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Lucky and Flo Credited for US Piracy Bust

Postby IceCube » Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:00 am

After being deployed in Malaysia, bootleg busting dogs Lucky and Flo have come the United States. So are their days of sniffing out plastic discs over? Will they now enjoy a doggie vacation in a dog spa? Hardly.

A recent bust in the Queens district of New York saw the seizure of "thousands" of pirated DVDs from three retail outlets from the Jamaica section of Queens. Operators of these operations were also arrested.

District Attorney Brown said, "For the first time in the United States, specially trained DVD sniffing dogs have actively participated in a criminal investigation aimed at combating DVD piracy. The dogs passed with flying colors by successfully ferreting out hidden contraband at a number of locations. Man’s best friend has become a DVD counterfeiter’s worst nightmare as we now welcome this latest weapon into our law enforcement anti-piracy arsenal."

“The MPAA has a multi-pronged approach to fighting piracy, including public outreach and enforcement. And since last year we’ve added two more very talented crime fighters to our arsenal, Lucky and Flo, the world’s first DVD-sniffing canines,” said John Malcolm, Executive VP and Director of Worldwide Anti-Piracy Operations for the MPAA.

“Lucky and Flo are in New York to help raise awareness about the pervasiveness of film theft and about the dangerous nature of many of the criminal syndicates that engage it,” continued Mr. Malcolm. “I commend the Queens District Attorney for his efforts to fight film piracy in his jurisdiction and for utilizing these amazing pups in yesterday’s raid. We are pleased and proud to assist him in his ongoing efforts to combat this pernicious crime that puts money into the hands of serious criminals and deprives creative artists of their right to make an honest living creating works of movie magic that we all enjoy."

The three defendants are currently being charged with second-degree trademark counterfeiting and first degree failure to disclose the origins of a recording. The maximum sentence for these actions by the defendants is 4 years in prison.
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Re: Lucky and Flo Credited for US Piracy Bust

Postby ShawnSpree » Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:08 am

Never a bad dog, just a bad dog owner.. I like to put the dogs to sleep but more or less the owners.
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Re: Lucky and Flo Credited for US Piracy Bust

Postby SlyckTom » Thu Aug 30, 2007 12:27 pm

ShawnSpree wrote:Never a bad dog, just a bad dog owner.. I like to put the dogs to sleep but more or less the owners.


It is totally uncalled for and inappropriate for you to make such a remark about human life. I don't want to hear any such thing again...This is not up for debate, so let's all move on... :pissedoff: :arrow:
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Re: Lucky and Flo Credited for US Piracy Bust

Postby Crash4419 » Thu Aug 30, 2007 12:50 pm

Maybe we should consider packing our DVDs in chocolate. Or we could always hire a hitman. :pirate:
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Re: Lucky and Flo Credited for US Piracy Bust

Postby SlyckTom » Thu Aug 30, 2007 12:53 pm

Didn't read my post eh? Thanks for your short visit to Slyck...
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Re: Lucky and Flo Credited for US Piracy Bust

Postby SchmuckofNI » Thu Aug 30, 2007 6:13 pm

Just another reason why people should get external harddrives. :) I doubt those dogs can sniff out bootlegged content on harddrives. lol
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Re: Lucky and Flo Credited for US Piracy Bust

Postby Spyker1 » Thu Aug 30, 2007 7:25 pm

I applaud the work being. The physical pirates SHOULD be the ones targeted, they are making money off of other peoples work. I hope they bust many more.
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Re: Lucky and Flo Credited for US Piracy Bust

Postby Grizz » Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:15 pm

I'll admit to being rather ignorant in this instance, but I'd simply like to ask the question, so someone with knowledge can enlighten me.

How do the dogs differentiate between "pirated" discs and legitimate DVDs? I'd assume it has something to do with writable discs in general, but they're not illegal in and of themselves...

This whole thing seems kind of trumped up and polished, with little attention paid to details.
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Re: Lucky and Flo Credited for US Piracy Bust

Postby IceCube » Thu Aug 30, 2007 9:50 pm

I could never really figure it out myself entirely on that point. I'm just guessing that the dogs are simply finding disc's and the authorities are there to also determine whether they are pirated or not.

