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Malaysian Tintin VCD set: bootleg?

#1 · Posted: 7 Oct 2004 01:23 · Edited by: Pelaphus
All the "i"s are dotted and "ts" are crossed. The Malaysian VCD set of the 1992 animated Tintin is not a bootleg like its Chinese DVD "cousin"; it was jointly distributed by Tora Home Entertainment and Cinekom home video, with contact info provided on the packaging. Also on the packaging is a "Video Piracy is a Crime!" stamp, plus another that says "Teks Indonesia Original VCD." A number of product sponsors are listed on the back of each VCD sleeve including Samsung Digitall (the misspelling is intentionally part of the logo: DIGITall, whose slogan is "everyone's invited"), and a 2000 copyright to Herge/Moulinsart is duly listed. Plus, in a separate box there is an advisory: "FOR SALE AND RENTAL IN INDONESIA ONLY. WARNING: All rights of the Producer of the work reproduced reserved. Unauthorized copying, hiring, lending, public perforemance, radio, TV broadcasting or any other media of this video prohibited." The disk labels and descriptions are free of language and consistency errors. Titles are listed in English, a parenthetical small-print Malay translation is displayed underneath. At the top of each sleeve, Herge's name is centered. Underneath is a blue band that says THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN, also centered, with the familiar two-head icon (Tintin and Snowy with bone) superimposed on the blue band to to left. The distribution company plays its signature intro before each video starts, and at the end of some disks there is featured an "also in this series" catalog.

There are more details to cite, but I'll stop there. Virtually everything about the presentation and packaging is kosher.

As for the assertion that its only Western appearance being on eBay, and its inability to be imported by VCD shops marks it as bootleg, that would seem to be false guilt by association. At the time I got my VCD set it was not cheap (about eighty bucks), and the price (and frequency) of VCDs on eBay went down only once the DVD sets started to compete.

Re VCD imports -- Tell you a story: A number of months ago I heard about a set of Eastern Asterix VCDs, went online to see if I could purchase one. Only Indian shops sold the set. Even though it is perfectly legal to sell and send a single unit for personal use, NO Indian shop on the web would put through the sale, the licensing restrictions are that stringently enforced.

I suspect that the Tintin VCDs were remaindered (or flat-out stolen?) and somehow illegally or semi-legally moved (smuggled?) out of their "sphere of jurisdiction." (Actually, if anyone knows of an anecdote to support or refute this theory, I'd love to hear it.)

As to the supposition that the presentation of stories with individual (rather than conjoined) episodes means the likelihood that the source recordings were from broadcasts, this is not true. I have a few "off-the-air" bootleg VCD sets (didn't realize quite what I was buying at the time) and the quality is MARKEDLY different. The Tintin VCD tranfers are clean, flawless and unmistakably drawn from primary sources.
#2 · Posted: 7 Oct 2004 13:12
I have a VHS from an official box set some years ago with Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham's Treasure on it-Secret of the Unicorn is in two parts, as on TV. I also remember that the videos of the Ellipse-Nelvana series (the ones around before the Anchor Bay releases) had the stories in two parts. These can still be found on ebay now. So I agree that having two episodes of one story has no relevance to piracy at all.
#3 · Posted: 10 Oct 2004 16:32
I just always assume that VCDs are mostly bootlegs or copies...I didn't know that there are 'official' VCDs.
Sp when coming from countries like Malaysia.

Now I know it isn't so.
#4 · Posted: 11 Oct 2004 12:46
The Malaysian VCD set is probably bootleg.

As far as I know, the only legal distributor of Tintin VCDs in Asia is Apple Tree Films (of Singapore); the company is on Moulinsart's list of authorized Tintin distributors.

Apple Tree Films have released 21 discs, each sold separately. The tracks are entirely in English, with no subtitles, and no TV commercials*. When I was in Singapore a few years ago, I saw the discs for sale at Borders, on Orchard Road. At the time the discs were relatively inexpensive: SGD10 per disc (approx. AUD8.10/USD5.95/EURO4.80/GBP3.30). Today, the VCD set can be purchased from the Chinese version of the official Tintin site.

For more details and see what the VCD looks like, please refer to our Tintin DVDs, videos, and VCDs guide.

