MPAA Trots Out Bootleg-Sniffing Wonder Dogs For Another Publicity Tour

from the woof-woof dept

Last fall, the MPAA showed off its newest tool in the fight against piracy: two specially trained labradors, who it claimed could sniff out pirated DVDs. Just one problem with the otherwise brilliant plan: bootleg DVDs smell exactly the same as legit ones. Also, just having two of the dogs wouldn't seem to make much impact on such a geographically spread-out issue. But why bother with such realities when you can just haul the dogs out every so often and fly them somewhere new in the world and grab some more PR? The dogs are now in Malaysia, where they're hanging out for press photos, and doing nothing to stem the tide of pirated CDs and DVDs, or helping the MPAA's members figure out some new business models. Despite quotes from the MPAA and a Malaysian official about how the dogs do such a great job at fighting piracy, basically all they've got are some canine false-positive machines. While the dogs might be able to go through shipments to detect DVDs very quickly, what about all the time that humans then have to waste inspecting shipments by hand just to appease the MPAA? But the group doesn't want you to focus on that too much -- after all, aren't those dogs really cute?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Jezsik, Mar 16th, 2007 @ 6:37pm

    You don't need dogs to sniff out the pirates

    Just take a walk through Chinatown's Petaling street. Now, if you want to train something to sniff out illegal DVD's, maybe they should try the giant Malaysian cockroaches, they'd need that many to sniff 'em all out.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2007 @ 6:41pm

    Re: You don't need dogs to sniff out the pirates

    well if a burnt dvd has a different scent from legit mpaa produced dvd's which could be because of the way they are made... it could be possible that these dogs can smell fake ones....

    LOL who am i kiddin.... this is bs

     

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  3.  
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    CharlieHorse, Mar 16th, 2007 @ 6:55pm

    mpaa diabolical scheme?

    the answer is obvious, really. MPAA has been adding insect pheromones to the dvds for years ... the dogs easily sniff them out this way. plus, wasps will come and sting to death anyone trying to pirate them.

    it's BRILLIANT! what geniuses ...

    wow, and I thought they were just a bunch of money-grubbing bastiches ... how wrong I was ...

     

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  4.  
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    PhysicsGuy, Mar 16th, 2007 @ 6:57pm

    hmm

    maybe the mpaa produces its movies with a light lavender scent and they train the dogs to sniff out dvds sans lavender smell.

     

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  5.  
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    PhysicsGuy, Mar 16th, 2007 @ 6:58pm

    or insect pheromones. death by horny wasps sounds a lot better than lavender :)

     

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  6.  
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    Paul, Mar 16th, 2007 @ 7:14pm

    Wha?

    Does the MPAA even have any hold in Malaysia?

     

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  7.  
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    Nobody Special, Mar 16th, 2007 @ 7:24pm

    not as stupid as it might appear

    Yes, bootleg DVDs smell just the same as legal ones. But they don't need to look in a shipment of legal DVDs for bootleg DVDs. They need to look for them in shipments marked as something else. And while two dogs are woefully inadequate, the biggest number of imported DVDs come in through only a few ports on California's coast. Of course that might change if the dogs become effective.

     

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  8.  
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    Erv, Mar 16th, 2007 @ 7:57pm

    Drug sniffing dogs have hardly put a dent on illegal drugs entering the USA, dvd sniffing dogs will be even less effective.

     

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  9.  
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    EdB, Mar 16th, 2007 @ 8:59pm

    If I was a dog I'd want this job. Don't have to do nothin' but bark every now and then while actiing all excited about something. Much less risk than being a police dog, though the fringe benefits suck compared to being a drug sniiffing dog.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 16th, 2007 @ 9:24pm

    Re: not as stupid as it might appear

    no.. it is just as stupid as it appears.
    The real question is:
    a. Do they have any legal ground to search anything? I don't think that they do, even if they knew for a fact there was an illegal shipment, all they can legally do is inform customs.
    b. Are the dogs certified for use? Will a judge uphold any seizure made by these dogs? Any repercussion for wasting somebodies time searching a legal shipment of dvds?

    I am confident that if the mpaa showed up with some dogs and wanted to start searching, if you called your lawyer you could tell them to bugger off.

     

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  11.  
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    Lenda, Mar 16th, 2007 @ 11:43pm

    What about the crime of being stupid?

    It's too bad being stupid isn't a capital crime, or we could arrest the head of the MPAA and get these dangerous goobers off the streets once and for all.

     

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  12.  
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    The Swiss Cheese Monster, Mar 16th, 2007 @ 11:54pm

    It works when the dogs smell a DVD that has the odor of General Tou's Chicken on it - then they have found a pirated CD.

    For me, this means that I should never burn a DVD while sitting in a Chinese restaurant for fear that it would become suspect.

     

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  13.  
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    Richard, Mar 17th, 2007 @ 12:01am

    I had a guy try to sell me a bootleg copy of 300 the other day on the LA metro. DVD case seemed very professionally done, much better than the crappy photocopied cases you get with bootlegs in Korea. :P Remember kids, buy American.

