June 09, 2008
MALAYSIA — Malaysia's plan to use dogs to sniff out pirated DVDs suffered a setback after one of two Labradors trained for the task died of an unknown cause, officials said Monday.
Authorities were investigating the cause of death but did not suspect foul play, said Mohamad Roslan Mahayuddin, an official in the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs.
"We are quite shocked," he said.
Manny, a year-old male, died May 31. It was trained in Ireland with another Labrador, Paddy, to sniff out a chemical used in manufacturing DVDs. They arrived in Malaysia in February and had been training with police officers and getting used to Malaysia's climate.
Malaysia sought to form the world's first permanent canine anti-piracy unit after borrowing two dogs — Lucky and Flo — from the U.S. Motion Picture Association. They helped Malaysian authorities discover 1.6 million pirated DVDs during a six-month stint last year.
Lucky and Flo's success reportedly caused movie pirates to place a bounty on their heads. The dogs cannot distinguish between real and pirated DVDs, but they point officers to hidden caches of discs.
Mohamad Roslan said Malaysia has not yet decided whether to get a new dog to replace Manny.
Manny and Paddy were donated to Malaysia by the Motion Picture Association.
I'm sure if I was around during prohibition I would have been the cause of at least a half dozen cases of blindness. Thankfully I didn't cause that, not unless it was a Telesync or CAM release of a film. Now I share with you a piece from my upcoming book A Million Little Bootlegs. But please, I've paid my dues, I've done the time. No need to judge me
"I needed some money fast and a guy in a bar handed me a small plastic box. Said all I needed to know was they were 'pleasure disks'. I looked at the door and started to get up but he grabbed my arm. He said I looked hungry. I was, I hadn't eaten in days but he also said he could see in my eyes I was hugnry for change. I salivated somewhere deep inside and told myself sometimes less than real men are still men. I picked up a disk and spun it on my finger watching the light bounce off like a cheap disco ball. The thought of contributing to international terrorism was not enough to dissuade me. I piled them up in a black plastic bag and made my way out to the market; only these streets weren't paved with gold. It didn't take long to pick up a crowd of eager buyers trying to score the latest big release. Less than a tenth of the price of a store with a roof over its head I battled on in the wind and cold until my bones ached more than my heart. I had made some money though; I could eat. As the sun went down I started to pack up my wares. There were hardly any disks left. They had been so popular, but the bag still weighed heavily on my soul and my malnurished skeletal body couldn't handle the weight. Out of the corner of my eye I saw someone come up to me and I paused my work. Looked to be about 5 or 6, good head of hair, healthy gums. The dude asked if I had any Homeward Bound. Told him I only had the sequel but he said it was enough to 'do the job'. His eyes tightened to slits and he let out a wolfish laugh. I get perverts you know, man. But this guy was something else. He literally picks up the disk and holds it to his nose and sniffs it like some japanese panties. I don't care though, I just want the cash. Dirty money is dirty whoever gives you it, be it the mayor, a thief or some dirty dog. Next thing I know everything turns red and blue and I hear sirens. I'm still hungry."
I'm hoping I make it to some sort of book of the month club with it. But only time will tell..