What’s up with the pirated/bootleg DVDs?
While it is true that the English version of the Unico movies are no longer under copyright by anyone in America, they are still copyrighted by the original owners (Sanrio, Tezuka Productions, etc). It is illegal to produce fanmade copies of copyrighted material for sale unless you own rights. Characters/Images/names/etc are copyrighted as well so using images for DVD cases is also illegal because you don’t own the rights to use the imagery.

eBay has rules about Intellectual Property to help keep bootlegs of copyrighted and trademarked material off. The only problem is that eBay and other companies who own rights cannot keep track of every single person or store selling these items. Usually the only people that can stop bootleggers are the official copyright owners who get in touch with eBay directly.

The pilot episode (also known as the pilot movie) that usually comes included with the bootlegs IS DEFINETLY under copyright by Sanrio and Tezuka Productions. Notifying the rightful owner should get sellers and DVD creators shut down and possibly sued if the owner chooses. The seller is responsible for their listing and are liable. They are responsible for researching the item’s copyright information to insure that it is not infringing any owned rights. Sometimes sellers don’t know their product is a bootleg so they continue to sell the item.

Just because someone is selling bootleg items does not give others the right to do so. It is an unlawful act and needs to be stopped. Buyers need to pay close attention to items and their descriptions to insure that they are not being ripped off.

What to look for:
Japan and Germany are the only two countries I know of that have official DVD releases. Bootleg DVDs usually have poor quality packaging and imagery and cost a lot less than what a regular DVD would cost. And with most DVDs, there is always copyright information on the back. On bootleg DVDs, there may be no copyright information at all. On the disc itself there should be numbers in the middle area to let you know that a REAL place put together and burned the DVDs and is official. Asking the seller for UPC numbers or other information can also help you spot if it’s a fake or not. And usually a real DVD is coded for the correct region it’s produced for. America is usually has Region 1DVDs. Most bootlegs say that they are Region Free. If America did have official Unico movies on DVD, they would almost definetly be on Region 1 discs.

More Information:
eBay’s Intellectual Property Rules
How eBay Protects Intellectual Property
Guidlines for Creating Legally Compliant Listings
Anime Digital – The Pirate Anime FAQ

People/places that sell bootleg/pirated Unico items:
Please note! DO NOT flame these sellers or harass them in any way. They are responsible for the items they sell. Contacting the rightful copyright owners or the website owners is the right thing to do. This list was created for potential buyers so that they know what is legitimate and what is not. DO NOT flame or harass the buyers either. If they choose to purchase pirated/bootleg/copyright infringed products then that is their business.

– Seller that is selling bootleg DVDs.
– Seller that is selling bootleg DVDS
– Seller that is selling canvas prints without owning any copyrights
– Seller that is selling bootleg DVDs
– Seller that is selling bootleg DVDs
– Seller that is selling fanmade items without owning copyrights
– Seller that is selling fanmade items without owning copyrights
– Seller that is selling fanmade posters without owning copyrights
– Place where sellers create their own store to sell bootleg DVDs
– Place where sellers create their own store to sell bootleg DVDs
– Seller that is selling bootleg DVDs
– Store selling bootleg DVDs
– Seller that is selling bootleg DVDs