Once in a while, my dearest brother-in-law (who shall be known forthwith as NewYorkBoy), will be travelling somewhere dodgy and will mysteriously acquire a pirate copy of a dvd which he will then send to us.
So, you ask, what's a quick way for me, the innocent consumer, to tell if I have a dvd with an eye patch and a parrot? Well, first try and decifer the storyline from the summary on the back of the sleeve. If you can't make head nor tail of it, it's probably a pirate copy. Open Water (this is actually the film about the two Americans on a diving trip to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and they get left behind when the boat returns to the shore) has a great summary (this is exactly as it appears on the sleeve):
"Reorganise to take according to the true affairs, the film leading role is two frogmans, they at once routine diving hour discover mistake into on shark swarm of Dangerous water, however connect to send their yacht to have left at this time, two persons sinks into immediately isolated in, surroundgs wreath, they how The kind of then can can't let the oneself become the beautiful meal of hungry sharks? Great sea in, can rescue two people of, only have themselves the ...."
I kid you not.
Ok, so how else can you tell? Put in the dvd player. If a scrolling message on the bottom says "This copy is for preview only" or "For your consideration" or "Property of ***** Studio only" I think we can be fairly certain that it is a pirate copy.
Still not sure?? Ok, the final test. Put on the English subtitles - if they appear to have been written by a drunken monkey with a typewriter and no grasp of tense, then you are probably watching a pirate dvd. Although I do have a theory that if you drink a bottle of rum, place the couch on a seesaw to replicate the movement of a ship and then try to understand the subtitles - they will make perfect sense.