Duplicate Barcodes
Barcodes reuse is normal in some cases. e.g. Magazines may reuse codes from year to year, toy companies may sell 20 different colors under the same UPC code, etc. But in some cases, companies have reused barcodes for different products. When we find these they are displayed with a selector, so you can choose the correct code.



Bootleg Codes
Bootleg movies and other digital content sometime use incorrect barcodes. Two examples of Netflix DVDs are shown below:



Both of these labels have barcodes for the same UPC code. These images were captured from online sites selling DVDs. The images vary slightly, but the bar widths have the same pattern which determines what number is encoded in the barcode. When scanned with a barcode reader, they both scan as UPC 031398262985. The readers read the bars to get the number and ignore the human readable number below the bars.

Note that the human readable numbers below the barcode do not match the real barcode on either UPC. Without a barcode scanner, most people would not notice that the codes are fake/wrong.

This could be simple misprint, where the wrong barcode was used, but also note that both 031398263299 and 031398263619 are invalid UPC codes. They both have bad check digits. While it is possible that all these errors were made by a legitimate distributor of DVDs, these are likely bootleg DVDs copied by someone that doesn't understand how barcodes and scanners work.

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