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Community Member
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎11-19-2012

Re: Bootleg

in reply to oddtopsguy

Thanks for your reply; it helped me identify my bootleg copy of the Sopranos Complete Series after I'd already ordered it. Below are some pictures and a brief summary of the info you posted.

 

I recently ordered what turned out to be a bootleg copy of the Sopranos Complete Series box set on eBay. It was $64 + free shipping (which should have given it away immediately). Unfortunately, I only did my research on bootlegs *after* ordering. I was disappointed and frustrated enough to immediately go out to Best Buy and purchase an authentic copy for $200. Unfortunately, the outside packaging of the bootleg set is nearly identical to that of the real; the biggest differences are noticable only once the set has been opened. If you are considering buying a set on eBay, you should insist that the seller post pictures of the DVDs themselves, including close-ups of the undersides of the discs, for reasons that I will explain below.

 

Since I had both the fake and the real sets (before returning the bootleg), I decided to take some comparison pictures and post them here in order to help others avoid making the same mistake I did, and to aid people in identifying bootlegs that they may already have purchased. The following photos illustrate the differences between the two sets; the fake/bootleg copy is on the left or on the bottom in all pictures.

 

A summary of the major differences:

 

1) The dead giveaway is that the bootleg DVDs come individually wrapped in thin plastic sleeves. The authentic DVDs do not.

 

2) The undersides of the bootleg DVDs have the season and disc number spelled out around the holographic center. The authentic DVDs have bar codes and numbers in the same place.

 

3) The bootleg DVDs are all primarily shades of green or grey, and are different colors than their authentic counterparts, which come in a wider variety of colors (one color per season).

 

IMG_2769.jpg

 

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IMG_2785 copy.jpg

 

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Hope this helps.

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cheapstuff918
Community Member
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎12-22-2008

Re: Bootleg

in reply to kvhooks
It also might be a good idea to leave negative feedback regardless of a refund.That's how all those sellers stay under the radar.I've also read if you buy from "The Jungle" it could be fake also.

So the age old saying of "if it's too good to be true.....
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Community Member
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎02-02-2011

Re: Bootleg

in reply to kvhooks
If the seller didn't describe the DVDs as copies then you might consider opening a dispute, "item not as described" and get your money back.
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blue_eyes_james
Community Member
Posts: 7,350
Registered: ‎09-06-2008

Re: Bootleg

in reply to kvhooks

Let me guess one common thing.

All of these sets were at a great price, far below what you'd pay on Am-uh-zon, right?

Right.


"Laugh and you'll live long. Laugh at yourself and you'll live longer!"
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Community Member
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎02-17-2010

Re: Bootleg

in reply to kvhooks
So, the moral of the story is do some research before you bid.


I agree. Toolh**s is a good tool to use for research.
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Community Member
Posts: 363
Registered: ‎10-14-2003

Re: Bootleg

in reply to kvhooks
Hi,
I've been away from the discussion board for a while.

I sense that the missing link in this discussion is eBay itself, as they are the host of the auctions. Since they make their money from the various fees that sellers have to pay to list items, various commissions and the extra fees now charged to add more photos, add text, etc. They are more likely to protect the seller than the buyer, it's their bottom line, yo!

I'm just a buyer but the impression I get is that eBay's bark is much worse than its bite when it comes to their "strict" rules. When sellers read about eBay's strict guidelines, rules, regulations and the actions/penalties that they can(and will?) take against bad sellers, it is likely just theater. It's just put there for buyers to read, so they'll get a false sense of security, then bid on seller's items.

I've heard that corrupt sellers can easily establish a new seller name, and then there's a loophole with which they can copy&paste a flawless, 100% positive seller's history. Thus, when I find a movie or other item that they have, I check their reputation and it looks good, so I'll go ahead an bid-with-confidence.

I think eBay must have some big flaws in their software & the design of their site, so that it leaves big holes that the snakes can slither through to do their bogus sales.

There's even a way that a seller in China can appear to be a seller from Florida, or they simply state "Seller ships from several US cities." Yet when the item arrives, it has been mailed from outside the US.

When I was your age(ha!) a "bootleg" item(especially a record album) was actually considered desirable. If you were a Neil Young, Beatles or Jimi Hendrix collector, your collection was incomplete without one of each of the known bootleg pressings.
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Community Member
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎11-24-2008

Re: Bootleg

in reply to kvhooks
A few months ago I won in a auction Ken Burns The Civil War on dvd. the seller had great feedback. When I got it in the mail it was a very obvious bootleg. I wrote the seller and told him that this was a bootleg copy, and he sent me a full refund. I still buy dvds on ebay, but I'm twice as careful now.
The moving sniper snipes, and having sniped snipes on.

