Company Looking To Hire 'Piracy Investigators' Promising $500+ Per Night

from the or-they-could-spend-it-on-better-business-modeling dept

Reader TPBer alerts us to a Craigslist ad in San Antonio looking for "piracy investigators," for whom they're willing to pay $500+ per night to go around to various bars and other such venues seeking out places showing live sporting events on Pay-Per-View. Since Craigslist ads don't last long, here's a screenshot:
Of course, it seems like this ad was placed in the wrong section. Why put it in "services offered" rather than job opportunities? It doesn't look like Craigslist charges for job ads in San Antonio (as it does elsewhere), so it's not to avoid the fees.

Either way, the actual website this points to, PiracySurveillanceJob.com is somewhat entertaining. Apparently, the whole thing involves a California-based company. The application page notes that any work you do will be "under the direction and license" of a California Private Investigator named Wayne & Associates, which appears to be owned by a guy named Randy Cervantes in LA.

As for how much the job pays, apparently, it's based on how many venues you can find showing PPV events who haven't paid up on your given night, and it works as follows:
With leads provided to you:
With a video: $100
W/out a video: $75

Self generated leads you come up with:
With a video: $175
W/out a video: $150
Also, to prove that people actually get paid, they've posted a pdf of checks to people, with some identifying information redacted (not very well, actually). They also list a Twitter account you can follow for "discrete notifications" of future jobs, but of course, all of the followers of that account (13 as of this posting) are listed publicly.

I also like the various requirements for the job, including that you have to call a ton of places up yourself the day before an event to ask if they're showing the event, and then compare that to the "legal list" that is sent to you of places who have paid for a license. It also says that you cannot be "timid or shy" and that you shouldn't apply for the job "if you're on your last $20," since they expect you to pay for your own gas to travel from bar to bar.

Anyway, the whole thing is a bit amusing, if you were wondering how operations like UFC (who is listed as a client) go about tracking down bars and such playing unauthorized showings of their events. It seems like a lot of money and effort for this sort of thing, but they must think that it leads to some sort of benefit.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Robert P (profile), Mar 1st, 2011 @ 9:47am

    video?

    I'm wondering about the fee's with and without a video. Is that saying the "investigator" would take video to document the "infringement"? If so, I wonder how long before the investigator is sued for infringing him/herself for unauthorized recording.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2011 @ 9:49am

    Oh, so this is how every infringement creates 12 jobs?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    Tom Landry (profile), Mar 1st, 2011 @ 9:53am

    A paid professional rat.

    Good luck if you accept this and rat out a group of folks who are affiliated with certain crime organizations. Said organizations usually make a lot of cash on sports betting/entertainment. I'm guessing shutting them down wouldn't sit too well.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Mar 1st, 2011 @ 9:57am

    Re:

    Snitches get stitches.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    Jay (profile), Mar 1st, 2011 @ 10:08am

    This is EXACTLY what the performance rights organizations do... This is not protection, it's extortion through our judicial system! And now, I will never watch UFC again because their business practices are horrid!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    johnjac (profile), Mar 1st, 2011 @ 10:17am

    The market will adapt

    A bar showing PPV is like a scalper. They are market adjusters, one when the cost for the event is too high, another with the cost is too low.

    Either way people think they are entitled to set a price and everyone must obey it.

    See also Amazon ebooks and Book publishers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Mar 1st, 2011 @ 10:18am

    Re:

    Good luck if you accept this and rat out a group of folks who are affiliated with certain crime organizations. Said organizations usually make a lot of cash on sports betting/entertainment. I'm guessing shutting them down wouldn't sit too well.

    The Mafia vs. Hollywood in a caged death match is something I would actually pay money to see.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    Jay (profile), Mar 1st, 2011 @ 10:27am

    Re: The market will adapt

    But isn't it true that those scalpers do quite well by helping people get more tickets?

    Going to be interesting to see what happens in similar markets.

    Link for NY scalping

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2011 @ 10:29am

    It seems sort of like crowdsourcing, except there is a payday.

