How Do I Spot A Bootleg DVD?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Andre D, Feb 12, 2002.

  1. Andre D

    Andre D Stunt Coordinator

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    So many of my friends have been accidently purchasing bootleg DVD's. I was just wondering, is there an obvious ways to spot a fake? I know we are not supposed to have any discussions about bootleg, but I just want to make sure any movie I purchase is authentic. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    1- If it's on Ebay, automatically be on your guard (not that there isn't tons of legit product on Ebay)

    2- If the seller is from ANY Asian country except Japan, beware

    3- Is it a major movie from a US studio, or you haven't seen the DVD in the store, and it's Region 0 with Chinese and/or English subtitles. Warning! This is your #1 indicator it's a bootleg, ESPECIALLY if it's anime. Any major movie that's region 0 should set off warning bells anyway.

    4- Compare the specs to the reviews of the discs on websites, or on places like express.com. Do they match up? If specs are missing, you may want to be suspicious.

    And since you're in NYC

    If it's on the street, it's either hot, or a bootleg

    If it's in Chinatown, and it's not a videogame, it's a bootleg
     
  3. Andre D

    Andre D Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Jeff. Is there any otherway to tell just by looking at it, such as holding the disc to light or something similar?
     
  4. Roger Mathus

    Roger Mathus Supporting Actor

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    It used to be very easy to spot a bootleg due to spelling errors, low quality printing and even overt errors like wrong studio. These days, however, many bootlegs sport near perfect packaging and the discs even have authenic art on the disc. If you order from known importers in U.S., you should be safe. There are also a couple of retailers in Hong Kong (known on HTF) that are sellers of only licensed product.

    Jeff, I would not assume that everything out of Japan is real stuff. There are plenty of bootlegs in Tokyo. There are also a number of top titles from independents and small studios that were released in USA by majors but available to other media companies in other countries. There are a handful of excellent DVDs available in Korea that are Region 0 and fully licensed to known media companies. Recent examples are Pulp Fiction and Seven Years in Tibet.
     
  5. Gui A

    Gui A Supporting Actor

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    From thedigitalbits.com
    [​IMG]
    Also, I read somewhere else that bootleg discs are almost always on a single layered (or silver back) discs, as they're cheaper to produce.
     
  6. rutger_s

    rutger_s Supporting Actor

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    Bootleg DVDs have these logos on the front...
    DCS
    Dolby Digital 5.1 EX
    Also many bootleg DVDs now advertise a dts audio option as being included on the disc despite the fact that many do not have them. Just look for the banner which reads: "Dolby Digital Digital Sound dts."
    Also, the DVDs with the "The Greatest Movie Collection" banner are legal releases in Taiwan ONLY. Due to Taiwan's copyright laws, any film prior to 1965 is public domain. Once these titles leave Taiwan, they become pirated DVDs.
     
  7. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Roger, it's true there are plenty of boots in Tokyo I'm sure, but they are mostly of Chinese origin I'll wager. I have never found a seller in Japan on Ebay selling boots personally.

    Korea does host a lot of legit product, they have great quality releases (I'm blown away by the Ginga Tetsudo 999 discs from Korea!)

    Most of the boots are produced on retooled CD plants, but I have started to see dual-layered boots hitting the market, so that's no longer a good indicator.

    I should note that there are plenty of legit HK movies with DD/DTS R0 and Chinese/English subs

    Mostly I was trying to present a rough guide to telling if it's a boot or not. It's not perfect, but will shoot down 95% of the boots out there.
     
  8. Sam_K

    Sam_K Stunt Coordinator

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    You get what you paid for... if it's a bargain, it probably is not.
     
  9. Roger Mathus

    Roger Mathus Supporting Actor

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    Jeff, I suspect that you are correct that they are SE Asia origin. I have not looked closely at them. Based upon one (now apparently busted website) some do indeed have dual layer capability. It is getting very difficult to tell. First line dealers, however, know their sources. I have lived in Asia for 23 years (11 in Korea and last 12 in Japan) and I have seen lots of pirated products of all types. I even saw CDs being sold from a cart in Tokyo Station with disclaimer " This is unauthorized recording of live concert so sound may not be equal to studio quality." These audio CDs appeared to have been made in Japan.
     