Apologies to Omar Khayyam
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Community Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎02-01-2010

Re: Bootleg

in reply to kvhooks
. There is legitimate no way that anyone could get the Sopranos complete series cheap enough to sell to you for $80 and make a profit.



Just to make a counterpoint to this, I have been given DVD sets now and then as gifts. If I already own them, or just plain don't want, I will throw it on here for a very low starting price. To me, if I get 10$ for a set I already own, I'm fine with that.

It is unfortunate that it is getting so hard to tell legit sets, but I'm just saying there are those of us who have sold legit sets at low prices. So, the moral of the story is do some research before you bid.
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Community Member
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎01-28-2010

Re: Bootleg

in reply to kvhooks
Also found another way to tell you've got a bootleg...

If you hit the "display" button on your DVD player or Blu-Ray player remotes with these discs in the player, the video quality will more than likely read "1080p"... these HBO complete series sets were not released in 1080 quality... they are 480. The 1080 you'll read in your display is more than likely the result of the bootleggers downloading a supposedly "high-quality" video stream and burning it to disc for these sets. Unless it says 480p, the set is bogus.
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hollyweirdentertainment
Community Member
Posts: 49
Registered: ‎12-31-2004

Re: Bootleg

in reply to kvhooks
[quote mid="523435554"]I wish the MPAA would go after ebay for their lack of action on these matters.

What other action should Ebay take? [quote]

First they should stop allowing the listing of Region 1 dvds from sellers in China.

Second, they should take seriously the reported bootlegs that by verifying the pictures are fakes. An example are some complete series box sets of tv series that have never been released with the particular cover art posted.

Ebay does not take bootlegging seriously, they just pay lip service to it.
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“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.” - Thomas Jefferson
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triyarn
Community Member
Posts: 5,974
Registered: ‎10-19-2005

Re: Bootleg

in reply to kvhooks
I wish the MPAA would go after ebay for their lack of action on these matters.

What other action should Ebay take? They ask the buyer to confirm with the studio that the DVD is indeed a bootleg. If the buyer is unwilling to do that, how is Ebay supposed to know if the DVDs are real or not?

OP and any others...If you suspect you have received a bootleg, contact the studio/production company and confirm it. Use that as proof in your case with Ebay/PayPal.
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When you tear out a man’s tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you are only telling the world that you fear what he might say.
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Community Member
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎01-28-2010

Re: Bootleg

in reply to kvhooks
Just to finalize my story from the previous post...

Opened The Wire set tonight, and it was ALSO a fake. Much like the perfect-looking packaging on the Sopranos and Deadwood sets, this set LOOKED fine from the outside and in the inner packaging, but the discs inside had markings (Asian or middle-Eastern(?) symbols on them, as if the mass-producer of these bogus sets wanted to "sign" their work.

You can tell these are fakes from these symbols, but also in a few other ways.

1) HBO does NOT individually wrap each disc in these sets in thin plastic sleeves. All four of the sets I bought from eBay had these sleeves. (The one LEGIT Six Feet Under set I bought at Sam's Club immediately after the bogus eBay one did not).

2) HBO discs do NOT have the Season number and Episode numbers in the holographic section of the discs (on the underside, around the disc hole). REAL HBO discs have a few blocks and maybe a few (barely visible) sets of numbers, but that's it. These knock-offs have clear, readable Season and Episode numbers listed under the discs, most likely for the people working on these in the factory to be able to keep track of the discs in the sets they mass-produce.

3) The video quality of most of these knock-offs is pretty sub-standard. One TELL-TALE sign is the HBO "TV snow" opening at the beginning of every HBO show episode. On a good quality video (real HBO factory discs), the "digital snow" is pretty clear, with dots of extreme white and gray. On the bootlegs, the snow cannot be rendered correctly, and breaks up into blocks of digital noise. You'll also see the images of the very beginnings of many scenes breaking up and coming "back into focus" a second or so into the scene after a split second of this same "blocking."

Whatever the case, each of these sellers pretty much tripped over themselves to refund me my money so as not to have me leave feedback telling others that these are bogus, copyright-violating, federal-crime box sets. So beware, buyers. I literally went FOUR for FOUR in paying good money for bootlegged HBO box sets... and that was after taking pretty good care to choose well-established, highly-rated sellers here.

At this point, I think it would take a minor miracle to actually get a legit HBO series boxed set from eBay.