     

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  10.  
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    VoicesInMyHead (profile), Mar 1st, 2011 @ 10:36am

    Re:

    >>Oh, so this is how every infringement creates 12 jobs?

    Actually... 13 if all the twitter followers are waiting for the next event to track down.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    NullOp, Mar 1st, 2011 @ 10:38am

    $$$

    Considering this might save untold number of jobs in the entertainment industry don't ya think it should pay more? Lets say $10,000 w/ video...

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2011 @ 10:44am

    Re: Re:

    Or grounded and pounded.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2011 @ 11:06am

    dang, these guys will pay 500 bucks to be a snitch when big sis wants you to do it for free? if I see something it'll cost you 500 big ones before I say something

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Mar 1st, 2011 @ 11:17am

    I'd like to go the malware/adware route...

    And swiftly rack up piles of cash by generating false positives. They seem like they'd be amenable to this, what with their already dubious M.O.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2011 @ 11:28am

    See? Piracy can create jobs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2011 @ 11:42am

    Re:

    You need a reason to not watch UFC fights?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    Ess (profile), Mar 1st, 2011 @ 12:54pm

    Somewhat fair I suppose

    But as some people said, "Snitches get stitches" or "grounded and pounded". There is a very real risk that recording video or taking pictures in bars that don't pay could get you some stitches especially if you're there alone and word gets out. That said theses bars make tonnes of money off of dragging people out to watch PPV events they don't want to pay for at home so it seems like a fair target causing actual damage. Many bars will take in 10k or much more a night so why is the pay so low? If your taking all the risk, out of pocket for expenses, and then they use your information to sue, certainly for upwards of 10k since the law works so well in their favour, shouldn't you be paid at least in the thousands? It seems like they only care about PPV infringement a little bit. Feel sorry for the suckers who need the cash but at that pay they might have to hire illegal immigrants, don't fall for it.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Mar 1st, 2011 @ 1:28pm

    Masnick pretends he doesn't support piracy, yet gets so upset at a perfectly legal help wanted ad about cracking down on it.

    He simply must write an article about it, lamely attempting to mock it because, y'know, he doesn't support piracy.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weasel

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
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    Not an electronic Rodent, Mar 1st, 2011 @ 1:45pm

    Re:

    blah blah blah Masnick kicked my puppy again blah blah blah ... pardon?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 1st, 2011 @ 2:54pm

    Re:

    Masnick pretends he doesn't support piracy, yet gets so upset at a perfectly legal help wanted ad about cracking down on it.

    I'm sorry, but can you point out where I indicated I am upset?

    I'm sorry if you falsely read that into what I wrote, but that might also explain why you continue to defame me and claim I support piracy when I do not. I do not understand your sad obsession with pretending I believe something I do not. Perhaps your band wouldn't be failing so tragically if you spent half as much effort as you do defaming me towards actually adapting to a changing market place.

    I have offered many times to help your band. That you choose not to do so, but instead spend your time lying about me says quite a lot about you and why you are failing in the music business.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Mar 1st, 2011 @ 3:05pm

    Re: Re:

    Why did you write the article, Masnick? Hmmm?

    I dare you to answer that question. Or are you just mad cuz I called out the obvious on you (again)?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2011 @ 3:57pm

    50 nights work

    25000$ i'll then turn myself in for a 3000$ settlement

    WOOT
    Profit

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Mar 1st, 2011 @ 4:58pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "I dare you to answer that question."

    Perhaps you need to double dare him.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
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    monkyyy, Mar 1st, 2011 @ 5:21pm

    Re: video?

    ITS A TRAP

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Ryan Diederich, Mar 1st, 2011 @ 5:24pm

    Piracy

    Back in the day, it was a crime for women to vote. They called it a crime.

    And yet, society advanced, evolved, and made its way to a higher understanding of the equality of humanity.

    Here too, piracy may be a crime, but it is a crime pushing back the greedy ones and setting them straight.

