How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

The scuttlebutt on Criterion, Eclipse, and Janus Films. Lists and polls are STRONGLY discouraged.
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Mouse
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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#151 Post by Mouse » Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:49 am

It's possible, but also realize that this is one of the discs criterion has had in print for nearly 15 years. Over that time they've printed many copies and changed discs and cases from different suppliers.

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Bando
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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#152 Post by Bando » Mon May 06, 2013 1:53 pm

So I bought a used copy of Armageddon on Amazon (I know, I know, but it's a sentimental favorite...). I got it from a third-party that shipped through Amazon itself, and the price point was about commensurate with what I've seen both online and in used stores for this title (read: low). I have about 30 CC titles and kind of have a feel for how this stuff should look. Yet this one just doesn't look right.

The discs on every other copy I've ever seen have the black moon-shaped art printed on top of the unprinted metallic disc. This one has a completely printed disc, with the metallic part rendered in printed white. In other words, the entire disc is printed over, instead of just the black part. Both are gold discs, disc 1 is dual-layered, disc 2 is single-layered, as they should be.

The ISBN and UPC checks out, the case is right, the art is right, but the inner insert seems a little bit thicker paper than I'm used to with Criterion releases. It also came in tight shrinkwrap, even though it appears to be a used copy, as if the reseller resealed it. I've seen this kind of thing in used cd stores, but never from an online retailer.

Am I being paranoid? Did the printing on the disc change at some point? Why would anyone bootleg Armageddon when it's such a non-in-demand title that's not only in print, but sold well to begin with? Is it just a function of an older title being reprinted a million times and having a bit of variation along the way?

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bdsweeney
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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#153 Post by bdsweeney » Tue May 07, 2013 12:39 am

I'm not familiar with the disc, but remember that CC's discs of yore (1998 remember) are very different from today.

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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#154 Post by Mouse » Tue May 07, 2013 6:20 am

Bando wrote:So I bought a used copy of Armageddon on Amazon (I know, I know, but it's a sentimental favorite...). I got it from a third-party that shipped through Amazon itself, and the price point was about commensurate with what I've seen both online and in used stores for this title (read: low). I have about 30 CC titles and kind of have a feel for how this stuff should look. Yet this one just doesn't look right.

The discs on every other copy I've ever seen have the black moon-shaped art printed on top of the unprinted metallic disc. This one has a completely printed disc, with the metallic part rendered in printed white. In other words, the entire disc is printed over, instead of just the black part. Both are gold discs, disc 1 is dual-layered, disc 2 is single-layered, as they should be.

The ISBN and UPC checks out, the case is right, the art is right, but the inner insert seems a little bit thicker paper than I'm used to with Criterion releases. It also came in tight shrinkwrap, even though it appears to be a used copy, as if the reseller resealed it. I've seen this kind of thing in used cd stores, but never from an online retailer.

Am I being paranoid? Did the printing on the disc change at some point? Why would anyone bootleg Armageddon when it's such a non-in-demand title that's not only in print, but sold well to begin with? Is it just a function of an older title being reprinted a million times and having a bit of variation along the way?
Hmmm, without pictures it's hard to say. There was a point where criterion switches from the old thick case to a newer, slimmer one. Who knows if they may have used different discs as well? I'm inclined to say it may be a bootleg from the disc thing you mentioned, but take that with a grain of salt. The ISBN and UPC would match anyway if the bootlegger scanned the original artwork from a legit disc, so that's not a very good indicator.

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Bando
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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#155 Post by Bando » Tue May 07, 2013 11:45 pm

Mouse wrote: Hmmm, without pictures it's hard to say. There was a point where criterion switches from the old thick case to a newer, slimmer one. Who knows if they may have used different discs as well? I'm inclined to say it may be a bootleg from the disc thing you mentioned, but take that with a grain of salt. The ISBN and UPC would match anyway if the bootlegger scanned the original artwork from a legit disc, so that's not a very good indicator.
Here's a picture:
Image

You can sort of see that the case is the old double-wide, not the newer, slim case. My parents' copy (purchased ~1999, very soon after the release) has this same case, but the discs are metallic. So unless they had some variations right before the switch, I'm thinking this is probably fake.

