Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Photo of camera
by Jeff Koga
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is paying the Los Angeles police department to install cameras to crack down on DVD bootleggers. So far four cameras have been installed and six more are on the way. Although the LAPD refuses to say where the cameras are installed, but there is information on Xeni's post on Boing Boing. The post also contains funny details of their adventure.

I hadn't realized that there was DVD piracy activity in LA. I wonder how much "lost revenue" they will recoup from these cameras. I wonder what else the LAPD going to use these cameras for. Having said that, I think we probably have more cameras per square inch in Tokyo than in LA. Welcome to our world.

Xeni has filed a story with Wired News about this as well.


Hi, Joi -- Sean Bonner created some topographical maps of the site, and posted those along with more photos and his first-person account over at Check it out:

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Hi, Joi -- Sean Bonner created some topographical maps of the site, and posted those along with more photos and his first-person account over at Check it out:

The MPAA spends a quarter million $ to prevent the sale of some crappy DVD's you can download in higher quality on the internet... makes you wonder: perhaps the wanted buzz in the news around the issue is more important ... [we will crack down on piracy!]

Dear Joi:

The last time I went to an industry screening here for a really hot movie, the audience was informed that the four people standing in front of the screen wearing night vision goggles were private detectives hired to catch anyone who tried to record the presentation on a video. That was before they passed a new law, making it a felony to do this. The going rate for that kind of suveillance would be about $50 per hour each. About 50 cents for every member of the audience, all industry professionals. Fairly cheap insurance against piracy.

Joi - there's DVD piracy activity in your backyard.
Just walk along Roppongi and you'll see guys behind tables selling bootlegged DVDs. Nuts.

yeah DVD bootlegging and also high quality cd-rs sales are really everywhere. When I lived in Birmingham, AL you could pick up bootleg DVDs of newly released movies at the convience stores. I remember seeing Constatine for sale before it hit theaters.

Francis - the bootlegs being sold in LA (at least the ones we checked out) wheren't the 'filmed in the audience' variety, these had time stamps and other crap, or where different movies entirely. They are definitely coming from a source other than audience videos.

Sean: What difference does that make? It was an industry screening, meaning the people there all work making movies and should know better. There is a lot of money to be made of course. They caught an LAPD Captain selling pirated DVDs last year. Theft is theft. Having spent more than 20 years in the security business (aka "asset protetion") I can only applaud any effort to keep people from stealing product. Yeah, detectives with night vision googles are a little chilling, but whatever works, right? What gets me is the hypocritical stance taken by some big media outfits, who complain about this kind of thing and then turn around and steal rights from creators like myself.

What's next, Canal St in NYC?

Why is it so impossible to make everything?

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