The MPAA's New Secret Weapon: DVD Sniffing Dogs!

The MPAA is serious about stopping piracy—so serious that they’ve hired DVD-sniffing dogs to patrol border-crossings. No, we’re not kidding. DVD-sniffing dogs are real and they’re already on the job!

From the NYT:

At City Hall Park this morning, the association’s chairman and chief executive, Dan Glickman, showed off two black Labradors, Lucky and Flo, that have been trained to sniff for DVDs.

Their trainer, Neil Powell, 61, of Newcastle, Northern Island, has been a dog trainer for 35 years, preparing dogs to detect explosives and drugs and perform search and rescue missions. In a phone interview, Mr. Powell said that DVDs were a new area for him.

“The thing that motivated me at the start was to put a stop, or try to put a stop, to pedophilia,” he said, noting that the trade in DVDs are often used to produce and exchange child pornography. “That was my highest priority.”

It took Mr. Powell more than six months to train Lucky and Flo to detect and act on the scent of polycarbonate, the polymer used in DVDs. Since the spring, Lucky and Flo have been on loan to the Malaysian and Philippine governments, working with law enforcement officials at border crossings, participating in several raids and sniffing out pirated DVDs in storage centers and packages bound for export.

We think this is a much better strategy than suing your customers, but it is a little creepy. Don’t you think?

Fresh Off Malaysian Triumph, DVD-Sniffing Dogs Tackle New York [NYT]
(Photo:Liz O. Baylen for The New York Times )