Crazy Spelling on Chinese Lion King 2 DVD FAKE

March 28, 2009


I found this for sale in a market stall in Beijing a couple of months ago.

Note the spelling  SIMBA ‘SPRIDE

This is a blatant counterfeit, though I have seen spelling mistakes like this on some genuine Asian DVDs also.


Why are there so many counterfeit DVDs on eBay?

September 7, 2008

Why are there so many counterfeit DVDs on eBay? I don’t know the answer to this question but it really bugs me that there are so many OBVIOUS copies, and eBay do not seem to CARE!

I tried to buy a ORIGINAL USA REGION 1 Disney Beauty & The Beast recently, discarding the hundreds of obvious fakes I bought one, and a copy arrived.  I complained, filed a complaint with paypal and ordered another from another seller…again a copy, again a paypal complaint and refund followed by my ordering another.. you guessed it, another blatent counterfeit.

It would not be so bad, but I really did read the description and they all claimed to be genuine Region 1 USA versions, none were.

I just did a search again and 99% of the Disney Beauty and the Beast DVDs on are FAKE.

Am I over reacting here!  Why the hell do eBay allow this kind of shit?

It’s not just DVDs either, I bought some Sennheiser earphones the other week and was sent some obvious fakes that sounded crap, and it’s not like they were cheap either.


Or at least rename your site to ‘eBay, it may be fake but at least it’s cheap..sometimes’

Imported Disney: How and Why they differ from UK versions.

July 30, 2008

The trouble with selling (or buying) Genuine Disney Import DVDs is that they are often mistaken for Counterfeit copy Disney DVDs.  The reason it’s so complicated is that it’s not always easy to know if a imported Disney DVD is real or not, unless of course you know your supplier.

It’s easy to spot the obvious copy with the photocopied cover and the cheap recordable DVD, but it gets more complicated with factory pressed DVDs.  Often we assume that if a Disney DVD has a spelling mistake then it’s a copy, but this most certainly is not true in every case, below is a scan from the cover of a very genuine Disney DVD that has a obvious spelling error.

Genuine Disney DVD with spelling error

Genuine Disney DVD with spelling error

I have shown this to a number of people who have asked “How would Disney allow a DVD to be sold with a spelling mistake?”, the answer is actually quite simple, in most of the world Disney actually have nothing to do with the actual manufacture and/or the printing of the disc or cover.  Disney simply accept a fee from Licensees in return for the rights to distribute DVDs of movies made by Disney.

In theory the distributor has to come up to certain standard to become licenced, but in practice quality of imported DVDs varies a great deal from country to country, as indeed does the price.

British buyers pay the most, but UK Disney DVDs have great quality packaging.  US buyers pay a bit less and often put up with lower overall standards, and then the Asian versions can any standard from high to borderline acceptable standards even for local sales.

A Disney DVD that sells for £15 in the UK can sell for $15 in the US (half the price) and can also be on sale in Asia for as little as £3 (US$6), it may seem obvious that the UK buyer who is paying 5 times as much would expect a higher quality of packaging and presentation but where that £3 DVD is resold on a website to a UK buyer for say £10 then that buyer may well expect a product of equal quality to the others in his or her collection that were probably sourced in the UK.   Often the Buyer shouts “Counterfeit Copy” because it’s simply not what they expected to get and does not match the style of packaging or printing that the buyer is familiar with, sometimes it’s because of an error such as a spelling mistake or sometimes that DVD has a Region 1 logo when it’s actually Region 3 or All Region.

I’m not in a position to say if a saving of 20-30% off the UK retail price makes buying a imported Disney DVD good value or not, that is for the individual to decide, but some customers are more fussy about detail than others.

It’s worth mentioning here why Asian DVDs have so many spelling mistakes:  It’s simply that Asian languages often have phonetic spelling and there can sometimes be 3 or 4 ways of spelling a word that are all considered to be correct, spelling has far less importance to some Asian languages and this means that errors that are obvious to us may be difficult or impossible to spot for a Asian whose primary language is not English.

