Here, I will discuss some of the counterfeit CDs. I am restricting myself to CDs produced to imitate genuine Scott CDs. Not CDs that simply contain copied unprotected files and then Sharpie notation on the top side.
These are CDs with printed labels in jewel cases, sometimes even shrink-wrapped.
In subsequent posts, I'll show pictures of various counterfeit CDs, in some cases comparing to what a genuine one should look like.
But before I get into the CDs in the next post... just for the record, in 2008 Scott required registration to unlock the software. If you have 2008 files that run just by copying onto you computer, these are pirated files. In 2009, Scott disabled the print function on the pdf files. If you have 2009 files which you can print, you have pirated files (they enabled the print function when they pirated the files).
I look forward to your posts on this subject. I have been considering acquiring CD version and I had planned to look at the secondary market. What ever I buy, I want to make sure it is legitimate. A few years back I bought a pirated Steiner CD. I was most distressed to have been duped. David
Regarding my subsequent posts, they are for identifying counterfeit CDs "after-the-fact" (i.e., after I received them).
Based on my experience, the only way to be assured of getting genuine Scott CDs is to:
1. buy them directly from Scott (unfortunately, they don't make the CDs/DVDs anymore) 2. buy them from an authorized Scott dealer who can verify they acquired them directly from Scott 3. buy them from someone who you can believe when they said they bought them directly from Scott
The only genuine ones I've acquired are via #1 and #2, and I can believe #3 because I used to have some friends who sold "second-hand" Scott CDs (they bought them originally from Scott for personal use).
As I will show later, I've gotten pretty decent counterfeit CDs from bona fide dealers (they admitted after I asked that these were from a collection they purchased) and professionally packaged "new" counterfeit CDs from a bookseller with a 5-digit eBay feedback rating (they insisted it came from a full case, but admitted they didn't get them from Scott).
Sorry about the time between posts. Trying to juggle several tasks at once.
First of all, genuine Scott CDs are "manufactured" CDs. Because they require special set-up, they are produced by the thousands++ in one production run. The CDs are produced with the data already in the media. There is no "CD burning" step.
The CDs we make at home, or "produce-on-demand" CDs (like the Steiner CDs), are "burned" from CD-R blanks that you can buy off the shelf at the store. Manufactured CDs, on the other hand, are fabricated with the data already in the media (it is not burned in).
So by flipping the CD over, you can quickly tell a manufactured CD from a "burned" CD. Below, the first picture the data side of a counterfeit Scott CD. It is a "burned" CD -- you can see the "ring" where the data was burned. The ring grows from the inside toward the outside edge of the CD. Disregard the sector of darkness to the right and to the left -- it is an artifact of the picture taking. The ring will differ in width based on how mach data was burned, but is typical of "home-made" CDs. No matter how good the outside packaging looks or whether there is printing on the face of the CD, if you see the ring then it is not a genuine Scott CD.
Now compare to the data side of a genuine Scott CD:
Compare the 2 CD data side pics. The genuine CD has no ring, because it is manufactured. If the burned CD is "full", then the ring may not be obvious.
So the other way is to look at the numbers on the hub!!! Blank CD-Rs will have a "spray-on" number near the hub edge. The manufactured CD lacks this spray-on number. It only has the manufactured number in the area between the hub and the data. Blank CD-Rs will someones also have a number there. But if there is a spray-on number on the hub itself, then it was orinally a CD-R blank and not a manufactured CD.
If you have some, you can compare your own blank CD-Rs to some commercially-produced music CDs you might have purchased.
If you buy a second hand Scott CD, you can always ask them to provide a pic of the data side.
In the next post, we will discuss how to tell from the "front side" in case you don't have or can't get hold of a pic of the data side.
OK, in the first pic below, the front of the counterfeit CD looks pretty nice. It appears to be a pretty good duplication of the genuine CD. However, it has the typical printed label. The printing is done on a label first, and then the label is applied to the CD-R. The label is has the typical large "hole" where the plastic hub is -- this helps to address centering/balance/adhesion issues when applying the label. I've applied thousands of labels when I produced CDs for my NPO. Labels with very small holes (enough to match the hole of the hub) are available but are a pain to work with and the results often are not good.
Below is a pic of the front of a genuine Scott CD (sorry, I didn't have the same year readily available). The printing is done directly on a prepared printing surface of the CD. There is no label. In this case, the printing surface/coating goes over the plastic hub and almost all the way to the hole of the hub. Since the printing is done directly on the CD, there will often be alignment issues. If the printing goes all the way to the edge of the coated printing surface, some of the printing might actually get onto the uncoated CD. If you enlarge the picture below, you can see a little bit of the background printing of dots extend past the top right edge/quadrant of the coated printing surface. This will not happen with an applied label, as any printing past the label edge is removed when you peel off the label from the sheet. These details, you usually cannot see in a seller's pic.
There are CD-R blanks available with pre-coated printing surfaces. But I haven't encountered any counterfeit Scott CDs that used them. Even if they did, you can still tell by looking at the backside ring.
Here's one of the better counterfeits that I've encountered. Once you open it, you can still see it is a burned CD, but the quality is quite good. It came in a shrink-wrapped jewel case, and jewel case insert is quite convincing. So until you open it up, it looks good from the front and back. Below are pictures of the front and back, respectively.
On the spines of the genuine CD jewel case, the name of the catalog appears. On one spine, the Scott logo will appear with the catalog name. On the opposite spine, there is no logo. Below is example of genuine spine from the side with the Scott logo.
Below are the opposite spines from the rather convincing jewel case insert of the counterfeit CD from the previous post. True to form, one side has the logo, while the other side doesn't. But the logo is off-alignment from the text. That's a warning sign that they were sloppy doing the cut/paste to arrange the fake insert layout!
But wait, Yanks and Brits often spell words differently, but neither of us spell "CLASSIC" that way!!! They may have cut/paste the logo, but the catalog name they retyped and then cut/paste, not realizing they made a typo. That's the clincher, that I can expect a counterfeit CD inside.
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