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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#156 Post by colinr0380 » Wed May 08, 2013 2:07 pm

My Criterion edition of Armageddon has the image on top of the unprinted metallic disc rather than a white coating. Although to add to the confusion I have taken a look at the back of each disc and while disc 1 is gold on the back, disc 2 is silver!

(The inner insert on mine is also of a thicker paper than the Criterion norm too, so I suspect that isn't an indicator of any problem)

Does the back cover of your copy say which edition your disc is? Mine has "first printing 1999" in the orange text just under the film company logos.

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zedz
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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#157 Post by zedz » Wed May 08, 2013 4:04 pm

Has anybody bought this new recently? If they had to repress a batch of discs, they probably wouldn't be still doing the old 'image directly on metallic disc' manufacture, would they? I imagine they'd bring production in line with what they're doing on their current DVDs, which would presumably be much simpler for the manufacturer.

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Professor Wagstaff
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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#158 Post by Professor Wagstaff » Wed May 08, 2013 4:13 pm

I bought my copy of Armageddon directly from the Criterion website during one of the flash sales (maybe 18 months ago). Mine is exactly as colinr0380 described and as pictured above. It also has the 'image directly on metallic disc' look you mentioned, zedz.

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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#159 Post by jindianajonz » Wed May 08, 2013 4:40 pm

Mine look just like Colin described above as well.

However, weren't there some early criterions that are known to have a bunch of different styles of discs? I feel like when I did research on either the Woo or Morrisey films to make sure mine were legit, I discovered that althrough they had the same picture, some copies had the image printed directly on silver, while others had a white background. I can't remember which disc it was, but the people who supplied photos had both bought theirs directly from somewhere reputable (B&N or Borders) soon after they were released.

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Bando
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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#160 Post by Bando » Wed May 08, 2013 8:10 pm

I looked at everything again. I was wrong, just like yours, Colin, my second disc is silver, not gold, and it indeed says "First Printing 1999" on the back. And based on what jindianajonz posted, I'm inclined to think this may actually be legit. Even if it looks a little funky.

Interesting conundrum, thanks for everyone's help!

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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#161 Post by PicturePlatter » Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:40 pm

I am now on my 3rd used DVD copy of Rebecca (all bought from a national chain, though who knows the origin?), and all of them seem a little different. Maybe there's a difference between the stand-alone edition and the 5 film box set edition? The packaging on all of them seems identical, and they all say "Printed in U.S.A. First printing 2001" (with glossy booklets and no printing errors). However, they differ on the matrix numbers of the actual discs of this two disc set. Here is how they differ on the 3 copies I have:

Disc One, Front:
1) Non-grooved reflective ring area, no text.

2) Larger reflective ring area, with a single groove. The side of the groove closest to the center has the text "IFPI 2A60" (engraved, not visible from the other side).

3) Larger reflective ring area, with a single groove. The side of the groove closest to the center has the text "IFPI 2A60" (engraved, not visible from the other side).

Disc One, Back:
1) Clear plastic ring area: "MADE IN USA PDSC.CA IFPI -V9A1", Reflective ring area: "IFPI LL06 A01J1852 CZ-CC1576D .2 S0" (visible in reverse from the other side). Has two barcodes, one lower than the other and offset, with only the outer barcode visible from the other side.

2) Clear plastic ring area: "IFPI 2A2Y", Reflective ring area on outside edge of groove: "(CC1576D1R1SP01) J03L0120B IFPI L772" (visible in reverse from the other side), Reflective ring area, centered across the groove: "(CC1576D1R1SP0) J03L0119B" (not visible from the other side), Reflective ring area, on inside edge of groove: "IFPI L772" (not visible from the other side). Has two barcodes, one lower than the other and offset, with only the outer barcode visible from the other side.

