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Did I just buy a bootleg DVD?

Suppose all you have is the DVD itself, no case, no idea where it came from. Can you tell if it is a bootleg. Perhaps. The following rules, although not definitive, should give you some idea as to whether you have an illegal bootleg DVD in violation of federal copyright law.

1) Is the art on the disc printed onto the disc or merely a sticker?
Most major DVD releases have the artwork printed directly onto the DVD
2) Is the artwork blurry?
While a few major DVD releases, blur the artwork for effect, bootleg artwork will often look like a very poor photocopy.
3) Is the play side of DVD is blue or purple?
This usually indicates a very cheap DVD-R bootleg copy.
4) Are there any extras on the DVD?
Most recent major release DVDs have extras, such as deleted scenes, director commentary, filmographies etc. Be aware, however, that some bootlegs have these as well and some legitimate releases do not.
5) Is the menu generic?
Major release DVDs typically have a menu designed specifically for the movie.
6) Is the picture quality poor?
If the bootleg has been recorded in a theater or copied from a VHS tape, the quality may be very poor. Otherwise, the lower quality may only be apparent in a frame by frame comparison with a legitimate copy.
7) Does the DVD have Asian subtitles or an Asian audio track?
Unless the movie is Asian or Asian themed, this may indicate the DVD is a bootleg.
8) Does the Movie run with a footer stating that DVD is not for sale?
If so, you may be watching a screener still owned by the studio or a copy of a screener.

Brett Trout

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