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Are Far East VCDs legal?

Discussion in 'Movie Forum' started by graham.myers, Feb 11, 2002.

  1. graham.myers

    graham.myers
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    Browsing around e-bay yesterday, I noticed a particular seller selling VCDs from Malaysia. He stated that these discs were legal. I also saw "region 0" encoded DVDs from the far east. Again touted as legal.

    I'm an sure this isn't true and they are just pirates. Are they legal?

    I wouldn't touch the VCDs but I'm sure willing to get this c**P stopped on ebay so we can sell the proper stuff and not get stiffed on price 'cos these VCDs are going for a couple of quid.

    if the DVDs are legal whats the quality like as I suspect the quality control may be a bit lacking.

    Has anybody got any of these, what's your opinion?
     
  2. Gary D

    Gary D
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    i bought three of these DVD's last year, Final Fantasy, Shrek and Planet of the Apes. They looked and sounded fine, the copy of Final Fantasy, you could even turn the subtitles on or off! and Shrek was DTS (or said it was a least, the little DTS light on my amp came on, so anyones guess really if it was or not.)

    However, having watched these three next to the "real" versions there is no comparision. All in all they were to "dark" and there was no real detail in the transfer.

    I resolved after that never to buy them - "region 0's or DVD Silvers" again as they are a waste of money.

    i've got friends who swear by them, i on the other hand didn't spend the best part of three grand on a home cinema to feed this type of rubbish into it.


    Gary
     
  3. Jase

    Jase
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    The dvds arent legal, I got a few (Star Wars trilogy) and the quality isnt too bad but there are bad lip-sync problems throughout.

    Wont be buying anymore, only bought these because Mr Lucas wont be releasing them for ages..............GIT!!:rolleyes:
     
  4. PaulDCocker

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    Lucas do release a legal set of the Star Wars trilogy .. and SOME VCD's are legal .. but the R0 Malaysian silvers are about as legal as a £7.50 note :D .. and cheaper .. they aren't worth the money either .... most of the time the sound or vision is inferior and if we wanted that we'd have stuck with VHS :(
     
  5. pointon

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    Not to mention the fact that the Far East silvers industry is all part of organised crime, and everytime you buy one of this illegal pirated copies, you're contributing money towards this. It doesn't matter how small a contribution this may be, because if everyone thinks like that, the contribution becomes a whole lot bigger.

    And this money is all spent making other peoples' lives a misery. Even ending some. Think about that the next time one of these silvers tempts you.
     
  6. graham.myers

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    well said!!!!

    here here!!!

    (email address withheld cos i don't any triads visiting me :)
     
  7. Guest

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    yer pays yer money...I think these things are a good lark. Not sure about the organised crime bit, though....although organised crime is a fact and not buying vcds from bob at the market is not going to stop it. I would rather them make money from these, though, than, say, prostitution or drugs?
    Back to the discs themselves, I paid 2 pounds for a copy of Ocean's 11 several weeks ago, and it will do me nicely until the disc comes out. Ditto Monsters inc and Black Hawk Down. Once the disc comes out, they get used as coffee coasters. As disposable media, they are fine and vastly preferable than a trip to the cinema at 12 pounds a time and have to suffer lousy out of focus picture, terrible acoustics, mobiles, popcorn munchers and slurpers, talking, bbfc cuts, cleaners who hover around as soon as the credits start waiting for you to leave, oh how the list goes on.
     
  8. pointon

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    Video piracy is linked to organised crime both in this country and even more so in the Far East. These crime organisations have not entered the piracy market to make their money this way, but to raise funds to finance their other operations such as drugs and prostitution. So what if it's not going to be stopped by not buying these pirated things. Just think about where your money's going and have a bit of a conscience.
     
  9. Kramer

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    Do you really want these people to have your credit card number, exp. date, name & address?????????????????????????????

    I know I dont!

    Keep a close eye on your credit card statements in the near future. Heard of a person contacted by his CC company querying a purchase of a motorcycle for approx £6k in Malyasia the previous day!

    Be careful:rolleyes:
     
  10. Guest

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    hmm. It seems a little dubious that selling VCD's is a means of funding drugs and prostitution? Surely these areas are profitable enough in their own right. This seems a self defeating argument.
    In the 80's, trading standards used to try and pretend that the IRA received funding from pirate videos sold on market stalls. it was a load of rubbish, I know because I am friendly with someone who used to work for trading standards. Basically, pirate videos and the like are always going to sell, so the authorities desperately try to link them to something that is seen as unpopular. Cf. Bush linking drugs to terrorrism in the US.
    As for drugs, if they were legal there would be no black market.
    Prostitution, if men did not visit prostitutes and buy porno movies (with mutli angles!), there would be no market either. How many of you out there have never seen a porn movie?



