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
Comment from: Gregg Eshelman [Visitor]

What can be a mess with Amazon is they do commingled inventory. If you have Amazon do your order fulfillment and shipping, when you send your inventory to they it all goes into the same bins as other products with the same UPCs from Amazon and other sellers.

So if some fly by night sends a pallet of counterfeit series discs to Amazon, and you have sent a bunch of real ones, and didn’t pay extra for separate stocking, there’s a high possibility of your legit sets going to the counterfeiter’s customers, and the counterfeiter’s copies going to your customers.

That’s why many companies have banned 3rd party sales of their products on Amazon, even if tagged as used, refurbished etc. They’re too cheap to pay extra for separate inventory.

Aug. 16, 2020 @ 20:55
Comment from: Dan [Visitor]  

I recently purchased the Last Man Standing Series Season 7 discs from When they arrived the first thing noticed was the discs appeared to be burned on purple DvD R discs. Closer inspection revealed DVR printed on the inner ring of the disc. When I placed them in my MacBook Pro External DVD player they would not play. I did an info check and it told me the disc has 7.46 Gb which seems legit. However, when I look at the Video TS folder, it states there is no information in the folder.

I returned this set and was sent a new set which is exactly the same as above. I am suspecting both of these Series sets are unauthorized copies. I was expecting better from Walmart. com but maybe I was wrong.

Would you agree these are likely copies? If so, are others seeing this from



Aug. 30, 2020 @ 15:37
Comment from: Paul Rudoff [Member]

Hi Dan

Was the item shipped and sold by Walmart or by a third-party seller? Like Amazon, can have listings created by third-parties. Sounds like it was a third-party. I believe that Walmart ships from their *own* inventory, unlike what I’ve heard about Amazon. I could be wrong, of course. So far, I’ve never had any bad experiences with items shipped and sold by Walmart.

I had one more idea as to an explanation about what you’re experiencing with the Last Man Standing season 7 DVD set. If you look carefully on the Walmart page, you’ll see this: “Studio & Production Company: Fox Mod". MOD stands for “manufacture on demand". That means its a DVD-R product made when you order it.

It’s the same thing over at Amazon if you read the reviews.

It looks like Fox/Disney has no interest in releasing the series on actual factory-pressed discs. To me, these manufacture on demand releases are just one step above bootleg and counterfeit.

– Paul

Aug. 30, 2020 @ 21:57
Comment from: Deborah [Visitor]  

Does anyone have a reliable source for Northern Exposure (don’t care about the original music) or WKRP in Cincinnati? I’ve read comments on Ebay and Amazon where people say their discs were scratched, which makes me think they were either not new (and probably repackaged) or counterfeit. Thanks.

Oct. 21, 2020 @ 15:25
Comment from: Dan Cunnington [Visitor]  

I purchased a copy of Charlie Chan in Honolulu from eBay. On the front cover art work, his name is spelled Sydney and not Sidney. Disk and literature are the same. Is this legit?

Dec. 8, 2020 @ 09:55
Comment from: Tom Finlay [Visitor]

I bought Fargo Season One - DVD set. On ebay. The first disc (out of four) looks like it should be a double layer (DL) disc; my set top DVD player only seems to recognize one of the layers. Same with the other three discs in the set.

Using Nero Info Tool,

General -
DVD Video and 7.53 GB capacity.

Extended information-
Layers: 2 Copy protection: CS/CPPM

Content -
same as your screen shot, above, from Nero InfoTool (except for the title and date), except Region(s): 1,4 AND under

Play Time: 0 minutes (00:00:01) Whereas your screen shot from InfoTool for Tales From The Crypt has 319 minutes.
Many thanks in advance for any information on this.

Dec. 9, 2020 @ 14:39
Comment from: Derrick [Visitor]  

I recently purchased a copy of the Law and Order Season 8 DVD (2011 release) and everything looked good until I put it my laptop. The picture quality is poorer than usual quality and all of the DVDs register as having the same exact amount of data on them at 4.19 GB which makes me suspicious of them. Any thoughts?

Jan. 9, 2021 @ 23:51
Comment from: Joel [Visitor]

Thank you so much for this nice post. It’s a big help.

I’ve been buying physical media again and ran into two sets that are counterfeit: Three Stooges Ultimate Collection and Garfield and Friends Vol. 1-5 from 20th Century Fox, both on eBay. I got suspicious after makemkv gave me errors: DvdFab / Mac the Ripper.

If anyone is looking to buy these sets, Garfield is out of print and Stooges Ultimate is hard to find lately from retailers, be careful. I verified both with Nero Tool: found them to be single layer discs with no copyright protection.