  10. Matt DeVillier

    Matt DeVillier Supporting Actor

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    Beware of HK sellers offering any of the James bond discs on ebay. I emailed one to make sure he was selling the Region-1 SE as his auction advertised, which he confirmed, and ended up getting a boot =(. Now, it was probably the best quality boot I've seen (the A/V were directly taken from the R1 dvd, as the bitrates matched perfectly), and wouldn't be quite as pissed if the movie label on the disc/packaging matched the movie actually on the disk.

    Now that I have the disc it's pretty easy to tell it's a boot, but from the picture/description in the auction it wasn't nearly as clear.
     
  11. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Yep, frequently they just rip the R1 disc and kill the region code, maybe add chinese subs.

    Roger, like I said, I don't doubt that they exist, heck they make bootleg CDs here. I'm just saying it's not the gigantic boom industry that it is in China, Malaysia, etc. Mostly it's relegated to guys on the street, or in Chinatown, or in backstreets. Not openly all over the place.
     
  12. Matthew Kiernan

    Matthew Kiernan Stunt Coordinator

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    One way is to check the casing. For example, if it's a Warners title and it's in a keepcase as opposed to a snapper, then it's a bootleg. That's one thing I've seen happen.
     
  13. Juan C Toro

    Juan C Toro Stunt Coordinator

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    Andre:
    Simple:
    Buy your DVD from a reputable store!!!
    I doubt very much that Best Buys, Wal Mart or such stores, are going to sell you a bootleg.
     
  14. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Matthew, only the US is still cursed with snappers, so that's no longer a reliable measuring stick
     
  15. Andre D

    Andre D Stunt Coordinator

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  16. rutger_s

    rutger_s Supporting Actor

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    Look for logos or banners that should NOT be there...

    Like the DCS logo on many pirated titles.

    Or for Paramount Home Entertainment DVDs, a dts logo.

    Also check the layout of the specifications.

    For R1 discs, only Dreamworks, Universal, Goodtimes, HBO, and MGM use grids for the specs on a disc. Paramount, Disney, Columbia, Anchor Bay, and Fox list the specs in a box with the special features. Warner Brothers and New Line list the special features in a box and the specs at the bottom.

    If you suspect the disc, pop it in.

    The menus should allow you access to all the features listed. The menu should also not have a DCS logo on it. If it does have the DCS logo, you can select this to see the Digital Cinema Sound trailer. This is a sign of an Asian bootleg.

    Finally, look for ANY spelling errors on the package, disc artwork, and the English subtitle options.

    You should know this...

    Buena Vista Home Entertainment always provides subtitles for the deaf & hearing impaired. If the disc only allows you access to regular English subtitles with no cues for sound or music, its a bootleg.

    Paramount Home Entertainment also provides subtitles for the deaf & hearing impaired on most of its titles as well.
     
  17. Ryan L B

    Ryan L B Supporting Actor

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    I ended buying The Iorn Monkey Region free dvd import from someone on Ebay. When I put it in the PS2, I only got the english dub. I have yet to try it on my new DVD-VCR combo or on the computer. I was wandering if this is a bootleg or if it legit.
     
  18. DaleR

    DaleR Stunt Coordinator

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    if the dvd in question has a leg with a boot on it be on your guard.
     
  19. rutger_s

    rutger_s Supporting Actor

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    Iron Monkey has had a legal release by Tai Seng in the U.S.

    Its the same as the Hong Kong release by Mega Star which is an all region NTSC disc. The disc should have Dolby Digital Cantonese & Mandarin and Stereo English with these subtitle options: Chinese(Traditional & Simplified), English, Japanese, Bahasa(Malaysia), Thai, Vietnamese, and Spanish.

    The R1 release of Iron Monkey by Dimension is listed as having English only as the language track.

    Tai Seng also distributes Iron Monkey 2 in the U.S. and this version only has an English soundtrack presented in mono and full-screen.

    Then there is The Iron Monkey(1977) which is distributed by Xenon in the U.S. and this also has a mono English soundtrack.
     
  20. Sam Davatchi

    Sam Davatchi Producer

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    I have an easier solution. Post a topic in this forum about it. If the topic gets closed, it’s bootleg, if it didn’t, it’s not! [​IMG]
     

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