Help Center - What is a 'pirated' or 'burned' copy of a movie? How do I know if I have one?

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A pirated movie is an illegally produced DVD.  These can range from professional-looking discs to obvious copies (ie, burned discs).  Pirated movies of all kinds are not permitted at SwapaDVD.  Officially released MOD DVDs with valid UPCs will be accepted.

Some tips on how to tell if you have a pirated movie:

Look at the top of the DVD (the part that has the title/graphic on it):

  • A double ring running around the outside of the movie's graphic often means the movie is pirated.  These double-ring movies also often have the Movie-9 on them (see below)
  • Asian characters below the title.  Since many movies are pirated in Asia, they may have Asian characters below the title. Some legally produced-in-Asia movies may have these characters.  If your movie is not an Asian movie (originally released in Asia by an Asian film company), it should not have Asian characters on it.
  • The "movie-9" symbol, which does not appear on legal DVDs.  Movie-9 means a dual-layer DVD.
  • "All-region" symbol on a major release.  If this is a Hollywood or American movie that was released recently, it would not be released in all-region format. 
  • "Promotional Copy",  "Screener Copy", "Not for Sale or Rental".  If these words appear on your DVD, it is not necessarily a pirated copy, but it can't be swapped at SwapaDVD.
  • Is the graphic printed onto a paper label?  If so, this is a pirated copy.
  • Does the DVD have the words "DVD-R" or "DVD + R" on it?  This may be a burned copy, made on a DVD burner, and it might be illegal. Note: Made-on-demand (MOD) copies that are downloaded legally and burned to disc may have "DVD-R" or "DVD +R" printed on them - those are not illegal copies and will be accepted for swapping here with a valid UPC.

If you receive a pirated copy of a DVD, notify us.

A burned DVD will often have a paper label on the top of the DVD and the underside of the DVD will be purple in color.

  • Less sophisticated copies will have no label, but just the DVD title written on the top of the DVD in marker.

If you receive a burned copy of a DVD, notify us.