Other than spelling errors, here are the top reasons for people thinking that some genuine DVDs look like copies:

  • Printing on cover or disc may be slightly blurred.
  • Quality of printing or packaging materials may feel cheap.
  • Position of Asian Disney DVDs differs from UK stock.
  • UK Disney often have hologram ring on DVD, Imports do not.
  • Import Disney can come in any colour box.

Also, many Asian DVD are manufactured on different presses to the way that UK/US or European DVDs are manufactures, often a burr mark is present on the inner ring of the playing side, this is part of the manufacturing process but causes alarm to some buyers who think it’s a fault, some think it’s been scratched and others think it’s a glue mark!

The internet is full of half-baked guides on how to tell a fake DVD, worst of these guides are the ones found on eBay where anyone with an opinion can write a guide.

Anyone running a counterfeiting operation is, one would assume, perfectly capable of copying the cover from a genuine DVD and duplicating it without making spelling errors, after all a copy by definition is copied.   New release movies that are sold on counterfeit DVDs whilst still showing at the cinema are different, for those there is no real DVD to copy and one would expect that the covers and disc printing are from the imagination of the counterfeiter, in this case there will probably be lots of mistakes and quality overall will nearly always be very poor.

I can say that it’s very hard tell sometimes if a DVD is genuine or counterfeit, at the end of the day the one and only thing that makes a Disney DVD real is if a license fee has been paid to Disney.

Of course, there are lots and lots of counterfeits on the market, and if you are buying on a street corner, from the bloke in the pub, or from a boot sale then the chances are that it may be a copy.

In my personal experience eBay is the biggest culprit.  I used to buy DVDs on eBay but in my experience it’s almost a 99% certainty that I end up with a copy if I buy rare Disney titles on eBay, even when the prices are high.  Sadly these counterfeits are often described as “Imports” which gives real imports a bad name, and that’s a shame because there are some reliable and honest vendors on the web of genuine import Disney movies that represent good value to UK buyers.

Note:  Some writers of “guides” suggest that a reliable way to tell if a Disney DVD is real or not is to ask in a Disney store.  This is terrible advice because staff in a Disney store are in no way trained to do this.  I tried this myself with a genuine import DVD and some spotty teenager who claimed to be an expert on such matters proclaimed that my import DVD was a “obvious copy”.   I asked the spotty teenager if he actually knew what a real import looked like, he admitted that he did not and he added that in his opinion anything that comes from Asia is always a copy!    So don’t waste your time in any UK retail store, all they can do is make a comparison to UK distributed versions which will always be different anyway.

Counterfeit Copy Blu-Ray bought in China

July 10, 2008
Counterfeit Blu-ray

Counterfeit Blu-ray

I bought this Counterfeit Blu-Ray disc in China the other day, it was one of about 60 titles on display in a shop that is packed full of counterfeit DVDs and CD’s, the shop owner’s English was good enough for him to explain that these are not big sellers in China but that he expects to sell more in the future.

The price was $4, the seller offers normal counterfeit DVDs for less than $1 so that’s quite a premium, but I expect these are a lot more expensive to make.

I tried this is my Sony Blu-Ray player and it seems to work just fine, there are no extra features of any kind, just the movie.

This is the first “real” counterfeit Blu-Ray that I have seen, though the shelves are full of DVD’s with Blu-Ray written on the cover and on the Disc, this one is the first in Blu-Ray format and Blu-Ray packaging that I have seen, though the plastic box is very cheap and really looks fake the disc and insert both appear to be well made.

I guess the Counterfeiters were waiting to see who won the Hi-Def format war before deciding what format to copy, Blu-Ray won an these hit the shelves fairly quickly.

Below are some more nice pictures, click to zoom!

Counterfeit Beatles DVD Box Set from China

July 5, 2008

This arrived on my desk the other day, direct from China, it’s an attractive looking Beatles DVD Box Set containing 10 DVDs.  It’s interesting in that it’s not a copy in the conventional sense, but it is totally counterfeit.  I say it’s not a copy because there is no genuine product to compare it with.