    My conscience is my own affair.
     
  11. pointon

    pointon
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    Go find out for yourself. There's more info on this subject on the net than enough.

    Did you actually read your own post. What a load of tosh.
     
  12. pointon

    pointon
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    Go find out for yourself. There's more info on this subject on the net than enough.

    Did you actually read your own post? What a load of tosh.
     
  13. PoochJD

    PoochJD
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    FAO Who Cares,

    You said:

    1) "hmm. It seems a little dubious that selling VCD's is a means of funding drugs and prostitution? Surely these areas are profitable enough in their own right. This seems a self defeating argument."
    Well, even if they are profitable in their own right, the bad people involved are sure as hell not gonna turn-down another X thousand poounds/dollars or whatever, are they?

    2) "Basically, pirate videos and the like are always going to sell, so the authorities desperately try to link them to something that is seen as unpopular."
    Fair enough, but then you say:
    "As for drugs, if they were legal there would be no black market.
    Prostitution, if men did not visit prostitutes and buy porno movies (with mutli angles!), there would be no market either. How many of you out there have never seen a porn movie?"
    What a complete contradiction! What you've said is a joke! If pirate videos are always going to be wanted and for sale, then the same rationale applies to prostitution and drugs!

    PLus, even if drugs and prostitution, et al were all made legal, there would still be a black market for these items and services, as there will always be those who don't want to follow the law!

    Ultimately, no matter what laws exist to control something, there will always be those who are happy to circumvent those laws, and another set of people who will happily turn a blind eye to them circumventing it, in the first place!

    Pooch
     
  14. Guest

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    ?
     
  15. Guest

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    Thank you Pooch, for saying quite nicely what I was trying to say and obviously failing miserably.
    Some things are always going to be illegal.
    Some people will always find away around them.
    There will always be a market for them.
    Not sure about the 'bad men' bit though.
    I was just a bit annoyed by the holier than thou responses I seemed to get. If not indulging in the odd bit of vcd fun makes you feel as though you are doing your bit in the global fight against bad men everywhere, then good for you.
    And no, I never bother to read my own posts as I normally find them to be ill concieved pieces of tosh penned by a moron.
     
  16. Rambo John J

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    A friend brought me back a bootleg copy of The Fast And The Furious from Thailand, so we did a side by side comparison. It's identical to the R1 disc in every way. And I really mean every way - sound options/picture quality/extras, everything. It's perfect.
    And to think he picked it up for the equivalent of about £3.

    £3 won't keep Mr Big in cigars for very long.
     
  17. graham.myers

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    but 10,000 copies at £3 a piece will.
     
  18. Dirk 2

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    Well VCD's contribution to organised crime is questionable. But, I do think it has a more sinister background, than what people think. The whole far east forgery thing is very big business.

    DIVX, is different in that it is a computer medium that really on denies major studios a minor amount of revenue. Yes, if you want to argue in black and white terms, yes it is illeagal etc, etc. But it's not perpetuated by "gansta's, triads" etc.

    But, I've never claimed to be squeaky clean, so if anyone can point me in the right direction of some decent DIVX material (particularly a certain 3 hour fantasy movie) I'd greatly aprreciate it.

    Email me if you prefer.
     
  19. Reiner

    Reiner
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    Living in the Far East (and the VCD heaven of Malaysia before) I can confirm that this is part of organised crime and people trying to interfere are threatened or even killed for that, no joke.
    Even the enforcement officers (no police force but rather part of the city council) in Malaysia have been beaten up before, resulting in plans to equip them with riot gear and protective uniforms. Mind you, those agressors were the traders/sellers and not the men behind the scene who are known to be even more ruthless.

    As for the quality:

    VCD - there are originals which are "ok" quality and those which are pirated, sometimes filmed using a camcorder in the cinema.
    Older movies might however been mastered properly and deliver the best quality you can expect from MPEG-1 encoding (which is not much ...).
    I don't think somebody will actually sell you originals, they are usually too expensive (by local standards at least).

