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MPAA training Dogs to Sniff Out DVDs

samzenpus posted more than 8 years ago | from the I-thought-this-was-a-joke dept.


LandownEyes writes "The dogs, Lucky and Flo, faced their first test at the FedEx UK hub at Stansted Airport. "FedEx was glad to assist in Lucky and Flo's first live test in a working situation. They were amazingly successful at identifying packages containing DVDs, which were opened and checked by HM Customs' representatives. While all were legitimate shipments on the day, our message to anyone thinking about shipping counterfeit DVDs through the FedEx network is simple: you're going to get caught." Kinda makes me thing twice about shipping anything through FedEX. Seriously, this is like training drug dogs to find plastic bags."

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This is a TheOnion article, right? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305256)

I hope so.

ESR sniffs too... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305257)

The following exposé [] , written under extreme duress, is the result of an information leak out of ESR's SourceForge fortress that is the center of his refinery compounds and gas chambers within his insidious Gas Barony.

The information did not come cheaply, however, and that is why I believe that this story must be published: A troll, in the guise of a hired Hessian mercenary, infiltrated ESR's SourceForge compound with the fullest of confidence among the dread Slashdot Moderators and the loathed GNU Patrol. It is in this expose that I detail the significant information the document that the covert troll gave his life to bring me contained.

Eric S. Raymond: Arrogant Gas Baron

by Trollaxor on Sunday, June 24, 2000

I'll come to your meeting or presentation and donate my time. Yes, that's right, I'll do it for free (the first time, anyway).

Yes, that's right, folks, he'll do it for free (the first time, anyway)! See, ESR's time is so valuable, being that he can't be away from his home network of 386s running Linux, that he has to limit his time to one free presentation per group. Not that that's an unreasonable request for any other person... It's just totally arrogant because he pretends his time is worth enough to limit it to only one free presentation per group. Hell, if people were not so easily fooled by his Refinery wealth, they'd realize he should be paying them to even attend the presentations he currently speaks at. Please, someone, put a leak in this Petroleum Fiend's ego!

Anyway, on we go...

If you are not a local Linux user's group, you can make your request more attractive to me by scheduling a double-header with the local LUG...

Here we have another example of ESR's total blind arrogance. Assuming that he swings enough weight around to include his herds of unwashed Linux users at any event that he presents at.

Of course ESR knows he can, at a whim, call upon the GNU Patrol and Linux users and have them beckoning at his feet for orders (which usually are to buy cases of Jägermeister), and include them in any presentation's audience by sheer force of number... But ESR has darker plans behind the quote above.

The statement above is evidence that, simply, ESR is trying to spread the diseases of Linux zealotry, poor hygiene, and Communism, using the very organizations that pay for his lifestyle, dumbly hypnotized by his Black Gold wealth, as a catalyst for his viral teachings, in hopes of converting those caught in his wake. A wake of stench thick with idealism, crude oil, and BO.

(I'm free the first time. But if you're a profit-making entity and you decide you want my time on a regular basis, I'll have to think up a consulting rate.)

Ah, yes. He'll have to think up a consulting rate. ESR will estimate how much he wants paid to brainwash hapless victims.

ESR is obviously delusional as seen above: he doesn't have a consulting fee that he uses already simply because he's never consulted before. He's never held a regular job, in fact. Yet he thinks that there are those that would consider such a thing. Fortunately drug testing and hygiene codes have kept him out of the computer industry work force as of yet...

...I want my plane fare prepaid and pre-booked. If there's a hotel stay needed I want the room tab guaranteed, incidentals and meals and all (no chintzy base-rate-plus-tax-only stuff; I loathe having to argue with the front desk).


If you're a big company or a conference that charges admission, I expect you to pony up for business class or first class (so my travel exhaustion will be minimized) and I don't ever want to have to even look at the hotel bill.

Want, want, loathe, expect. Is there anything that is to ESR's liking? Can anything satisfy him? Only people jumping through hoops to satiate his unfathomable appetite for personal indulgence comes close to slaking his thirst for pampering.

ESR wouldn't lift a finger to save himself so long as he thought there was some poor fool nearby he could convince to save him for some greater good.

The above statements also shows ESR's ice cold contempt for blue-collar and low-level white collar workers everywhere. As if ESR himself were in a position to consider such people below him! Obviously, never having held a job does deepens ESR's contempt for those who are gainfully employed.

