Hollywood’s Other Embattled Pirates

A uniformed man steps into a dark theater, pulls night-vision
goggles over his eyes, and scans the audience for perps. He’s not
part of some elite counter-terrorism unit. And this isn’t a scene
out of a movie. It’s a scene out of a movie theater, in Malaysia,
where, according to a
Reuters report, the Motion Picture
Association (MPA) has begun equipping ushers with
‘military-style night-vision goggles’ to help spot industrious
moviegoers making illegal recordings with camcorders or mobile
phones. The MPA, which represents the major Hollywood studios
globally, claims that 17 modern-day pirates have been nabbed by
the goggled ushers in the past two months.

The MPA’s efforts in Malaysia are only one facet of ‘Operation
Tripod,’ a 13-country anti-piracy offensive launched by the
industry group at the beginning of May in Asia as part of its
ongoing campaign to tamp down on the millions of pirated DVDs
executives claim — some say hyperbolically — are emptying
theaters and draining profits. Besides focusing on in-theater
recording, Operation Tripod has allied with Asian authorities to
quell illegal DVD production. In one six-week period this spring,
the MPA and the Royal Thai Police pulled in
308 DVD recorders, MPA senior vice president
Mike Ellis tells the Indian website Business of
. Another tack, reports the
Toronto Star, has been to show a
trailer in Singapore that tracks ‘a thief swinging in from a
helicopter and dodging lasers, trying to steal a DVD.’ The culprit
is, of course, swiftly caught.

Go there >>
Cinemas Use Night Goggles to Nab Pirates

Go there, too >>
Thai Police Seizes Movie Piracy Material

Go there, too >>
Anti-Piracy Campaign Starts in Singapore

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