Did you know that about 99 out of 100 game music CDs being sold online or on auction sites right now are pirated CDs, or bootlegs?
Bootleg CDs are those that are reproduced and sold without authorization by the original publishers of the music. This has become a very serious issue throughout the entire recording industry, but it’s an especially serious problem among the game and anime music community. Countries such as Taiwan and China have taken advantage of the lack of widespread distribution of game and anime soundtracks, and have thus flooded the market with cheap, unauthorized knockoffs. Aside from not being an “official” product, the original publishers receive nothing from these sales, which ultimately hurts the very artists who create the music. In fact, buyers are often fooled by these bootlegs, since they often don’t know what legitimate albums look like.
How do you know if I you are buying an authentic album or a bootleg?
Well, if you shop with us, it is very easy. Every item we sell in store is a legitimate CD from the original Japanese manufacturer. We feel very strongly against these products, so you’ll never see us selling them.
Why should I buy authentic, original copies when bootlegs are so much cheaper?
How would you feel if you spent a lot of time, talent, money and energy creating something, and then a fake goods company came along, copied it and made a load of money, not giving you anything at all in return? Unless you live in Taiwan or another country that hasn’t signed the Berne Convention, it is illegal to import them, your customs office has the right to confiscate these goods and would probably destroy them. You wouldn’t get a refund of any kind either. US Citizens should note it is also a federal offense to import, buy, sell or trade these goods.
Often the production of unlicensed goods is used by organized crime rings to launder money made from selling drugs, pornography, prostitution, and to generally expand “business” opportunities. If this still isn’t enough to dissuade you, the quality of the pirated goods is inferior compared to official goods. Unlicensed goods go through little, if any quality control, and are often rushed into production. They haven’t been tested prior to release, so you’re much more likely to receive a non-working CD. Do you think the seller will take back a your CD if it’s open?
Finally, money made from game music merchandise licenses goes into making more game music, so buying unlicensed goods is hurting the game music industry. No one can say how much it is hurting the industry as the bootleggers are not exactly legitimate businesses and don’t release their sales figures, but judging by the sheer volume of these unofficial products for sale, one can only assume the damage done is substantial.
Bottom line: We support the artists and their hard work, and hope you will too!