Let me emphasize that last, because conference organizers seem to have trouble following through on this. If I am asked for a credit card at checkin time, you have screwed up. Don't screw up, or I won't come back.

Short on patience and quick to temper, ESR is known to be a harsh master to the millions he holds as employees in his Gas Barony. Public executions and gas chambers are a standard part of his disciplinary model, and ESR tries to push as much of it as he can on those he doesn't (yet) control.

His arrogance is displayed in the above quote by his assumption that people are willing to comply with such irrational and rudely-made requests and demands. Unfortunately, some people and groups still are...

I don't use booze or have any other expensive tastes I can gratify on the road, so you don't have to worry about a bar tab or anything like that.

The above statement is a plain lie ESR uses to make himself more attractive to prospective marks that might consider the Gas Baron as a speaker at expos and conferences.

ESR is a heavy alcoholic, which can been seen by his ruddy complexion, garnered after years of drinking Jägermeister as if it were water. I also have archives of a covertly-recorded AA session [] in which ESR introduces himself and admits his addiction to what he called God's only true son and forgiver of sins.

Re:ESR sniffs too... (0)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305338)

Assuming this isn't fraud, it seems to me your problem is Eric can ask for this sort of rider and expect people to deliver, while you can't.

Damn! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305258)

There goes my plan to smuggle drugs by DVD.

In other news (5, Funny)

ArTiCwInD (846978) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305262)

"Dogs have been trained to sniff out potential downloaders from airport custom queues, more news at 11"

OMG! Poniez!!!!1 (1)

Entropy (6967) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305264)

Isn't it a tad late for april fools, or do DVDs have some odour that we humans just can't pick up on? I mean, WTF????

Re:OMG! Poniez!!!!1 (4, Informative)

bladesjester (774793) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305339)

CDs and DVDs do indeed have a distinct scent. I know this is going to sound weird, but take the cover off of your spindle of cdrs and sniff.

Re:OMG! Poniez!!!!1 (4, Funny)

Entropy (6967) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305441)

Right. So I did as you suggested. And I don't know whats weirder. That my DVD spindle _does_ have a scent. Or that it struck me as smelling like celery ..

Re:OMG! Poniez!!!!1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305472)

Crappy movie = DVD that smells like crap

Dogs sniffing data? (3, Insightful)

hakr89 (719001) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305265)

I wonder what would happen if I were to ship a burned DVD with Linux on it instead.

Re:Dogs sniffing data? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305299)

Better - ship a dvd with "very valuable" data - say the roster for your breakfast book club, write an appropriate label (eg "breakfast club") and wait for them to destroy it! (and the $$ to roll in when you sue for destruction of your personal data)


Re:Dogs sniffing data? (5, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305399)

Or an autostart function the checks if it is in a PC, and if it is, deletes everything.

FUD? (2, Interesting)

foundme (897346) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305270)

Is this real or just MPAA making false press releases to scare people off?

I wonder if FedEx will be so keen when this thing goes live and 80% of the packages have to be opened, inspected and sealed, and the number of phone calls from customers asking why.

Re:FUD? (2, Funny)

TheGavster (774657) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305287)

Just to be safe, I think I'll be slipping a blank DVD with something mean written on it with all future packages ...

Re:FUD? (2, Insightful)

afaik_ianal (918433) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305353)

I doubt FedEx is going to let them open some little envelope from you to your grand-mother. I doubt MPAA is going to effort or cost of training dogs to catch you sending a pirated movie to her, either.

FTFA: "These DVDs are often smuggled by criminal networks involved in large scale piracy operations from around the world."

If there's some big shipment labelled as "computer monitors", and the dogs pick up a scent, they're probably going to want to know if it really is monitors, or thousands of pirated DVDs.

Re:FUD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305427)

I think this is FUD. Why? If I were MPAA and this were true, I'd keep quiet of the whole thing and start catching shipments of pirated DVDs and true to my character, start suing people for gazillion dollars.

MPAA trumpetting this only notifies DVD pirates to use a competing service like DHL or something, or perhaps even find a different method of transferring data, or perhaps add covering smells to the shipments. IOW, they are telling pirates how to avoid getting caught.

Re:FUD? (2, Funny)

I(rispee_I(reme (310391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305460)

That's why the MPAA actually ran the tests at UPS ;)

Privacy? (5, Insightful)

Alcimedes (398213) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305276)

So what happens when they find that homemade video a friend is sending you from their trip overseas?

Unless they decide to actually play every DVD, or open the packaging to see what inside a case, how are they going to know?