* In the thread, "Wanted: Tintin Ellipse-Nelvana series DVDs for Region 1?", Pelaphus mentioned that the Malaysian VCDs contained Malaysian TV ads in them.
#5 · Posted: 11 Oct 2004 13:48
Thanks for clearing it up Marsbar!

#6 · Posted: 11 Oct 2004 20:07 · Edited by: Admin
Not to be argumentative (I promise) for you may well be right, but I propose another scenario. As I say, there's nothing apparent about the Malay set that cries "phony" to me. (If it's permissible to upload images here, and someone might tell me how, I'll scan a representative disk and sleeve, and you can examine it yourselves.)

However, half the Malay set's provenance, Tora Home Entertainment, no longer has the web presence indicated on the sleeve -- while the co-releaser Cinekom (www.Cinekom.com) is still around. It may also be possible that Tora went under and in so doing lost any claim to the license. As I indicated in another post somewhere, this set didn't "smell" phony to me ... it smelled remaindered. (The Herge/Moulinsart copyright is 2000; I purchased it in 2002; and we're comin'up on 2005. That's a hugely long shelf life for ANYTHING these days.) Is it possible that the Tora/Cinekom release, rather than being bootlegged, has merely been discontinued and replaced by the Apple Tree set?

(I've done what I can to find out by the way: I just posted emails to reps at both Apple Tree and Cinekom, asking if they can clear up the mystery. Let's see what, if anything, they have to say. I'll post any responses here, once/if I get 'em.)

That said, if anyone needs region free or region 1 disks, the Apple Tree set sounds like the way to go. The VCDs should play on most DVD players, and will certainly play on any computer CD-ROM drive where Quicktime (Mac) or Windows Media Player (PC) is installed.


[Response from Admin regarding uploading images: I shall get in touch with you on that, off-forum.]
#7 · Posted: 10 Jan 2005 04:31 · Edited by: yonan32
hi all, i live in Jakarta, Indonesia, so maybe i can give my view on this VCD thing. as far as i know, yes Tora/Cinekom, is legitimate. they are a legal distributor of Video CDs here. i dont know if Tora/Cinekom's licence expands up to Malaysia or not, but i can tell you those VCDs, at least in Indonesia, are official. Video CDs, up until last year, is the most popular and common format of video entertainment here, regardless of their poor quality.

Tora released mostly Japanese Anime VCDs, but they also throw Tintin there, which pleased us Indonesian Tintin fans a few years back. it was sold in two packages, one is a tin can, which sold for IDR 29,000 (around USD 3.5) and one with a cardboard pack, sold for IDR 15,000 (around USD 1.7). yes it's very cheap, but that's how much animation/cartoon VCDs go for here.

however the sale of those VCDs didnt go quite well, apparently, despite their low price. they hit the lowest point when Tora starts giving them away, bundled as a bonus in Alkaline batteries packs! yes you read it right, here we can buy 4 AA Alkaline batteries and you get 1 Tintin VCD for free.

hope that clear things up.
#8 · Posted: 10 Jan 2005 22:45
yonan32 wrote: Tora/Cinekom, is legitimate. they are a legal distributor of Video CDs here.

First of all, welcome to our community, yonan32. Tora/Cinekom may very well be a legitimate company. The question, however, is that do they have the rights to release Tintin cartoons. They are not on Moulinsart's list of licensed distributors. If memory serves me correctly, Phelapus said that he had contacted Tora/Cinekom and would tell us if he received a response.
#9 · Posted: 11 Jan 2005 12:10
I also sent a message to the Fondation, to which message I got a response saying that the person was passing the question on to some more appropriate department in the organization.

Further to that I have heard nothing, but I am firm in my belief that the Dupon(d)ts/ Thompsons have been dispatched in full Malaysian national dress to investigate...
#10 · Posted: 7 Feb 2006 10:45
hi, just checking back this thread again after some time. i just think it's weird how you announce it as "The Malaysian VCD set of the 1992 animated Tintin" when it's clearly noted in the packaging, the written copyrights and the subtitle itself, that it's in fact INDONESIAN, not MALAYSIAN. we're two different countries, you know ;)

granted, the one you mention as legitimate is Indonesia's version. Malaysia probably got their own version of it.

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