1. Disc Size: The best way to tell if your set is a bootleg is to check the size of one or more of the discs. Most of our DVD releases use dual-layered DVDs, which can hold up to 8.5 gigabytes of data. Bootleggers, on the other hand, use cheaper, single-layer discs, which can only hold up to 4.7 gigabytes of data. You can determine if your discs are single or dual-layered by checking their size in a DVD-ROM drive.
2. Price: If you see a seller offering one of our box sets for dramatically less than it is available for purchase on our website and from authorized retailers (such as Amazon, Best Buy, Costco, Wal-Mart, etc.), chances are good that it is a bootleg. In short, if the price for a “brand-new set” seems too good to be true, it probably is.
3. Missing Booklets: For box sets that contain booklets, bootleggers will sometimes leave out the booklet. If a seller tries to tell you that their inventory was missing the booklet, it is very likely that they did not purchase what they are selling to you from a legitimate source.
4. Inability to Replace Defective Parts: If the seller where you purchased the set is unable to help you with replacement parts, they may be an illegal seller. An authorized retailer will have access to the supplier (us) and be able to procure the appropriate replacements.
5. Playback Issues: Because counterfeit discs are highly-compressed and not professionally authored, they often have major playback issues. Episodes will skip or cut out, and some discs may be completely unreadable. If you purchase a box set and find that several discs have major playback issues, chances are good that you have purchased a bootleg.
6. Poor Video and Audio Quality: Because the disc content has been compressed from a dual-layered source to a single-layered disc, bootlegs of our sets often have terrible picture and audio quality, even when they play perfectly well on your equipment.
7. Region Coding: Counterfeits of our DVDs and Blu-rays are often region-free discs (discs that play anywhere in the world). Most of our actual releases are Region 1/A locked, due to the fact that we almost always do not have the legal right to sell our products outside of North America.