I got an idea on what they were probably smelling by checking out something that is borderline related. While they claim that CD's and DVD's will 'preserve your memories forever!' (lets face it, what formate hasn't had retailers making this same promise?) Apparently, what makes discs rot is the organic material eating away at the data layer. It does this right away, but takes forever to really cause any problems. I don't know if the process makes an odor, but I'd imagine that there's a good chance that they are.

It's similar to most (if not, all) drugs. Drugs are organic material and, of course, you can easily train dogs to sniff them out. I kinda figured the two were related.

Plus, there's the pervasive theory that suggests that it's probably the dyes that the dogs are detecting.

Of course, for all I know the MPAA could also be making this up. I mean, I've never seen the dogs in action myself. This really is the MPAAs/FACTs story, we're just reporting on it. :) I mean, it's also a pretty funny story as well IMO.
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Re: Lucky and Flo Credited for US Piracy Bust

Postby ntscuser » Thu Aug 30, 2007 10:00 pm

My guess is the smugglers see the dogs, become nervous and the dogs smell their fear :roll:
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Re: Lucky and Flo Credited for US Piracy Bust

Postby Adeamus » Thu Aug 30, 2007 11:07 pm

Pirates that make money off of the hard work of others SHOULD be put behind bars. Sharing and selling are two completely different things.

I applaud Lucky and Flo, and hope they snag many more pirates like this before their work is done.

As for how these dogs are able to sniff out the discs, It is safe to assume they were trained to smell the dye off of the discs.

Since retail discs are pressed (Pits and bumps), and recordable media is written to, the smell between the two has to be different.

Feel sorry for the poor sap that is a distributer of legitimate software, like Openoffice.org

Talk about embarrassing.
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Re: Lucky and Flo Credited for US Piracy Bust

Postby NotNow » Thu Aug 30, 2007 11:56 pm

I think what the dogs are really trying to sniff out is bootleg copies of dogie porn. :D
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Re: Lucky and Flo Credited for US Piracy Bust

Postby KTetch » Fri Aug 31, 2007 3:05 am

Since lucky and flo are not exactly new to the scene, it should be easy enough to find out about them.

Lo and behold, there are some stories written about their earlier attempts, noticeably this piece from May last year, and this one from April this year.

In short, as those two articles say, as does the press releases for the stories, the dogs sniff out polycarb. So, the dogs will sniff out anything made of the plastic. There is no way for them to tell legitimate from bootlegged, as the Stansted 'trial' showed (first link above).

Personally, I'd hate for them to come around my place, because I've got polycarb everywhere. I use it quite a lot, and I wouldn't be surprised to find it's shavings ingrained into my floors. (lets put it this way, for the last 6 months, I've had a dozen quarter inch thick pieces of 4ftx8ft, and a similar number of eighth inch thick pieces sitting behind my sofa (don't ask) that's nearly a half-ton - or in MPAA parlance, about 35,000 DVDs worth. The dogs would wet themselves.
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Re: Lucky and Flo Credited for US Piracy Bust

Postby Mel_Smiley_VIP » Fri Aug 31, 2007 6:52 am

The police say the dogs can do it so it must be so eh? Fooey!
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Postby MrFredPFL » Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:10 pm

KTetch: i was very interested to see info regarding the specifics of how these dogs work. however, when i checked the two links you posted, all i saw was one comment attributed to a member of the MPA in the TF article. what i do not see, however, is any specific discussion from FACT regarding how the dogs operate. you say the press releases confirm that the dogs are trained to smell polycarbonate aka lexan, but i cannot find that anywhere in the press releases. could you please help me find this/these comments? thanks. i'd love to see what they say themselves about this - in the meantime, no slight intended to any of the other sources, but unless i missed something somewhere, i'd have to call that hearsay.
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Re: Lucky and Flo Credited for US Piracy Bust

Postby bobdobbins » Fri Aug 31, 2007 1:31 pm

Well, it is quite interesting to read about how the dogs work. But, I want to know where their names came from. Anyone know why they are called Lucky and Flo? Hope I'm not missing anything obvious, but I enjoy their names.
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Re: Lucky and Flo Credited for US Piracy Bust

