Douglas Crockford

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November 2006

Lucky and Flo

When Jack Valenti stepped down from driving the MPAA, he handed it over to his hand picked successor, Dan Glickman. Yes, the Dan Glickman, Bill Clinton's Secretary of Agriculture. That stint at Ag well prepared Glickman for his post as the Lobbyist-In-Chief for the Motion Picture Industry.

In his first year at MPAA he planted the seeds of a project which is now bearing fruit: The K-9 Pirate Smackdown.

MPAA has had two black labradors trained to respond to the scent of polycarbonate. Lucky and Flo are DVD sniffing dogs. They have been on a PR tour, demonstrating that it is theoretically possible to stop DVD smuggling at the border. If you accept MPAA's assertion (which you shouldn't) that $18.2B was lost in 2005 due to piracy, and of that $18.2B, $11M is attributable to hard goods smuggling, then DVD sniffing dogs at all borders could reduce the problem by 0.06 percent! You can almost imagine that the program could pay for itself, with the cost of keeping the dogs and training them, and their handlers and everything.

Except that a legal DVD smells the same as an illegal DVD, so if there is a legal DVD in the manifest of a shipment containing mostly illegal DVDs, there isn't much Lucky and Flo can do about it. But they seem like really nice dogs. And I think it is nice that Glickman was able to use his animal husbandry skills so effectively in Hollywood. "These two animals are armed with an amazing scent that can help us in our fight against optical disc piracy."