3) Clear plastic ring area: "IFPI 2A2E", Reflective ring area on outside edge of groove: "K03I1207D CC1576D1R1SP01" (visible in reverse from the other side), same area, but lower: "K03I1206D CC1576D1R1SP0" (not visible from the other side), Reflective ring area, on inside edge of groove: "IFPI L772" (not visible from the other side) and reverse text of "IFPI L772" (not visible from the other side). Has two barcodes, one lower than the other and offset, with only the outer barcode visible from the other side.

Disc Two, Front:
1) Non-grooved reflective ring area, no text.

2) Larger reflective ring area, with a single groove. The side of the groove closest to the center has the text "IFPI 2A86" (engraved, not visible from the other side).

3) Larger reflective ring area, with a single groove. The side of the groove closest to the center has the text "IFPI 2A96" (engraved, not visible from the other side).

Disc Two, Back:
1) Clear plastic ring area: "MADE IN U.S.A. PDSC.CA IFPI V9J7", Reflective ring area: "IFPI LL07 B01J1202 CZ-CC1576D .1V2 21" (visible in reverse from the other side). Has a single barcode (visible from the other side).

2) Clear plastic ring area: "IFPI 2A2X", Reflective ring area, crossing across the groove: "(CC1576D2R0SP) J03J2904B" (in larger font size, visible in reverse from the other side), Reflective ring area, on inside edge of groove: "IFPI L772" (visible in reverse from the other side). Has a single, large barcode (the lines are longer, and the thicker lines look more like rectangles than squares).

3) Clear plastic ring area: "IFPI 2A67", Reflective ring area on outside edge of groove: "IFPI LL06 A01J1852 CZ-CC1576D .2 S0" (visible in reverse from the other side). Has a single barcode (visible from the other side).

They all have variances, not just with the numbers, but in stylistic presentation, that make all the copies different from one another. Does anybody know what the norm is, and how many different versions of this disc were pressed? Did they do a revision, and is their box set version different than the standalone version?

The computer reads them as Region 0 discs, with 7.62GB on disc one, and 3.77GB on disc two.

I would compare them to the other Criterion discs in my collection, most of them bought new while in print, but there seems to be a lot of differences there, to.

Thank you!

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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#162 Post by spm69 » Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:35 am

I just purchased Army of Shadows Blu Ray from amazon. There was no Criterion Blu Ray sticker, and the artwork is way too dark. Is Army of Shadows Blu Ray being bootlegged and sold through amazon? Did any one else get a copy with a really dark cover art?

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dwk
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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#163 Post by dwk » Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:09 pm

The artwork on the Army of Shadows Blu-ray cover is a little darker than the artwork on the DVD cover

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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#164 Post by swo17 » Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:12 pm

It should look like this.

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Askew
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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#165 Post by Askew » Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:19 pm

It's pretty common for new blurays to come without the sticker on the shrink wrap.

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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#166 Post by spm69 » Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:16 pm

Thank you for the info folks. After closer inspection of the materials, it seems that my blu ray copy of Army of Shadows is indeed the real thing.

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Re: Out Of Print: StudioCanal Snatches It All Away

#167 Post by scoundrel » Sat Jan 04, 2014 10:54 pm

falcone7401 wrote:Now I just wait for my copies of Hard Boiled, The Killer, and This Is Spinal Tap and pray they aren't bootlegs.
If they are, pray you used Amazon.com and file an A-to-Z refund.

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Re: Out Of Print: StudioCanal Snatches It All Away

#168 Post by Bando » Sun Jan 05, 2014 12:42 am

I know there's the thread for avoiding bootlegs, but perhaps it would be helpful to crowdsource a list of known OOP titles for which there are prevalent bootlegs in order to help each other avoid a blind-buy on Amazon for a fake product. The thread is just a running discussion, which usually leaves discussions about particular titles either unresolved or unfinished. It's hard to tell what out there actually has been bootlegged.