    DVD - as above there are pirated versions (just seen LOTR/FOTR on sale now and it is in 5.1), sometimes copies from LD (like Star Wars 4-6) or mastered in/by I-don't-know, with simple menues or subtitles. Usually the pirated DVDs are R0 and they are cheapest.

    Then there are copies of R1 versions down to the last bit which are then equal to the original, logically this can only be obtained after the R1 is released. Expect different packaging and missing extra discs where applicable (e.g. Gladiator). Cheap and good.

    Local produced R3 discs can also show poorer quality, those can be identified from the packaging (a bit difficult if you do mail-order or purchase them on Ebay) - IMHO not worth the risk, you may save some money compared to R1/R2/R4 but you don't know what you get.

    And then there are the good R3 releases, usually based on the R1 disc (and hence carry the original studio label) but sometimes with different or rather additional Asian soundtracks (English in DD5.1 will usually be retained but DTS for example might be dropped) and Asian subtitles. Quite expensive though.


    That said I condem the manufacturing and purchase of any pirated good, mainly based on the fact that I tried some of the above and wasn't satisfied but also why spend a few grand on a state-of-the-art AV system and then feed it with inferior software, not to mention moral concerns!?
    IMHO no point to that and usually R1 do deliver in terms of quality and price.
     
  20. RMCF

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    I don't think that VCDs as such are illegal, but if you try to sell copies of them then I'm sure that would be illegal. People should be aware that they tend to be of a lesser quality. I have just got a copy of Lord of the Rings. The picture is very good but the sound has a somewhat digital hum off it on my TV. The picture is also very slightly digitised in places. But it is watchable.
     
  21. Reiner

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    I don't think that VCDs as such are illegal, but if you try to sell copies of them then I'm sure that would be illegal.

    What about copyright infringement in case of pirated VCDs? Surely that makes them illegal as any other product (Watches, DVDs, Clothes etc.)

    I am just waiting for the day that they copy a BMW or Mercedes down here ... :D
     
  22. RMCF

    RMCF
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    Point taken Reiner, but what I was getting at was that if you happened to be caught with a copy of Lord of the Rings in your possession then I am sure that you would not get the chair, but if you advertised copies of it for sale on ebay or similar then I am sure that you might hear from someone. Having said that, I have seen copies of some things continually advertised on auction sites (eg Star Wars trilogy) without an end to it. You'd think that the authorities would force ebay etc to stop listing these.
     
  23. Reiner

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    Monitoring and closing an internet site is easier said than done. Last time ebay was selling Nazi stuff and it took a lot of time and noise to get rid of that.

    The possession of this illegal goods certainly may not put you on the chair and I guess it depends very much on the laws in the country you are living in, perhaps in the UK they will just confiscate the things and that's it.
    Sellers and those actually manufacturing them fall under different laws & regulations, one reason why the plants are shifted around Asian countries - usually to those known for lax law inforcement.
    In fact most plants (incl. those in Malaysia) are run by syndicates from HK. The discs are then distributed worldwide, in Asia, to Europe (though VCDs are nowhere that popular there) and South America, too. In some countries the plants are actually protected by the military which also helps transporting the VCDs (Cambodia for example). Just depends how you "support" the local authorities.

    Anyhow, point here was that you should think twice about the purchase as you migth support other "business" and feed your expensive system with inferior software in which I see no point.

    I don't want to lecture anybody but perhaps create some awareness.
     
  24. graham.myers

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    I emailed several times to the "infringement" support address on ebay.

    Some they closed down the auction. some they said "we are unable to determine the copyright infringement. We suggest you lobby the copyright owner to join our Affiliate Programmme"

    Why should I contact the copyright holder. I'm helping ebay. Shouldn't they take the mantle?

    Sometines it blatant, sometimes not. This is why I started the thread. There are legal versions of StarWars but how do you tell.
    Plus the sellers who say "totally legal DVDs of Lord of the Rings"

    I think not little puppy dog. It is you who is in trouble
     
  25. PoochJD

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    Graham,

    Personally, the easiest way for me to decide if something is legitimate or not is this:

    1) Is the offer too good to be true? If yes, then more than likely it will be a dodgy copy.

    2) Alternatively, has there been a legitimate official release from the company/companys who would usually release a particular title e.g. Lucasfilm for the "Star Wars" movies? If not, then there's a high chance it will be a bootleg.

    Hope this helps, and I understand your point about eBay. They seem to want to protect copyright infringement from taking place, yet doing bugger-all when someone complains about a dodgy item!

    Pooch
     

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