All a pirate would have to do is ship them in unmarked cases, or ones marked "Vacation video" and mail them to the US, where their partner opens them up and puts them in the final packing material.

Sounds like a giant waste of time to me. And for what? DVD's. We can't even be bothered to search all of the crates coming into our ports, but hell, the MPAA has enough time and money to look for fake fucking DVD's.


It gets held up in customs (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305293)

that's about it. Kinda sucks if it's not a homemade video, but say, business docs on a dvd instead.

Re:Privacy? (5, Funny)

ImaNihilist (889325) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305323)

No, no, no. The dogs are only trained to smell burned DVDs that contain pirated movies. It's not that unreasonable. I can definitely smell the difference between my copy of LOTR and my original. The copy just doesn't smell as good.

Re:Privacy? (1)

nitrocloud (706140) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305340)

Ironically, this article comes just days after the MPAA estimates loss. [] It would seem that they really want to stop piracy so badly that... well... they are desperate, and that could possibly be good for consumers as members of the MPAA might have to accept a lower profit margin, reducing end-user prices.

Re:Privacy? (4, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305349)

According to the article they are going after big piraters, so presumably they are looking for a suitcase with a thousand DVDs or something.

I have to agree with you though, of all the things you could train a dog to look for, pirated DVDs is really a waste of a dog. Hope my tax dollars don't go to that. Of course, my tax dollars are wasted enough that it probably doesn't matter.

Re:Privacy? (5, Funny)

the GeeT (956313) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305377)

I've got a shipment of 10,000 vacation videos coming in on FedEx. :)

Nerds Gone Wild...on shelves soon.

Re:Privacy? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305380)

Of course if they WERE to play the dvd to confirm it wasn't the movie the label might suggest it contained, then certainly that would be a public performance, which only the copyright owner has the ability to authorise! woot - statutory damages here we come!

Re:Privacy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305458)

So what happens when they find that homemade video a friend is sending you from their trip overseas?
Simple you go to the jail and then you explain that to the dog ;)

and DRM 'em while yer at it... (5, Interesting)

RareButSeriousSideEf (968810) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305468)

Shipping them in unmarked cases is a start, but to really guarantee the items against confiscation, they'd just need to add a holographic "This is a DRM Anti-Piracy Copyright Protection Seal" label on the seam of each case. At that point, the mere discussion of how to circumvent said label & gain unauthorized access to the contents would be a class C felony.

Seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305281)

"Seriously, this is like training drug dogs to find plastic bags."

Do you have a problem with that, too? I love the Slashdot mentality of how laws should be ignored if they inconvenience our petty whims.

Now I can sleep better at night (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305282)

Knowing the MPAA won't get ripped off any longer.


"United Kingdom, Los Angeles - - The Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), express delivery company FedEx and HM Revenue & Customs, has joined forces to launch an exciting new initiative to help combat DVD piracy.

Now people are stealing copyrights and not just infringing upon them?

Morale of the Day boys: Don't ship with Fedex.

Re:Now I can sleep better at night (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305401)

Now people are stealing copyrights and not just infringing upon them?

Yeah. We call them music industry "lawyers."


Re:Now I can sleep better at night (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305487)

Copyright infringement may not technically be theft in the sense that property of value is physically removed from one person's possession, but it still is, whether we like it or not, legally still considered to be a particular type of theft in most countries.

Try arguing with a judge about it sometime. See where you end up. It's not worth fighting over.

Only Criminals Use The Mail! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305284)

Let's say I want to burn a DVD full of my graduation pictures to mail to Grandma, who lives out of state, and doesn't get out much. Does that mean the package won't get there? Or that I will be arrested and charged with piracy?

Will the DVD sniffing dogs cause my shipments from to be confiscated?

Wrong idea! (1, Insightful)

Jerry Coffin (824726) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305288)

Given that the MPAA has been sued under racketeering statutes, shouldn't we be training dogs to sniff out any MPAA (or RIAA) executives who travel? Clearly their traveling would be a strong indication of collusion with their fellow racketeers, otherwise known as conspiracy. Given the way my nose wrinkles at even thinking about them, I'd think it would be easy to train some dogs to recognize their stench.

Of course, if the dogs were trained to attack when they found this particular illegal substance...

Re:Wrong idea! (5, Funny)

mikael (484) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305396)

Reminds me of that April Fools announcement "The film and music associations announced today they are going to merge. The new organisations will be known as the Music And Film Industry Association".

