>Ninjas (and Dogs) Hate Pirates

>So… they’re training dogs to sniff out DVDs in packages in an effort to fight piracy (listen to the story here).

This is a little to easy both to question and to make fun of. Let me say that in the story this morning on NPR, the UK spokesman actually did confirm that the dogs can’t tell the difference between pirated and legitimate DVDs. So apparently our friends across the pond still subscribe to the theory that their American counterparts are a bit dim.

The MPAA claims that in 2004, the entertainment industry lost $3.5 billion to piracy. Okay…

  1. The article concentrates on efforts to stop online distribution of stolen movies… but this number doesn’t include online file-sharing.
  2. How can they actually calculate a loss to piracy? Statistics and predicted outcomes: fancy words for “making up stuff to support my own ideas.”
  3. How do they know these people would have bought the movie if it hadn’t been available online? (Back to the Napster hoopla: I know some people who have bought CDs they wouldn’t have otherwise, because they’ve been able to listen to the whole thing freely online.)
  4. The MPAA director states that people need to learn that piracy is “harmful to the people who use their talents to create movies.” I’m sure his stern words have caused many pirates to think insightfully about how they’re harming that set carpenter on the movie ads.
  5. Alex and I always groove to the funky music at the beginning of Blockbuster DVDs, before realizing that it’s the anti-piracy ad. They’re only succeeding in showing that pirates have great music–probably because they stole it all online.
  6. All this being said, YES, piracy = bad; please don’t infringe on any person/group/industry’s talent/way-of-making-a-living/copyright. Delete that copy of “Superman Returns” right now! Heck, it’s badly pixelated anyway–don’t you deserve the theater/movie-rental/home-theater experience?
  7. Oh, my apologies to the MPAA for not stressing the theater experience exclusively. Maybe if theater ticket costs didn’t make gas prices look decent…
  8. Shiver me timbers, but ye be givin’ pirates a bad name!
  9. Ninjas may hate pirates, but they make interesting roommates.
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