     

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  14.  
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    Extreme Centrist, Mar 17th, 2007 @ 4:19am

    Re: not as stupid as it might appear

    Do you really think that Malaysia imports pirated dvd's from California? They're not that stupid; they have dvd burning equipment in Asia as well. In fact, isn't that where most of it is actually made? ;-)

     

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  15.  
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    Extreme Centrist, Mar 17th, 2007 @ 4:22am

    Re: What about the crime of being stupid?

    Maybe we can spray the MPAA honchos with pheromones, so the dogs will turn on them...

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2007 @ 7:00am

    OK I stopped laughing . . .now

    let's get the main stream media to ridicule the MPAA and their ilk to death. That might eventually stop their BS.

    It's clear that posting to the web won't do it - no matter how much there is.

    Politicians read the MSM, not the blogs (not enough anyway).

     

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  17.  
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    Komataguri, Mar 17th, 2007 @ 8:10am

    The apathy of piracy is disgusting.


    don't you people realize how hard it is on the MPAA and the movie producers and actors?


    They are literally loosing dozens of cents to piracy everyday!



    THeir children will have to go without nickle candy for atleast one day a year due to this horrid horrid piracy.


    Please, think of the poor, starving actors, producers and childrens!

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2007 @ 9:32am

    Just remember to coat all your pirated movies with anti-dog toxins. The poisons from a common toad are strong enough to give the dog one hell of a stomach ache (but wont kill it) and will stop it from being able to id your movies.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 17th, 2007 @ 1:18pm

    Fedex allowed the MPAA to use these dogs on random packages they had at their shipping centers. I haven't used Fedex even once since I read about that. I just use UPS now.

     

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  20.  
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    Extreme Centrist, Mar 17th, 2007 @ 1:45pm

    Re: Fed Ex

    Your comments about Dead Ex really had me going for a while! Good one! Wait, were you serious?

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Iron Chef, Mar 17th, 2007 @ 1:51pm

    Let it happen, it'll be interesting how it pans ou

    Hillarious. All it's going to take is one guy getting stopped during a layover to answer questions on why he has 50 DVDs in his carry on. Of course they will be legitimate, but because he's guilty until proven innocent, he'll miss his layover to Hethrow, the merger between AT&T and Deutsche Tekekom won't go through, because Germans really only have one thing on their mind- timeliness. Then the MPAA will have some SBC lawyers join together for some real "Texas Justice".

    Eventually they will start a class action against the actions of unreasonable search and seasure, because this so-called "contraband", isn't actually contraband, (please point to case law which says posession of DVDs or CDs is illegal) and overall warrants for unreasonable search.

    People are getting smarter and realizing that they can fight fire (lawsuits) with fire.

     

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  22.  
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    Brutus Beefcake, Mar 17th, 2007 @ 3:47pm

    Nuke Hollywood !

    I'm training my dog to crap on the welcome mat of pompous douchebags.

    Goooooooooooood doggie!

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Scott, Mar 17th, 2007 @ 7:19pm

    HAHAHAAAA...

    HAHHAHAHAHHAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHHA, puff, puff, HAHAHAHAHAHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
    HAHAHAHAHAAAAA, puff, puff, puff.....GASP, HAHAHAAAAAAAAAAA
    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAA!!!!

     

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  24.  
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    zcat, Mar 18th, 2007 @ 12:38pm

    Amazing!

    So these dogs can tell the difference between an authorised stamped DVD and an 'extra production run' made after-hours from the same master, on the same equipment, with the same blanks. That would be one fucking smart dog.

    Can it tell the difference between a movie burned to DVD and the latest Ubuntu linux distro? Do the bits smell different?!!

    This is so totally bogus I don't even know where to begin!

     

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  25.  
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    Allover, Mar 18th, 2007 @ 1:17pm

    "Your comments about Dead Ex really had me going for a while! Good one! Wait, were you serious?"

    Yes I am serious about my comment. That really did happen. Fedex even made public comments about it.

     

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  26.  
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    Matthew, Mar 18th, 2007 @ 3:10pm

    Doggie treats

    I'll have liver snaps in my luggage and once one of those idiot dogs rips apart my luggage to discover a home movie of my family I'll just sue them out of existence.

     

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  27.  
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    thinkerati, Mar 19th, 2007 @ 12:59am

    embarassing

    This is one of the more ridiculous things I have ever heard of... Why are we wasting money on useless things?

     

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  28.  
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    Enrico Suarve, Mar 20th, 2007 @ 2:22am

    How do I inform the MPAA?

    How do I let them know that my shipment is legal?

    One of the things my company do is make sampler DVDs containing code for potential customers - we also use our inhouse DVD burning facility to produce DVDs containing images, tools etc for our field support (all fully licensed and legal)

    Last year I went around a snowboarding show in London and this lovely lady from Utah gave me a promo DVD on winter sports in her region...

    Obviously everybody who produces DVDs in quantities over 1 should inform the MPAA of their activities, since they are the world DVD police

    Who do we call and should I call them everytime we burn or everytime we ship or travel with them?

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2007 @ 5:12pm

    DVDs from chinatown smell terrible, but it's RIGHT out there on the street. Maybe a pair of glasses would help them find these bootleg dvds

     

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