Insanity (4, Insightful)

reldruH (956292) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305290)

Is it any wonder that of all the illegal products that can be shipped through the mail, the ones with the largest number of political lobbyists are getting special measures to ensure they're legitimate? This is really a case of money being used to influence politics. This is a huge invasion of privacy, and a nonsensical one at that. There's no way for these dogs to differentiate between legitimate and copied DVD's, and illegal DVD copies and legal DVD copies. Another case of the RIAA treating customers as the enemy. Makes me have no pity for them when they complain about being stolen from. Maybe if they gave their customers (you know, the people paying them) a little respect they might be able to get some sympathy and work with people to solve this problem. As it is, I think they're just contributing to it.

Re:Insanity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305482)

Another case of the RIAA treating customers as the enemy.
Not that I disagree with you, but I think you meant, "MPAA." It seems like your knee-jerk reaction is more from conditioning than an understanding of the situation.

Yes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305291)

They trained a dog to smell polycarbonate. Great.

sniffs pirate DVDs only (5, Funny)

kbob88 (951258) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305298)

Apparently it's easy for the dogs to sniff out *only* the pirate DVDs because those are the ones that haven't washed in months and smell like salt-tack and grog.

Unfortunately they haven't figured out how to train the dogs to avoid catching their noses on the hooks when they open the package...

Re:sniffs pirate DVDs only (1)

Jerry Coffin (824726) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305328)

Apparently it's easy for the dogs to sniff out *only* the pirate DVDs because those are the ones that haven't washed in months and smell like salt-tack and grog.

You mean there are actually Pastafarian DVDs? No need for any more research into artificial intelligence, eh matey? Aaargh!

This just means.... (2, Interesting)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305303)

This just means you'll need some better airtight packaging.

Re:This just means.... (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305414)

oh yeah, that really worked for drug dealers. Of course, the fact that drugs are either shipped in humans, dogs, or packed with other high odor eminating items would indicate that the idea will not work.

Just hide the DVDs in a drug shipment (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305423)

We know most of those make it through to keep a thriving market alive.

Re:This just means.... (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305432)

Nah, before you send it, dip the package in cocaine and you will be good to go.

By what authority? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305309)

By what authority does the MPAA have to even do this? They are a PRESSURE GROUP, not government. They are NOT THE COPS, they are NOT federal agents.

Or is this just another example of the corporations saying "JUMP!" and the government saying "how high?"

Re:By what authority? (1)

illuminatedwax (537131) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305407)

Fed Ex is ALSO a corporation, not the government.

Re:By what authority? (1)

flawedgeek (833708) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305484)

And being a corporation, can easily be forced out of business by pissed-off customers going to UPS and DHL.

Re:By what authority? (1)

anagama (611277) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305477)

I haven't RTFA. But let's put this in the context of an international shipment. Customs has the right to open anything and look at it. When you ship internationally, you have to declare every single item in the package. Personally, I've received obviously opened internationaly shipped packages. If it crosses the US border, inbound or out, it can be searched.

The False Positive? (4, Insightful)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305310)

I would be interested to know how the dog distinguishes between a DVD and any other mailed product which contains plastic wrapping. Perhaps they are operating on the assumption that plastic wrapping materials of the type used to shrink wrap DVDs are not common in other types of mail. One also wonders how much of a dent this will actually make in the amount counterfeit DVDs and movie piracy in general. It was my understanding that bootleggers generally sell on the street, at swap meets, and other spontaneous social gatherings where the counterfeit goods are priced as impulse purchases at 1-2 dollars apiece. The rest are probably file sharing downloads of DVD rips to divx and such so how many bootleg DVDs, not orders from or NetFlix, are actually making their way through the mail system? It is probably insignificant.

So... (5, Funny)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305312)

Who else suddenly has an urge to go buy a spindle of DVDs and slip a blank ( convienently labeled, "MI-III" ) with everything they ship?

Seriously, if you do a cost analysis, you'll find that the 10-20 bucks wasted on the spindle buys you the option to ship a real backup copy in the future.

And speaking of backups, isn't it still fair use to make backups?

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305388)

No, most of us are pretty sure David Hasselhoff sucks. He just happens to be *slightly* more popular here than the US of A. But I wouldn't brag if I were you - Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, "reality" television, Jerry Springer, Geraldo.....

Re:So... (2, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305398)

Don't the Canadians have to pay a "piracy" tax on every blank dvd they buy? So doesn't that entitle them to import pirated copies?

