In its (totally legitimate) fight against real pirates – in this case Asian gangs – the Motion Picture Association is looking for informants:
- Hollywood is seeking informers to combat hi-tech and often heavily armed Asian pirate gangs, which are flooding the world with cheap DVDs and robbing U.S. cinema of $640 million a year, an industry official said on Wednesday. Michael Ellis, Asia-Pacific anti-piracy head for the Motion Picture Association (MPA), said his organization had put aside $150,000 to reward informers whose tips lead to successful police raids on illegal DVD factories.
“The informants could be anyone, plant engineers or the wife of the guard,” Ellis told Reuters after a launch of the rewards program in Bangkok.
“We’ll work with some informants over a long period. Some people are professional informants, they can make a good living out of working with us.”
MPA, which represents Hollywood’s biggest studios such as Warner Brothers, Twentieth Century Fox and Walt Disney, started hiring informants in Hong Kong last year.
The organization is stretching its campaign to Thailand, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and the Philippines this month.
Ellis said many Asian countries were not just pirating havens, but growing exporters of fake DVDs to Europe and the United States. [Reuters]
I wonder if they have thought about the (moral and legal) liability if anything happens to any of their informants. This is not idle speculation when dealing with organized crime.