CyberTech Rambler

May 11, 2006

Dogs trains to sniff DVD, but cannot distinguish fakes from real.

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 4:33 pm

Yes, we have a new weapon to combat pirate DVD, two dogs to be precise. While it is certainly newsworthy that our canine companion can be put to weed out pirates, it is worthwhile pointing out to those who are about to open the champagne that Lucky and Flo (the two dogs in question) cannot tell pirated copy from legitimate copy.

The fact that Lucky and Flo first live tests only found legit DVD in their first test was hidden in the comment by FedEx official in  Federation Against Copyright Theft(FACT) Press Release (See PDF copy of 8 May release). After what I can at best characterized as "Forward Looking Statements" by Director General of FACT and Director Optical Disk Operation WorldWide Anti-Piracy MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America). That press release is peppered with the word "piracy" and boast that this is a good anti-piracy move. Well, the jury is still out on whether the dogs are really a useful anti-piracy tool. It certainly look like the failure to find pirated DVD in their first realistic test is being swept under the carpet.

Truth is, the fact that all DVDs they found through their "wonder" nose are legit does throws doubts on the dogs usefulness. While I am sure they can also sniff out pirate DVD alongside legit DVD, it is the success rate of finding illegal DVDs that counts. In this test, the score is zero. Other factors affecting the dogs usefulness include the ratio of legitimate DVD to pirated one and the impact on the market for illegal DVD the dogs can make with every successful find. Only time can tell whether Lucky and Flo has a career as, literally, dogs of FACT (Federation against Copyright Theft) and Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

For ambitious doggies worldwhile, lets wait until the coast is clear before embarking on a career sniffing DVDs.


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