Spooky... er... Spot (4, Insightful)

BrynM (217883) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305314)

I found another article [] from ABC News that is (slightly) more specific. In it, they mention that "Customs officials in the U.K. hope one day the dogs will only signal when there are large collections of discs, which would more likely include illegally copied movies." This made me feel better - they were looking for bulk shipments. But then my hopes were dashed: "Trainers say the dogs have been notifying customs agents of packages with discs in them. The packages have been opened but so far no pirated movies have been found."

Now wait a second. This is a test and they are opening real people's packages. WTF? (FTW?) I didn't know that shipping plastic optical media was a crime anywhere. Sure it's "customs" that's actually opening the packages, but the fact that it's plastic optical media is not probable cause. How many false positives have they had? Is it worth pissing off that many FedEx customers for the occasional actually pirated media (of which they've found zero)?

Re:Spooky... er... Spot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305422)

Probable cause is not required when inspecting packages at customs. They can inspect anything they like, for any reason.

Re:Spooky... er... Spot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305443)

I also assumed they'd only be looking at bulk/large packages, but if they're even checking small quantities of discs in people's packages, that's bull. The choices are great... a) Send media via FedEx and the whole world sees your pictures and videos b) Send media via UPS and you get a nice envelope full of shards Seriously though, it's pretty scary that people are allowed to randomly go through your stuff because there's a 1% chance it might contain a rogue copy of such fine Hollywood films as Dr. DoLittle 3...such a threat to the world by evil criminal masterminds. I wonder if/where the small print is buried in the shipping agreement(s)?

Re:Spooky... er... Spot (3, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305457)

You seem to be under the misapprehension that Customs agents need an excuse to open & inspect bulk or personal mail.

They don't. If it goes through Customs, they can open & inspect it.

Sniffing all day long (1)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305318)

Those two dogs are going to suffer tremendously long days as servents of the MPAA. Really, are these organizations totally crazy? The failure rate is going to be extremely high because people send dvds of sorts as well as CDs all over the place, and it's not illegal. I can only laugh at this. Imagine them getting an army of dogs at this hub to ID packages that contain DVDs only to hold up the shipment of mom and dad sending Juniorette a dvd of her sister's birthday party. This is excessive paranoia on the part of the MPAA. I find it incredible that FedEx is even cooperating with these fools.

Re:Sniffing all day long (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305382)

Imagine when teh overnight shipments(which FedEx built it's name) are late because they needed to open the package and review the material.

Next time I have to use fedex I'm going to toss a dvd in the box for the hell of it. Ot maybe fill the box with broken DvDs and popcorn.

During the this exercise... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305324)

Drugs, high-explosives, weapons, decaptitated heads, those bowling ball type bombs with the wicks sticking out, a map of Afghanistan with Osama's hidden location clearly marked with an X, Sadamm's WMD and a 1.44 floppy with future plans on blowing up the Capital Building all went through undetected.

Home movies (3, Insightful)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305332)

What if you're FedEx'ing a home movie of your child's birth (including states of undress of the mother) to your mother-in-law who couldn't be there? Would the FedEx personnel be gawking at that?

It's analogous to the P2P crackdowns where the assumption is that consumers are incapable of authoring content and only Big Media can.

And, yes, I'm a bit surprised and quite alarmed that the tampering laws that apply to U.S. mail do not apply to FedEx.

Re:Home movies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305371)

Actually you would be arrested for distributing child porn.

Re:Home movies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305417)

>It's analogous to the P2P crackdowns where the assumption is that consumers are incapable of authoring content and only Big Media can.

Sure, because Napster's business model was all about sharing home made recordings of underground musicians.

Re: Home movies (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305426)

> What if you're FedEx'ing a home movie of your child's birth (including states of undress of the mother) to your mother-in-law who couldn't be there?

Yeah, unless they can teach the dogs to smell the difference between a bootleg DVD and other kinds, all they're doing is setting themselves up for a big pile of lawsuits.

OTOH, our who-gives-a-flying-f*ck-about-the-citizens-anymore government will probably make it legal for them to snoop "in the interests of national security", or else the MPAA will just work a secret deal with FedEx where they open and re-seal your packages, in the naive hope that no one will ever find out it's going on.

Re:Home movies (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305476)

I think you missed the part of TFA that informs you this is being done by Customs Agents.

You should not be "a bit surprised and quite alarmed that the tampering laws that apply to U.S. mail do not apply to" anything that goes through Customs.

