An alliance of film industry groups that includes the pet friendly Motion Picture Association of America and the Federation Against Copyright Theft has announced the world's first dogs specially trained to detect CDs and DVDs in bags and packages. The idea is that the dogs will be able to alert police to large stashes of pirated movies.
The MPAA says there are currently two DVD-sniffing dogs in the world. They are Labradors named Lucky and Flo and they have worked all over the world, in the United Kingdom, Malaysia and beyond! These wonderful canines have been taught to recognize the unique smell of a compact disc.
In recent past, these two dogs have been working in Malaysia and have become celebrities in Malaysia for sniffing out massive stashes of counterfeit DVDs will have their stint extended to help authorities hound movie pirates, an official said Tuesday.
Lucky and Flo, on loan from the Motion Picture Association of America, were originally scheduled to stay in Malaysia for a month, but they now will be based here "for the foreseeable future," said MPAA senior operations executive Neil Gane.
The extension was requested by the Malaysian government, which "found the help (of the dogs) in their operations to be very successful" and wants more time with Lucky and Flo to evaluate whether it should train its own canines to perform similar work, Gane said.
The black Labradors will mainly participate in more Malaysian raids, but they also could be deployed to other countries for anti-piracy operations from time to time, Gane said. He declined to identify which countries were being considered, citing security reasons.
Malaysian movie pirates have reportedly placed bounties on Lucky and Flo, who have so far helped uncover 1.2 million pirated DVDs and CDs worth nearly $3.5 million in raids on warehouses, shops and offices that served as storage centers for pirated discs.
Deputy Domestic Trade Minister S. Veerasingam said his ministry, which handles anti-piracy efforts, is considering setting up a canine unit to take over from Lucky and Flo, the national news agency Bernama reported.
"However, what we need is the cooperation of consumers to avoid buying pirated products," Veerasingam was quoted as saying by Bernama. "If the consumers refuse to cooperate, Lucky and Flo and any other dogs will not be able to eradicate piracy."
Lucky and Flo are the world's only dogs trained to detect a chemical used in making discs, the MPAA has said. Malaysian officials say they have been useful because they found discs that might otherwise have gone unnoticed in locked rooms and concealed compartments.
Malaysia is among the world's main producers and exporters of pirated discs, the U.S. government and the MPAA have said. According to the Malaysian government, 5 million discs were seized in more than 2,000 raids nationwide last year, and 780 people were arrested.
The MPAA says its members, which include Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox and Universal, lost $1.2 billion to Asia-Pacific movie pirates in 2006.