Portuguese authorities create K-9 pirate unit

Mumbai: Following a successful demonstration by Lucky and Flo – the world’s first ever DVD-sniffing dogs – in Portugal in January, Portugese law enforcement authorities were so impressed that they have trained Ruca, a five-year old Black Labrador, to sniff out DVDs.

Ruca is now the third dog that has been trained to combat optical disc piracy around the world as a direct result of the success of the MPAA’s very own Lucky and Flo.

"Two years ago when we introduced Lucky and Flo to the world, it was our hope that law enforcement and customs officials around the globe would see the tremendous value these amazing dogs would add to their anti-piracy operations," said MPAA chairman and CEO Dan Glickman. "Lucky and Flo’s successes in Malaysia and the Philippines, coupled with demonstrations of their skills all over the world, have led to greater awareness about the impact of film piracy. We are thrilled that Portugal has joined Malaysia in forging new ground in the fight against global piracy."

In March 2008, the Malaysian government launched the world’s first-ever canine unit to fight piracy. The two Labrador sniffer dogs were donated by the MPAA and trained to identify optical discs and assist in the detection of hidden counterfeit optical discs, like Lucky and Flo before them.

Portugese flea markets and public fairs across the country are flooded with locally produced pirate discs. Ruca’s training was initiated by the Portuguese GNR (National Guard) and will be used to assist in inspections of fairs and markets where illegal discs are traded.

The worldwide motion picture industry, including foreign and domestic producers, distributors, theaters, video stores and pay-per-view operators lost $18.2 billion in 2005 as a result of piracy – over $7 billion of which is attributed to Internet piracy and more than $11 billion attributed to hard goods piracy including bootlegging and illegal copying.