If you're sending mail into or out of the country, it is fair game.

Sniffing region codes (4, Funny)

Charles Dodgeson (248492) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305333)

Now when they train the dogs to sniff things out based on region code, that will be news.

Fortunately... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305335)

...I hear the RIAA hasn't had much luck in getting dogs to sniff out counterfeit MP3s.

Send a DVD in every FEDEX package. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305337)

Can they tell the difference between an AOL CD and a DVD? I still have piles of the former that could be used as filler in FEDEX shipments.

you keep checking those envelopes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305342)

while the real pirates are filling shipping containers with millions of them

this is nothing more than a childish bit of MPAA bullshit humor , i would expect funnier jokes or even lies from primary school kids, perhaps the MPAA dont realise they have lost!

keep grabbing sand

Any hope? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305344)

My list of 'bad' companies is getting very long. Is there still a 'safe' country I can move to and still have internet accesst?

Is there an open source program out there that when I tell it something I'm going to buy it will say: "Wait, product A is made by O who does E, U, and I. Try company D, H, or T instead."

Dogs sniffing bits and bytes (2, Funny)

rollingcalf (605357) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305345)

The dogs have been specially trained by Scotland Yard to be able to not only sniff for the existence of DVDs in a package, but to sniff the bits and bytes embedded on the DVD. The 0s have a different smell from the 1s, so the dogs have been trained to interpret the bit patterns to know whether the DVD is pirated or legitimate.

Still, the dogs have trouble in determining the legitimacy of 10% of the DVDs. For those where the dogs have doubt, the Customs agents have been instructed by the MPAA to classify them as pirated copies. It will then be up to the sender to show up in court to prove it was not pirated.

Re:Dogs sniffing bits and bytes (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305416)

Ah, the good old "guilty until proven innocent" ploy. Happening more and more in our country, I dare say.

How? (1)

PhreakinPenguin (454482) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305357)

How is this even legal? They're not law enforcement AFAIK so how can they have the same powers of law enforcement? If this was the case, any citizen would be allowed just to randomly search packages at your local airport. Please someone explain all of this to someone who apparently is confused.

Re:How? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305372)

FedEX is not the USPS. I don't know if the same rules for the material shipped apply.

Who pays for this? (1)

Engineer Andy (761400) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305359)

I am not supporting piracy in terms of the mass distribution of movies, but i'd really rather not have all discs that i post / courier opened or examined for content. I don't send any objectionable material, or possess any. Like anyone, there are times when the material i send may be copyright (academic journals or the like), but i don't expect my paper mail to be opened without a warrant, and would expect that i'd not get unreasonable searches of my other mail.

Big brother, anyone?

It's like gum-sniffing, animal cruelty! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305365)

It's bad enough to subject the dogs to sniffing for drugs, now we have 'em sniffing for polycarbonate plastics. There's no telling what long term effect gonna be on those canines sniffing for polycarbonate plastics day in, day out. I'm imagining to the magnitude of gum-sniffing..

Don't get me wrong, polycarbonate may be safe, nose-wise. But freshly baked CDs and DVDs do emanates a somewhat quite strong chemical odour. It's even worse when you have a cake of them.

Animal Cruelty activists!, now's your chance to show your stuff! See that Fed-Ex (Fed-Up?) logo? Go get 'em boy!

De u N

Stroke of genious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305369)

Seeing that the only true way to see if the DVD is pirated is to actually watch it. Will that mean that my privacy will be impinged upon if I want to send, video, open source software... whatever I damn well like through FedEx?

1> Make Home Movie
2> Copyright it
3> Mail it through FedEx enough times till they open it and watch it
4> Sue their arses for copyright infringement
5> Profit!

Frickin Lasers! (1)

TuoTeg (540115) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305373)

What would be cool is if they could give the dogs frickin laser beams that could open the shrinkwrap on a typical DVD!

Who does fedex work for, customers or the MPAA? (4, Interesting)

NMerriam (15122) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305375)

This owuld pretty much stop my company from using FedEx for any shipments if they do this in the USA. We ship burned CDs/DVDs all the time, and I don't want the shipments delayed or damaged because they're constantly being pulled out and opened up for inspection.

Even assuming they have 100% identification of illegal DVD copies vs false positives once they open them up, they're still providing nothing useful to customers, with serious potential for loss or damage of customers' materials, solely for the benefit of a third party. If the MPAA wants to pay for my Fedex shipping, then we can talk, but if I'm paying for it, you can bet your ass I'll be making life miserable for fedex employees when my shipment is delayed or damaged because of this crap.

