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Fake CD's and Amazon - A Growing Pain...

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I've been a frequent user of Amazon's online service for a number of years now, the prices are reasonably good, the shipping costs are low (especially since I live in Australia where prices are extortionate) and the items are for the most part, genuine.

 

This week I received three CD's directly from Amazon, not their affiliate retailers, but sold by Amazon at a few dollars more than the other retailers. All of them, ALL THREE are counterfeits!

The artwork is meticulously replicated, but the big giveaway are the discs themselves. No matching serial code on the underside, blurry artwork on the labels, and shitty booklets, which are just one piece, folded in two as opposed to several pages. To the average person who probably doesn't care about the album cases, their authenticity would go unchecked and unverified. I like getting what I pay for, that means licensed music, in the packaging that was designed for it and with copyright shit all over it!

 

I ordered a new copy of Prisoner of Azkaban because my last copy hadn't survived my early teenage years. I still have that CD in the case and everything, so I had something to compare my new copy with. The artwork and booklet are extraordinarily close to the real copy, barring the spine artwork which seems to have been flipped on both sides. A big clue that it wasn't authentic was that my new copy had no warner/sony logo embossed on the case, or on the underside of the disc ( the one that looks like this:  \\' )

 

The discs also have no metatags, only those that are naturally copied from individual tracks, my ripping programs did not recognize them, where authentic CD's will be brought up in a few seconds when the software "gets" the CD (i.e. crosschecks online).

 

My Fantastic Beasts Deluxe CD had what appeared to be authentic packaging, but the worst CD artwork ever - no codes on either of the two discs, so in this case it was doubly hard for anyone looking at the packaging to determine its authenticity.

 

What this means is Amazon has no standards by which they can check authenticity - the person packing it certainly can't tell, and as recent articles on the fake CD's flooding the market seem to suggest, the genuine articles are bunched in with the counterfeit ones to make it near impossible to separate them without opening each one up.

 

Older CD's are becoming harder to find especially if you're overseas, and of course you can find them in varying states of used conditions around the web, but if you want the real deal, new, or relatively new, you're fucked, and something like Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban would be one of the last things I expected to be counterfeit. So I'm only left with returning the CD's and getting refunds, but that doesn't solve my problem! I joked last night that by the time I find a genuine copy online, warner bros. will release the expanded scores!

 

Has anyone experienced purchasing a CD to find it was counterfeit?

 

p.s. whoever they hire to reproduce the fake artwork should be commended, the replications are uncanny!

 

p.p.s. The other counterfeit CD I ordered from amazon was ironically Catch Me If You Can, a film about a conman who made very convincing passports, nametags and other personal documents...

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The only problem I have with Amazon is that they consistently misrepresent DVD and Blu-Ray specifics. Last year I bought a Back to the Future DVD set hoping to get all the extras as well, turns out they were only on the Blu-Ray. How can it be so difficult to correctly list that info?

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Some years ago I bought A.I. OST directly from Amazon, not from one of the retailers, and they sent me a fake CD-R with photocopied color covers. I contacted them and they sent a replacement, which was a second pirated CD. They refunded the money, and I still have those two fakes.

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I once bought the Macarthur soundtrack from a Spanish seller on eBay. The CD and front cover insert were real, but the back insert was a fake print out and the design was like something done in MS Paint.

 

I complained to the seller, who insisted that it was all real and that I should be grateful for being able to acquire such a hard-to-find item. I said "no, this CD has no resale value due to the fake cover, if I ever sold this to anyone, I'd get a bad customer rating, which is what I'll give you if you don't refund me for this". He accepted my offer to return it, and offered a refund. So I returned it and... got no refund. I thought fuck it, I'm not fighting this.

 

I eventually got a more legit CD from another seller.

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Holy crap! 

 

The only fake CD I ever got was when I bought the Jaws 2 OST on Amazon. I spent $40, and it was just photocopied front and back cover on high quality paper. 

 

After that I decided to not spend crazy money on the remaining JW OSTs I didn't have yet, and just wait for the specialty labels to get to them. 

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Well, that was weird too. It wasn't like an obvious cdr with a printed out label stuck on, but it wasn't a pressed Varese CD either. It had the name of the film in a goofy font and ghetto background. Must have been one of those burners that can write directly on discs or something. 

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Jaws 2 Varese was all black & White letters  (white being the metal color of the CD). Was it like that? I think the old red-burgundy spine covers from the 90's didnt have extremelly quality printing either... But i suppose you have some of those and they did not match with JAWS 2. And the CD has the Jaws 2 true logo IRRC, so i suppose it was a fake.

 

The CD would have been easy to replicate with a CD burner, still so i dont know why he failed with that :P.

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I contacted Watertower music who quickly verified my Fantastic Beasts deluxe set as a genuine copy by the codes on the back of the CD. The blurry artwork was down to the pressing plates incorrectly aligned...

 

At least that's one CD that I have from the three that is genuine, and kudos to Watertower for their fast responses.

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Sometimes, "foreign" albums (as in not manufactured in the USA) can look odd.

I once bought a 12" single, as an Australian import. Instead of the traditional black and white cover, it had a very green tint to it.

When I first started collecting OSTs, I was struck by the difference between UK, and USA LPs (thicker card for the sleeves, different centre labels, etc).

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16 minutes ago, RPurton said:

I contacted Watertower music who quickly verified my Fantastic Beasts deluxe set as a genuine copy by the codes on the back of the CD. The blurry artwork was down to the pressing plates incorrectly aligned...

 

At least that's one CD that I have from the three that is genuine, and kudos to Watertower for their fast responses.

 

- "Hey, boss! I have customer who wants to know if he has a genuine copy of some CD with background music from a film, and if it's not, he wants a refund!"

 

- "Just... Just ask him for the code on the back of the CD, and whatever he replies, just tell him it's legit!"

 

- "OK!"

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haha I did have my doubts, but i'm sure Watertower know what's what, specifically describing that the code was Sony's manufacturing number. 

I was frantically going through my other CDs checking for codes and as others have mentioned they were different depending on where it was produced and by which company as to be expected...

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20 minutes ago, RPurton said:

I contacted Watertower music who quickly verified my Fantastic Beasts deluxe set as a genuine copy by the codes on the back of the CD. The blurry artwork was down to the pressing plates incorrectly aligned...

 

At least that's one CD that I have from the three that is genuine, and kudos to Watertower for their fast responses.

 

With respect, RP, all you had to do was check the number against a shop-copy. If it's different, then you have Watertower by the short and curlies! :)

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