in case it helps. - Paul

Apr. 24, 2020 @ 21:28
Comment from: Richard Robicheau [Visitor]

An interesting article. I have been finding it harder and harder to get legitimate DVDs. I shop a lot on Amazon and find that while Amazon generally sell genuine discs the same can't be said for Amazon's marketplace sellers. More and more I find myself having to return bootlegs. The good thing is I'v always been able to get my money back. The bad is that the number of bad sellers seems to be increasing and not just with bootlegs, a number of times I've received used sets when they were supposed to be new. While it's nice that i can get my money back Amazon seems unwilling to take any action against these sellers and they just keep on selling to other buyers. The people who are sellers can afford to refund the money when they get caught knowing that most of the time they don't get caught. So the sellers continue to make money off bootlegs and since Amazon turns a blind eye to these practices they make money as well and are indirectly complicit in the selling of bootlegs.

Jun. 30, 2020 @ 10:55

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