Contact Information (4, Informative)

jamesoutlaw (87295) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305379)

The Press Release instructs you to contact the following people for more information. I invite anyone concerned about this to do so as soon as possible.

For further information:

Eddy Leviten, FACT Head of Communications: 020 8568 6646/ 07768 057464

LA: Kori Bernards or Elizabeth Kaltman: (818) 995-6600
DC: John Feehery or Gayle Osterberg: (202) 293-1966

media mail (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305386)

I always ship my bootleg dvds via media mail it's soooooo damn cheap!

Ingestion Options (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305393)

I guess I'll have to start wrapping the DVDs up in condoms and ingesting them.

Let's hear it for sending the wrong message (1)

Garse Janacek (554329) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305400)

So, all the packages they opened were in fact legal. The message to take away from this is that purchasing legal DVDs can get your packages searched, and cause possible legal trouble. You're better off just downloading a copy.

I'm joking... sort of. Honestly, what good is this going to do, besides pissing off legitimate customers, thereby contributing to the further decline of the MPAA... ahm... oh. Keep up the good work!

Who let the dogs out! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305404)

DVD sniffing dogs? Gee I have a bunch of DVD for my Mac that I always carry for emergencies what are they going to do about those?
Correct me if I'm wrong, isn't this like in old Nazi Germany where the German Shepards where trained to sniff out Jews and the other people?

Why stop at FedEx? (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305405)

Why stop at FedEx? Why not have these CD sniffing dogs patrolling highschools and sniffing lockers.....ripe ground for people to stash the CDs their friends just gave them.

Or why not have them patrol college dorms? I mean...technically the students don't have property rights aside from those the school grants them.

Oh, thats right....because IT IS MORALLY FUCKING WRONG!

I'm REALLY curious if there's any way to tell if your package has been tampered with due to one of these cd-sniffers, and if so is there any legal recourse? I'm assuming since its a corporation the answer is just to take my money elsewhere.

Note to self...."misplace" all company FedEx materials and make them use UPS or DHL.

In response to the MPAA actually doing this? Well...can any of you honestly say that while you might not have expected just this're not at all surprised that something like this seriously is happening?

And I was blaming Netflix (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305406)

No wonder delivery of my Netfix discs has been slow with a couple that never arrived.

Finally a use for those AOL cds! (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305412)

Don't donate them to that company that wants to dump the CDs on AOL's doorstep! Save all those CD/DVDs, and send then VIA FedEx to the MPAA AND the RIAA, saying "Here's where you lose 95% of your profit! There's your pirate ring! They've been at it, helping millions of users download illegal stuff every day! And they've been delivering the piracy software FOR FREE!!!!"

Sorry, I hate AOL and this was just too good to pass up.

Meanwhile... (1)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305420)

...a bunch of religious fanatics from the middle of an arbitrarily designated direction are packing a dirty bomb into a crate that they plan to ship to DC via FedEx which will slide by the dogs undetected.... ...OK fine. I admit it I have been drinking. Alot.

Include a DVD with every Fed-Ex shipment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305428)

you send. Make sure you write "FUCK YOU MPAA" on them.

You mean... (1)

jsse (254124) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305429)

retrain their vast array of lawyers on their area they should excel?

Since when... (1)

Ecko7889 (882690) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305439)

Since when did the MPAA become a "enforcement body"? We already have the FBI. The MPAA should not have th authority to open up my PRIVATE mail to see whats inside. I do not know the legality of the rights of users of mail carriers, but I suspect that they should need a WARRENT to inspect my baggage. My baggage, if it did contain illegal DVDs, would not cause any threat to the carrier or its surroundings, so their is no just cause to inspect my baggage because of how a dog smells it. This is the MPAA trying to go past its privileges as a copyright holder, and not an inspecting or enforcement body. Leave it to the FBI to handle mass piracy issues, since theirs a FBI warning on the DVDs. And we all know that the FBIs top priority is the piracy of $10 DVDs, and not anti terrorism, or homeland security.

Re:Since when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305470)

This is in the UK buddy. Stop making us Americans lok bad with the fud and poor reading skills.

Solution (1)

digitalhermit (113459) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305440)

Many businesses probably can't stop using FedEx entirely, but imagine if everyone stuck in a CD or three in every package they had to send :D

Just one more reason not to use Fed Ex (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15305442)

If I ever ship to the UK, I think I'm going to include a few unmarked coasters just for grins.