Postby hedgem » Sat Sep 01, 2007 3:26 pm

I wonder if the dogs can double as marijuana sniffing agents and score false hits whenever the government has a seizure and needs Mylanta or something.
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Re:

Postby el33tcrew » Sat Sep 01, 2007 10:08 pm

MrFredPFL wrote:KTetch: i was very interested to see info regarding the specifics of how these dogs work. however, when i checked the two links you posted, all i saw was one comment attributed to a member of the MPA in the TF article. what i do not see, however, is any specific discussion from FACT regarding how the dogs operate. you say the press releases confirm that the dogs are trained to smell polycarbonate aka lexan, but i cannot find that anywhere in the press releases. could you please help me find this/these comments? thanks. i'd love to see what they say themselves about this - in the meantime, no slight intended to any of the other sources, but unless i missed something somewhere, i'd have to call that hearsay.


Here are a few sites that can help to back up the information that was linked posted atop. The reference to "polycarbonate" is half way down the page on the first link. Hope this helps to clarify the "hear say"

http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/ ... ndex_html/

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/nort ... 454375.stm
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Postby MrFredPFL » Sun Sep 02, 2007 12:43 am

thanks :)

but actually, imo the second link contains far more credible info. the first link has an unattributed "quote" from an unnamed source - where i come from, that's hearsay too, and no more authoritative than any of the previous references ;)
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Re: Lucky and Flo Credited for US Piracy Bust

Postby indecision04 » Sun Sep 02, 2007 1:21 am

Grizz wrote:I'll admit to being rather ignorant in this instance, but I'd simply like to ask the question, so someone with knowledge can enlighten me.

How do the dogs differentiate between "pirated" discs and legitimate DVDs? I'd assume it has something to do with writable discs in general, but they're not illegal in and of themselves...

This whole thing seems kind of trumped up and polished, with little attention paid to details.


They can't tell the difference IIRC. But if you have oh, say 1,000 dvds with you at the airport or wherever, it's pretty obvious why.
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Re: Lucky and Flo Credited for US Piracy Bust

Postby piXelatedEmpire » Sun Sep 02, 2007 9:49 pm

Spyker1 wrote:I applaud the work being. The physical pirates SHOULD be the ones targeted, they are making money off of other peoples work. I hope they bust many more.

Completey agree :toast:
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Re: Lucky and Flo Credited for US Piracy Bust

Postby Grizz » Wed Sep 05, 2007 2:24 am

OK then, so the dogs can sniff out "polycarbonate".

And we've also established that this doesn't have anything to do with differentiating between legal and illegal material (something I obviously knew all along, but posed the question for arguments sake).

The obvious thing now is, the dogs are really not good for much. In order to search for contraband, the humans doing the search must already have been tipped off that someone unlawfully possess copyrighted material on writable discs.

Therefore, all the dogs do is save a little time, as a search by a human would probably turn up the same results, just not as quickly.

Sounds kind of boring to me. The whole thing is just a publicity stunt.

Fear not the dogs, because you can't just be randomly searched by some retarded copyright enforcement agent and their rent-a-cops, without some kind of just cause.

This is just a tailor made time-saving solution for street vendors and common places of activity.
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Re: Lucky and Flo Credited for US Piracy Bust

Postby piXelatedEmpire » Wed Sep 05, 2007 8:44 pm

Grizz wrote:The obvious thing now is, the dogs are really not good for much. In order to search for contraband, the humans doing the search must already have been tipped off that someone unlawfully possess copyrighted material on writable discs.

I beg to differ - what about things like warehouses and shipping containers that could contain pirated dvds? The dogs would be able to lead the officers to these kind of places by scent alone - whereby humans would need to conduct searches of each different warehouse/container in an attempt to locate pirated dvds. A huge time saver I'd suggest.
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Re: Lucky and Flo Credited for US Piracy Bust

Postby MookeyMookerson » Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:41 pm

I agree that busting the sellers is a good thing. But really all the counterfeiters would need to do is line their boxes with Nalgene bottles (those are polycarbonate, PC) :pirate:
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Dogs are amazing!

Postby johnnycomelately » Wed Sep 05, 2007 10:44 pm

Dogs have an incredible sense of smell - they are even trained to smell cancer cells in humans! :!:
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