Tuesday, February 07, 2006

when your opponent gets personal...

... you know it's because they've run out of legitimate ammunition.

this is an update on (one of) the pirated DVD(s) i bought off ebay a few months back (see section 3 or so of previous post). upon noticing the discrepancies with the disc i received, i made contact with the seller in an attempt to resolve the problem. the list of discrepancies grew during this time, and my final findings, after comparing my received product to information about, and images of the genuine article obtained from meiah (the actual distributors?) and, and doing followup research, is as follows (text mostly copy-and-pasted from an email i sent the seller, links to photos added for this post):
  1. The design of the front cover, while very similar to the genuine copy, is different in a number of places:
    1. The "Mei Ah" logo, which should be in the bottom left corner, is missing
    2. The font face, colour and size of the main crew are different, and contain spelling errors
      1. Cheung Yuen Ting is credited as the DTRBCTOR
      2. Alex Law is credited as the WRITTER CO-PRODOCER
    3. The "DVD video" logo in the bottom right corner does not appear on the genuine copy
    4. The Chinese writing on the bottom (below the picture of the three young girls, and half chopped off by your trimming) also does not appear in the original
  2. On the back cover, the bottom quarter and the pictures look to be the same as the genuine copy, but the rest of the text is all wrong
    1. The font used to list the awards is different - this goes for both the the Chinese and English text; the Chinese text uses an inconsistent mix of traditional and simplified characters
    2. The English synopsis contains various punctuation errors and is missing two phrases from the full original text
    3. The Chinese synopsis is written in simplified Chinese, which is inconsistent with the rest of the Chinese text used on the front and back covers, which should be traditional Chinese for a product coming from Hong Kong
    4. There is supposed to be a cast and crew listing after the Chinese synopsis, but this whole section is missing
  3. There are also a number of problems with the text/artwork on the DVD itself, apart from the spelling which I have already pointed out previously (ie that the text along the bottom of the disc reads "all rights in this DVD video are reserved and it is staictly prohibited to usr this DVD video other than for rivate viewing in the Double-Dsymbol are frademarks of Dolby Labaratories Licensing Corporation"
    1. At the very top of the disc, next to Maggie Cheung's head (middle woman), and a bit cut off, is Maggie's Chinese name in simplified Chinese - out of place and again inconsistent with the other traditional Chinese text used in the package
    2. Of the four little boxes near the bottom of the disc, the second box displays a logo which reads "compact disc digital video". This logo "may only be used on discs complying with the Video-CD specifications: the Philips-JVC-Matsushita-Sony Compact Disc Digital Video Specification (the WHITE Book)", therefore this logo should NOT appear on a DVD
    3. The next logo accompanying the "5.1 SURROUND" text is wrong - there is a similar logo on the box cover, which at least features 6 distinct black squares representing the 5+1 speakers. The logo on the disc itself only has 4 squares/speakers
    4. The region code logo on the disc says the disc is region 1, which is inconsistent with what the box says (should be all region)
    5. Lastly the 3 Chinese characters printed below these logo boxes... at first I thought it was supposed to say 非毒品, which means something like "not drugs/poisonous". Besides the obvious question of why such a phrase should be relevant to a DVD, I also realised that the middle character is "spelt" wrong - it looks like something that should sound the same as the proper character to fit the phrase, but isn't actually a valid character in Chinese.
so anyways, i originally asked for a full refund given that the listing of pirated items is against ebay policy. seller refused, maintaining that the item is an original (without addressing my list of evidence to the contrary), and offered a refund on the sale price (ie not including postage) once i return the item. that wasn't going to fly as a solution cos the return postage alone exceeds the sale price, and besides, i want justice on the piracy issue, not just getting my money back! and so i turned to the paypal resolution process for assistance. they eventually decided in my favour, awarding me a full refund of the original sale price plus shipping costs - but again i was required to send the item back at my own expense. so now i get to recoup a few of my dollars (not much, after having to supply proof of postage), and i'm still waiting for the actual refund to hit my account. meanwhile nobody at ebay/paypal seems bothered by the piracy thing that i'm actually complaining about - i guess maybe it's not really their fight and even so how much does my one droplet of a pirated dvd rate in the global tidal wave of the piracy business, right? anyways, i haven't mentioned the icing on the cake yet: the seller leaving me negative feedback (my first ever!) that says "TROUBLEMAKER! Original sent fast & still wants refund w/o returning! BAD BUYER!"

me? i'd really rather stick to facts. you know, things like the proof of postage that shows i have returned the item, which paypal required from me, before they processed the claim and decided the case in my favour... (by which time the item would have well and truly arrived back at the seller's address, where they could well turn around and sell to the next unsuspecting victim - a major reason why i wasn't keen to return it in the first place)

so i'm just a little bit unimpressed. it seems too easy to break the rules and play dirty in this world of ours [going off on a bit of a tangent, this has been a common and recurring theme i'm encountering with people who find out (some too late) that their employers have not been paying their superannuation entitlements - if you aren't sure whether yours is being paid, do something proactive about it sooner rather than later; read the superannuation FAQ from the ato if you need a starting point]. but i really shouldn't be surprised at that... so i guess meanwhile i'll just keep waiting for "new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells" (2 peter 3:13)

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, I recently purchased a (what I believe to be) pirated DVD recently to. The printing on the covers was a bit dodge and the quality of the movie wasn't overly great.

    I was lucky enough to receive a full refund without much hassle though. And I received a positive feedback score to (which you can't retract!). Good thing they gave me the feedback before the thing ever arrived (took about 3 weeks!).