Got to love it (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305445)

They can't stop illegal drugs, people, weapons, animals (and their remains) from being smuggled but "Hey, those DVD's you burned are our first priority!".

Geez. The war on drugs has gone so well that the price of drugs is at an alltime low (for you capatalist that would either mean no demand (yeah right) or that supply is plenty). Trafficing in human beings is making sure that slavery is with us more then 100 years after it was outlawed. Gun trafficing needs no explenation and some sources suggest that trafficing in illegal animals is just as good a business as drugs.

But lets start checking for copied dvd's. It only fails on just few tiny details only a bastard would point out.

  • Commercial piracy doesn't bother with burners. They press them just like the real thing. In fact often even in the same factories because machine operators don't earn shit and letting the machine run an extra 10.000 copies is a nice way to save up for your kids education.
  • Casual pirates download their stuff. Sending it via snailmail would make absolutly no sense.
  • There are plenty of other uses for recordable discs like backups, demos and such. Yes it is odd that casual downloaders can afford to download a full DVD yet companies still insist on sending demos via snailmail but thats the way it is.
  • This detects only the discs. Not the contents. Reading them would be similar to reading peoples mail. Surely even post 9/11 that is still not allowed on such a scale?

Nah this is a stupid idea. With drugs dogs you at least know that if they smell any drugs that you got a very high chance it is illegal but here they just smell the container. To actually check them to see if the disc contains illegal information is like opening a letter and read the contents. Lots of loss of privacy.

So any real copyright infringement will be unaffected, it is just another way for people to snoop on you. Do you really want some RIAA goon to check your kids birthday that you send to your parents?

Early setbacks in the program (1)

VinB (936538) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305447)

The canine DVD sniffing program would have been launched earlier, but the first few batches of doggy recruits kept getting expelled from the program for playing too much Diablo and Warcraft.

Netflix (1)

Foerstner (931398) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305450)

So long as Netflix still uses the US Postal Service, the mail will be a safe method for shipping pirated DVDs.

Can you imagine the stink the Netflix lawyers would raise if every one of their shipments started being intercepted?

If DVDs are like drugs.... (1)

Trelane (16124) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305454)

Then so much of the latest stuff has been a bad batch....

MPAA Dogs (1)

fh8510 (967845) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305455)

Those MPAA Dogs!!

Read the terms of service... (3, Interesting)

rev_media (973772) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305479)

I don't ever ship with fedex, but I'm pretty sure the form you sign when you send a package states that your package may be inspected for ANY reason. I ship to Canada quite a bit and have had several packages delayed because of customs inspections. It's interesting that the MPAA can just walk into an airport and open up packages. Just shows you how much control they have on an international scale...

New product oppurtunity ;) (5, Interesting)

rts008 (812749) | more than 8 years ago | (#15305486)

After the initial WTF?!?!, the first thought that popped into my head was of an incident that occured in W. Germany, 1979 while I was stationed there (US Army).
We (us hash smokers) had a contact in the MP detatchment that would alert us when they were going to bring the dogs in the barracks for *surprise* drug sniffing ops. Usually we would just consume all substances before they got there. One time my team mate got an idea....
We used Johnson's Paste Wax (tm) on our barracks floors (as required) to keep it nice and shiny, the barracks used steam radiators for heat, which we would set the can of wax on to soften it for easier application. ..."what if we melt the wax, crumble up oh, say about 10 grams of hash into the melted wax, then heavily wax the floors?"

Well, overkill being one of my team's trademarks, it ended up we mixed 30 grams of some really good "bubblegum black" hash into the wax, used the whole can on the entryway floor, and buffed.

The MP's and two dogs showed up about half an hour later- the dogs went NUTS!
They both went running around in little circles howling and whining for about 30 seconds, then bolted for the door trying to exit the barracks, the MP's could not gain control and had to let them out of the building.

Several of the remaining MP's made a search, but could not find anything. :)

Later on our contact told us that whatever we did totally burnt out the two dogs- they were worthless as "sniffing" dogs after that and were put on patrol duty. We never did tell him what we had done. (I use the term contact because he was one of our suppliers- we got most of our hash from such MP's!)

Now, off to my lab to synth some "Pirated DVD Smell" to spray on ALL of my mail/packages! Muuhahhaahhaaahhaa ;)
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