Verbatim warns retailers about shonky recordable DVDs

By Sarah Falson

GLEN IRIS, Vic: Digital media manufacturer, Verbatim, has issued a press release informing retailers and customers that it has recently become aware of copycat blank recordable discs, featuring its own MID codes, being sold by Australian retailers.

Verbatim’s parent company, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, acquired its own MID code called ‘MCC’ in conjunction with unnamed DVD player/recorder manufacturers which allow its discs to operate seamlessly within their units.

“A number of major and minor brands out there are selling DVD media with our MCC code, which is our own licensing code. If a DVD doesn’t have an MID licencing code, the burner won’t recognise the media,” Verbatim managing director, Paul Johnson, told Current.com.au

The press release distributed by Verbatim warns retailers that the company might be forced to take legal action against the offending manufacturers, but Johnson said at this stage all retailers can do is remain wary of what they’re selling.

“We can’t reveal to the press or to retailers which discs are using our codes, but if a retailer suspects they might be stocking one they can send it to us for testing and we’ll give them an affirmative or negative answer,” said Johnson.

Johnson does not suspect that the DVD drive manufacturers gave Verbatim’s competitors information about its MID code, but rather that the culprits created their own stamp-templates to copy the licensing code.

“As a consequence, we are looking at taking legal action. If a consumer thinks one of these copycat discs is our product, and something goes wrong with it, we won’t be able to help them,” said Johnson.

“The other thing is, in all the tests we’ve done, the unauthorised discs have a high error rate that doesn’t apply to our own discs. We don’t want people to think it’s our media and that it performs badly.”

Johnson said there are “substantial quantities” of the unauthorised discs on the market, which may need to be recalled if the case evolves in to a matter of copyright.

“If this is the case then it becomes a bigger issue,” said Johnson.

“At this stage we’re concerned with people being mislead, and people associating our brand with lack of quality. Our business is just trying to develop and sell in order to have the number one brand in the world – we don’t want to have to go through this, and we don’t want innocent people to get caught up in it.

“All I can say to retailers is, beware of what you’re buying from suppliers. We don’t want our customers to get caught like we have.”

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