I just bought a used copy of The Unbearable Lightness of Being on Amazon for a price slightly lower than the average going rate, and as I sit waiting for the package to arrive, all I can think about is whether or not this has been a bootlegged title. It's a bit nerve-wracking.

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Re: Out Of Print: StudioCanal Snatches It All Away

#169 Post by falcone7401 » Sun Jan 05, 2014 11:27 am

scoundrel wrote:If they are, pray you used Amazon.com and file an A-to-Z refund.
Hard Boiled and This Is Spinal Tap were bought from a store where Amazon fulfills the order. The Killer was from a third party seller through Amazon. I gotta figure out what to look for on TIST. I know what to look for on Hard Boiled and The Killer.
Bando wrote:I know there's the thread for avoiding bootlegs, but perhaps it would be helpful to crowdsource a list of known OOP titles for which there are prevalent bootlegs in order to help each other avoid a blind-buy on Amazon for a fake product. The thread is just a running discussion, which usually leaves discussions about particular titles either unresolved or unfinished. It's hard to tell what out there actually has been bootlegged.

I just bought a used copy of The Unbearable Lightness of Being on Amazon for a price slightly lower than the average going rate, and as I sit waiting for the package to arrive, all I can think about is whether or not this has been a bootlegged title. It's a bit nerve-wracking.
So far I do know that the original dvd of Salo, Dead Ringers, The Killer, Hard Boiled have all seen bootlegs a lot. I am not sure which other ones.

Just need to verify the serial numbers of a few of my OOPs because now I am getting paranoid.

Silence Of The Lambs: CMCA L807 7982 CC15301 091115-03 Z
Robocop: CMCA L807 7918 ROBOVER21 T01007-01 Y
Time Bandits: L802 7982 CC1551D1 @ P30225-18Z

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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#170 Post by falcone7401 » Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:03 pm

Ok got my copies of The Killer, This Is Spinal Tap, and Hard Boiled.

I think I got a bootleg of Hard Boiled. Bottom of the disc is gold. But instead of a nimbus logo there is simbly nimbus typed. Also the insert is really glossy. That is making me think fake.

Hard Boiled has the right disc art, insert isn't glossy, nimbus logo is present, and there is a frosted ring.

This is Spinal Tap is also legit.

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Bando
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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#171 Post by Bando » Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:17 pm

Is it just me, or have there been a lot of used Criterions popping up on Amazon and eBay lately that are simply discs without packaging? Are the bootleggers just skipping a step now?

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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#172 Post by matrixschmatrix » Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:46 pm

I would assume that was the result of Blockbuster liquidations, they had a huge number of disc only Criterions (from their rental service, I think) in their $2 stacks.

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Bando
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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#173 Post by Bando » Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:00 pm

Sorry if this is a dumb/overasked question, but what is the right way to file a claim with Amazon for a bootlegged Criterion? Just received a copy of The Unbearable Lightness of Being which is just about the most bootleggiest bootleg I've ever seen (cracked, cheap case, incorrect artwork, Asian-language disc, no insert, etc.). Also love the fact it was advertised as a "clean original disc." What do I do now?

To add to the frustration, had a second Criterion arrive today marked as an "Ex-Library" with an absurdly horrible replacement case, inkjet-printed artwork, advertised as "Very Good" with a "few library markings." Oddly enough, it was Certified Copy. Ugh.

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knives
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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#174 Post by knives » Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:07 pm

You should always contact the seller first with there usually being a link on your orders page. If that doesn't work then you should still go to your orders page where there will be a tab under the contact seller button saying 'file claim'.

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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#175 Post by swo17 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:10 pm

Contact the seller, call them out on it being a bootleg, and request a full refund (including shipping costs). If the seller doesn't resolve the matter in the next couple of weeks, then file a claim with Amazon.

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