Unauthorised DVD-R discs cause furore

TDK is considering legal action against a distributor who has been selling unauthorised DVD-R media in the Australian market.

The company recently discovered DVD-R discs, sold under the brand name Digi Media, bearing the TDK manufacturer identification code without the vendor’s consent.

The manufacturer identification code is engraved into the stamper at the time of manufacture. The code identifies the manufacturer of the disc and is read by the recording drive. TDK pays manufacturers a fee so that its discs can be read by DVD burners. This way, DVD writers can automatically detect settings, such as the speed of the media, and adjust accordingly for the best recording quality.

“This is the first time we have come across this in Australia,” TDK Australia general manager, Dennis O’Sullivan, said. “It originally came up in Europe and Asia and we were told to keep our eyes open. All of a sudden we had a call from a consumer who had bought the media from a distributor.”

The disks are not TDK-branded, but when you use burning software it recognises the vendor as TDK.

“When the discs didn’t work properly, the customer contacted us,” O’Sullivan said. “To be honest, most consumers are not going to care unless they don’t work, but we are warning resellers to be careful.

“TDK will take no responsibility for these DVD-R copies,” he said.

The distribution of the discs infringed on copyright laws and broke the Trade Practices Act," O'Sullivan said.

He asked distributors and resellers to watch for unauthorised media.

“These companies are pirating our code,” he said. “We have already spoken to the distributor, but they don’t seem too worried about it. Our biggest concern is that we don’t know how many of these discs are out there.

“If we take legal action, retailers will be told to take the product off shelves. They can be just a liable as distributors.”

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