Good luck, all.
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Community Member
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎01-28-2010

Re: Bootleg

in reply to kvhooks
Guys, I went on an HBO boxed set spree this month (birthday month) and wanted to splurge. So I bought four sets, from what looked to be very reputable sellers -- So far, I have opened three of them (Sopranos, Six Feet Under, and Deadwood -- The Wire, I gave to a friend to give as a gift, so I haven't seen it yet) --- ALL THREE that I have opened have been fakes. The SIx Feet Under one was a poor fakery, easy to spot... but the Sopranos and Deadwood sets had almost perfect packaging... however, the quality of the discs was horrible, and, after contacting HBO Copyright dept. to see what should be printed on the underside of the discs (in the holographic section), they concluded that the sets were well-crafted fakes. The Deadwood discs even had some Asian-looking symbols on the bottom of the discs...

I suppose 95% of customers who buy these sets don't really pay that much attention to this stuff... but I refuse to own a bootleg set of one of my favorite shows. Really is a shame, but I can no longer trust ANY seller selling boxed sets on eBay, as they're apparently not cracking down on scammers running rampant. One of the two sellers that had their accounts suspended after I paid for my sets (for another reason) is back on and continuing to sell DVD box sets, despite finding in my favor that the set was a fake. Sad.
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Community Member
Posts: 363
Registered: ‎10-14-2003

Re: Bootleg

in reply to kvhooks
By the way, I work on films and many producers of independently financed, lower budget movies are especially concerned about the bootleggers out there. I costs a lot of money, time & energy to make a movie. Most can only hope to break even, which is getting harder these days with every advance in duplication and how easy it is for people to find websites that offer free movies. Even You Tube will have a feature-length movie posted(in 5 to 10 minute clips) and the original producer of the movie doesn't make a dime from those viewings.
I can see that the end may be near for most people paying for movie tickets and buying/renting movies at standard industry prices.
Chaplin must be turning in his grave by now.
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Community Member
Posts: 363
Registered: ‎10-14-2003

Re: Bootleg

in reply to kvhooks
I've never had a purchase that turned out to be a bootleg or from anything but the eBay seller's stated place of origin. I guess scammers find every loop hole they can to masquerade these days.

Did the seller have a really good feedback rating? I always check that before bidding. Don't be mislead if it says they have a 97% rating. If they have 1,000's of items they've sold each month, that could translate to over 125 complaints/low feedbacks and still keep their overall rating high looking.

Is it just me, or does it seem strange to take a bootleg DVD then copy the entire DVD's contents into your hard-drive? Seems to me that is yet another bootlegging, meaning the original movie studio lost out twice.
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hollyweirdentertainment
Community Member
Posts: 49
Registered: ‎12-31-2004

Re: Bootleg

in reply to kvhooks
eBay has been useless, so far, on my conterfeit claim. I too ordered a DVD set that was listed as in Dallas, TX. Instead, I got a package from Shanghai with obvious poor video quality, and most importantly, no copy protection on the DVDs. I was able to copy the contents from the DVD directly to my hard drive, which you cannot do with legitimate DVDs. When I filed a complaint with eBay, they told me to get a statement from the manufacturer or local law enforcement WITHIN TWO DAYS, or send it back. I can't believe this response from them.


I wish the MPAA would go after ebay for their lack of action on these matters. Anyway, you can report the seller at mpaa.org.

Some advice for the future. If it is to good to be true, it is. I would avoid sellers who use 99 cent auctions or have extremely low prices. They are either selling bootlegs or stolen merchandise. There is legitimate no way that anyone could get the Sopranos complete series cheap enough to sell to you for $80 and make a profit.
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“The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.” - Thomas Jefferson
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Community Member
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎12-06-2007

Re: Bootleg

in reply to kvhooks
eBay has been useless, so far, on my conterfeit claim. I too ordered a DVD set that was listed as in Dallas, TX. Instead, I got a package from Shanghai with obvious poor video quality, and most importantly, no copy protection on the DVDs. I was able to copy the contents from the DVD directly to my hard drive, which you cannot do with legitimate DVDs. When I filed a complaint with eBay, they told me to get a statement from the manufacturer or local law enforcement WITHIN TWO DAYS, or send it back. I can't believe this response from them.
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sport-comics
Community Member
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎11-25-2002

Re: Bootleg

in reply to kvhooks
I suggest that you contact ebay or paypal.
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Community Member
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎01-04-2010

Bootleg

I recently purchased The Sopranos complete series from someone and I have discovered that it is a bootleg. What do I need to do to get my money back?
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