    Its a sit in, a protest, WE WILL NOT PAY FOR IT.

    Why is it any different from walking to work to boycott the bus?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
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    monkyyy, Mar 1st, 2011 @ 5:31pm

    Re: Re:

    id pay to have it happen, not to see but to have greed kill greed

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Mar 1st, 2011 @ 8:38pm

    Re: Piracy

    Back in the day, it was a crime for women to vote. They called it a crime.

    Women didn't have the right to vote. It was never called a crime.

    piracy may be a crime, but it is a crime pushing back the greedy ones and setting them straight.

    No, it's ripping off creators. You're just trying to rationalize your greediness. Taking something without paying = greedy. duh. You're fooling exactly no one.
    And you're a douche for even trying to peddle that stale bullshit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Mar 1st, 2011 @ 8:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I could dare him all day long, but he's either too cowardly to tell the truth, or too lazy to make up a lie about it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 1:27am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Why did you write the article, Masnick? Hmmm?


    Because I thought it was interesting to see how these things worked -- it's a subject that hasn't received much attention.

    Why do you misrepresent nearly everything I say? Hmm?

    I know you won't answer that question.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 1:29am

    Re: Re: Piracy

    No, it's ripping off creators

    You keep saying that, and yet, every time we see a creator embrace models that involve giving away their content, they make more money.

    So why do you continue to lie and claim we support ripping off creators?

    Are you really so scared to admit that I might be right?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 7:36am

    again

    50 nights work times 500$ =25000$
    then ill arrest myself and take a settlement for 3000-5000

    THIS is how you do it.....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
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    DanVan (profile), Mar 2nd, 2011 @ 6:00pm

    And these companies then turn around and cry to the government & public about being broke when they are still setting sale records with massive revenue

    The fact that they think going around to bars for such a little amount is a good idea shows how utterly clueless they are top to bottom

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2011 @ 7:27pm

    I work for this company and make a good living doing it. I work part time and the pay is Ok and with expiernace can pay a little more. The one that is making the money is the law office. This is a very safe job done right and as a family man i would not do it if it is usafe. I do believe that they are breaking the law, the bars that is...If you had a product someone was making money off of it illegaly you would want it stopped,

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
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    Danejah (profile), Aug 24th, 2011 @ 7:56am

    There will always be doubters

    Why not get up and work..Yes this company pays and YES it is exactly as the ad says. If you go in groups it is a lot easier to get the pirated clubs bas, shoe stores, and resturaunts. The fights cost just as you are required to pay but bars are charged based on how many people fit inside. Is it fair for an owner to stream a fight from his laptop FOR FREE charge you 6.00 for a beer and a 20 cover charge. NO..So why feel sympathy for them. Just as they feel they are making a living so am I....

    Please speak of what you know, and if you are ready for this coming Saturday's UFC so am I.. HOPE TO SEE you paying at these bars while I see the fight and GET PAID.. My checks in the mail......

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
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    Jame dirt, Feb 12th, 2014 @ 3:05pm

    Piracy Jobs

    I have worked for this company for over 5 years and make a good part time revenue once you get the knack its easy. The bars are fines up to $10,000

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
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    Danejah (profile), Feb 15th, 2014 @ 8:48am

    Legit

    Actually this is a legit gig, and yes the ad is exactly as it states. I have been doing this for the last 5 years and it isn't easy..JUST as the ad states..However, once you do it for a while you will notice patterns and know which areas are more prone to pirate particular fights. It is a whole lot easier when you have someone to go with you because trying to find parking places to be in a bar for less than 3-5 min gets expensive and wastes time. I have made over 1100 in a 4 hour window and as little as 0 in a 6 hour window with expenses that don't get reimbursed. Gas, parking, entry fee's when there is no pirated event on, etc. But when you do get a hit, entry fee's are reimbursed and YES if you do video you get paid more. It is not a job for the dumb, non creative, confrontational, timid, or even for the lazy, last 20$ in my pocket type of person.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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