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?

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Comments on “MPAA Trots Out Bootleg-Sniffing Wonder Dogs For Another Publicity Tour”

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CharlieHorse says:

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 …

Nobody Special says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Komataguri says:

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!

Iron Chef says:

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.

zcat says:


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!

Enrico Suarve (user link) says:

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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