#1  
  02-16-2008, 11:55 AM
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These DVD pirates are missing the boat
Instruct peeved consumers to send returns to Free Press

Mon Jan 7 2008

By Kevin Rollason

IF you want to keep it secret that you're selling pirated DVDs, it's probably not a good idea to use a major Canadian newspaper as your return address.
Over the last few days, several packages of pirated DVDs have been shipped to the Winnipeg Free Press from disgruntled customers around the world.

The packages originated from entities called DVD Avenue.TV, DVD Store, AllMyFavoriteShows.com and Expediteur, but they all contained the return address for the Free Press in Winnipeg.

The videos include Ally McBeal, The Carol Burnett Show, Little House on the Prairie and The Six Million Dollar Man.

Included in the packaging is a card that tells people in bold-face letters not to send the items back to the address on the package before calling for an authorization number.
But apparently, people haven't been getting a response from that number, so they've just popped the packages back in the mail and a few days later, they've showed up at the Free Press.

One of those people was Margaret Cooper of Tampa, Fla., who spent a total of $228.32 for the complete series of Upstairs, Downstairs.

"This was supposed to be a Christmas gift, but I looked at them and they were so poor," Cooper said on Friday.

"They were even plain white on the discs inside. Geez, I thought, it can't be legitimate."

Cooper has since told her credit card company she has returned the DVDs and expects to get the charge reversed.

"They were so amateurish it looked like a 10-year-old did it. I now tell my family to be careful when you order online."

The actual video quality of the television shows varies widely.

Some, like an episode of Beverly Hills 90210, are picture perfect -- although it includes in the lower right corner the SoapNet channel insignia from which the show was dubbed.

Others, like an episode of The Six Million Dollar Man, look like they've been recorded onto a videotape using the slow speed and then dubbed onto DVD.
But the shoddiest example is the packaging of the Newhart show.

In Newhart, Bob Newhart played the owner of an inn in Vermont, and that's what the writeup on the package says. But the packaging on the pirated DVD features photographs of him from his earlier TV show, playing a psychologist.

The website is registered to a man living in Miami, Fla., but repeated attempts to telephone the man, as well as an 800 number listed on the website, received no reply.

Local television producer Kim Todd, who produced Falcon Beach, which recently was released on DVD, said the pirated TV shows don't surprise her.

"The Internet is like the Wild West, and law and order always follows after," Todd said.

"There's no doubt this is stealing. But the solution isn't putting everybody in jail, it's finding another way to meet the market."

Gary Osmond, the Canadian Motion Picture Distribution Association's director of investigations -- anti-piracy operations, said the DVDs received by the Free Press are connected to the massive seizure of thousands of counterfeit DVDs by the RCMP in Montreal just before Christmas.

More than 200 DVD burners were also seized by police and eight people were arrested who are facing fraud charges under the Criminal Code and Copyright Act.

But Osmond was surprised to hear the DVD pirates had used the Free Press' address.
"They're not too smart," Osmond said.

"In Montreal, they used post office box numbers for Canada Post or private companies. There was one legitimate address in Montreal, but it was a hole in the ground with a building being constructed.

"Yours is the only legitimate address and the first in Winnipeg."

Osmond says what makes purchasers especially angry is the DVDs in many cases are not cheap and rival the prices of legitimate versions.

"The problem is, with the Internet you can burn these in your basement and you have access to customers around the world."

To verify the legitimacy of Internet websites selling
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  #2  
  02-16-2008, 12:44 PM
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Old story.
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  #3  
  02-16-2008, 01:41 PM
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What a bunch of Dumb Asses.
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  #4  
  02-16-2008, 03:31 PM
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lol. they can give me the money they made
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  #5  
  02-16-2008, 03:34 PM
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I told people and told people not to go through them
no one listens to dumb old savage.

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  #6  
  02-17-2008, 03:47 AM
 
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"They were even plain white on the discs inside. Geez, I thought, it can't be legitimate."

I'm not sure if ppl are simply dumb or they just fool themselves on a subconscious level that they are getting a real product. SURELY they must KNOW that the show hasn't been released otherwise they wouldn't be going to these sites in the first place! As for the owner of dvdavenue using the address of a newspaper company is just dumb. Why on earth would you even provide a legitimate return address if you have no intention of refunding these ppl? This guy is probably crapping in his pants right now.
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