The quality of the packaging is good, but throughout the internal packaging the photographs are not of the actual Beatles themselves but rather of various tribute bands, and the discs that make up the collection are just copies of other Beatles DVDs that would not normally be in a single box set.

DVDs include:

  • The Beatles: Yellow Submarine (1 Disc)
  • The Beatles: With Tony Sheridan (1 Disc)
  • The Beatles: Anthology (5 Discs)
  • The Beatles: At The Budokan, Tokyo (1 Disc)
  • The Beatles: Help (2 Discs)

The writing on the back of the box is terrible, clearly written by someone with very little grasp of the English language.  Importantly, bad grammar or bad spelling does NOT always indicate a counterfeit, I have seen many genuine Asian DVDs with poor grammar, but take it from me that THIS IS COUNTERFEIT!

Some more pictures:  (Click Images to Zoom Image)

eBay & FACT spread lies and misinformation

July 3, 2008

Ever since eBay got fined 60 Million for allowing the sale of counterfeit handbags they have been promoting themselves as “fighting counterfeit”, and they even link now to a page made by FACT with tips on how to tell a counterfeit DVD.. trouble is that information is total rubbish and likely only to add confusion.

First on the FACT checklist is “Is the film currently being shown in the cinema”, OK this is the most sensible bit of advice on the page, however many films are on at the cinema in the UK whilst they have already been released overseas, it should be made clear that this can only apply to UK Region 2 DVDs.

Next they link to a site that suggests that it allows you to check if a film has been released on DVD, THIS IS RUBBISH and should be ignored, it’s so incorrect that it’s an insult to your intelligence.

Next, FACT ask “does the film have a company hologram on the inner sleeve”, though they go on to say that MOST legitimate DVDs now carry a hologram!  In other words, ignore this completely because it’s highly likely that the DVD may actually have a hologram and still be real.

Next bit of advice, “Does the DVD come in a Plastic Case or Card Box”, and they go on to explain that illegal copies are often sold in polythene wallets.   What planet are these people on, all the counterfeits I have seen in the UK are normally in Plastic Boxes.

Now a real cracker  “Is the film title hand written on the DVD itself”… this is so stupid it does not deserve consideration.

Next, is the DVD release date the correct one.  Hmm, when did you last see a release date on a DVD box, and given that in any country the release date could differ by years, months or days this advice is worthless

Now the really offensive bit of advice, “does the DVD claim to be “All Region”.  Then they add that DVD from the UK should be Region 2.   This advice is incorrect and stupid, true most recent movies are released in the UK as Region 2, but lots and lots of older movies are released as “All Region” in the UK and genuine DVDs in many countries are normally released as “All Region” and still totally authentic.. IN FACT (Pun Not Intended) THERE ARE MORE LEGITIMATE ALL-REGION DVDS IN THE WORLD THAN REGION-2 !

FACT are showing themselves to be a bunch of morons who appear to have their heads stuck up their arses and are not in touch with reality.

Counterfeit Disney Box Set 110 DVDs

December 2, 2007

Disney 110 DVD set

I just came back from a trip to China and I just could not resist this! It’s an absolute counterfeit though the quailty is amazing. This 110 DVD boxed set has every Disney movie ever made up to about 2006 and it comes in an impressive metal tin.

As is usual with Chinese counterfeit goods, the devil is in the detail. This set includes at least 3 movies which are not Disney at all.

Now some of you will say that I should not be buying stuff that I know is counterfeit, and normally I would not, but I just wanted to see how good this really was. The whole set cost me UK 20 Pounds (40 USD) and the ones that I have watched so far are perfect quality.

110 Disney DVD Box Set Disney 110 DVD set Discs

I would be interested to know if disney have ever made anything like this for real.

Note to Disney:  This is counterfeit and I’m happy to hand this over to Disney, I have sent a message to that effect to the disney head office and await collection by courier if Disney wish to have this.