I have a likely legit copy coming of Garfield volume 1 to compare the outside. I think the real copies are in black slim cases while the fake ones are clear, but maybe I’m wrong. Stooges I just bought so I am going to contact the buyer. Garfield was too long ago.

The whole thing is very frustrating. There are sellers that know these are fake and specialize in new DVDs online. But what about normal people that buy these and have no idea then sell them down the road? That is scary.

Feb. 4, 2021 @ 20:52
Comment from: Darrin [Visitor]  

There are some discs that are not counterfeit from overseas such as China that have a license to make so many copies of said dvd such as say 10,000 copies, but one can find them at a cheaper price point because they actually end up manufacturing more that they are licensed to, such as 20,000 copies and then they can sell them cheaper.

So, there are four possibilities, legitimate, bootleg, counterfeit, or over manufactured units.

Apr. 11, 2021 @ 10:45
Comment from: Friend [Visitor]

Thank you so much for this blog and the recommendation of NERO INFO TOOL. I just used it on 2 DVD sets that I purchased from Ebay and was on the fence about being a counterfeit, but NERO showed that both sets were fake. I will now check all my other recently purchased DVD sets to double check.

May. 21, 2021 @ 00:43
Comment from: Tina Wildcat [Visitor]  

Much simpler way that takes 1 minute to check . Been using it for 20 years . Friend who works for Sony told me . Look on the shiny side of the disc near the hole . There will be random holographic numbers and letters going around on the authentic sets .If you see the name of the series and season spelled out then it is a bootleg . Look at every set you ever bought at Walmart and you will never see that .Also when buying on Amazon scroll down and look for SOLD BY AMAZON and you will not get a bootleg .

Jul. 9, 2021 @ 11:09
Comment from: Valerie [Visitor]  

Is there a simple way to check the disc specs on a Macbook?
I’ve tried DragonBurn, Burn, VLC and can’t find a way to see the specs to check.

Jul. 21, 2021 @ 20:44
Comment from: Locke [Visitor]  

Came here after getting some bootleg Curb Your Enthusiasm DVDs. The way I found out they were fake, because to me they looked real, was that I rip all my DVDs and Blurays to hard drives for easy access. When I inserted the first DVD MakeMKV gave me a warning that it might not rip right and to instead rip from original DVDs.

It’s crazy to think that counterfeiters can get discs produced professionally yet the MOD companies just use DVD-Rs or Blu-ray-Rs…

Thanks for the very useful article.

Aug. 18, 2021 @ 22:54
Comment from: Tina [Visitor]  

When you buy from Walmart or Amazon make sure it says SOLD by Walmart or Amazon , not by some other seller . Do that and you won’t get a bootleg . I’ve been using a trick a friend from Sony taught me 20 years ago . It works every time . It takes 3 seconds to spot a bootleg dvd . Look on the silver side around the hole . You should see random holographic letters and number ONLY … if you see the name of the tv show and the season wrote out in white letters that is a bootleg !!! Authentic dvds do not have it spelled out . They don’t need to . Bootleggers do , so they can keep track of what they are burning .

Jan. 28, 2022 @ 17:59
Comment from: Jackson Burnett [Visitor]

This had me frantically checking the undersides of about every DVD I ever bought new on Amazon. I must have incredible luck avoiding counterfeits, since they all had numbers on the underside. (Okay, “Train to Busan” does have the movie title, but it’s from the legit Well Go USA, and there’s legit numbers alongside it, too.)

HOWEVER, that wasn’t the case when we all got copies of “Homeland: The Complete Fourth Season,” “Game of Thrones: The Complete Fourth Season,” “Minions,” and “WKRP in Cincinnati: The Complete Series” from someplace in Arizona for Christmas 2016. I knew right away all were boots, but at least they reproduced the slipcover on “Homeland” pretty nicely. “Game of Thrones” looked shoddy, and sure enough, they’re on BD-Rs! “Minions” is an odd one - there’s no parental controls, the wrong Universal logo opens the disc (it’s their 1997 one and not the 2012), and on one occasion (maybe more than one), I couldn’t get the movie to play. Lastly, “WKRP” had the underside numbers of the real release, but looked sub-par. I still keep it around because I like the show, and I even made my own custom packaging for it.

Feb. 25, 2023 @ 14:18

Leave a comment

Click here to log in if you already have an account on this site.
Your email address will not be revealed on this site.
(Set cookies so I don't need to fill out my details next time)
(Allow users to contact me through a message form -- Your email will not be revealed!)

Who you gonna call?

Please answer the question above.
We ask for this in order to slow down spammers.
Sorry for the inconvenience.
Please log in to avoid this antispam check.
« LG Smart TV Unknown Device Is Disconnected FixLeprechaun Returns Blu-ray Review »