MPAA’s street smarts fight piracy

LAPD on the lookout for hidden cameras

Big Brother is watching, courtesy of the Motion Picture Assn. of America.

Hollywood trade org has donated $186,000 to the Los Angeles Police Dept. to fund 10 surveillance cameras recently installed in Santee Alley in downtown’s Fashion District, the primary hotbed for hard copy movie piracy in L.A.

Cameras have intelligent software to identify human movement. They will be monitored by the city’s Central Police Station, which will deploy officers to inspect suspicious activity.

Similar grant-funded cameras are also in use in MacArthur Park and on Hollywood Boulevard. “It is our pleasure to assist (the LAPD) with these cameras, which will help them to lift a rock and shine a light on rampant counterfeiting of DVDs, which used to take place in the dark shadows,” said MPAA worldwide antipiracy operations VP John Malcolm.

Cameras were unveiled Tuesday at an event that included LAPD Chief William J. Bratton, Councilwoman Jan Perry and Malcolm.

The police and the MPAA believe that Santee Alley is a uniquely profitable place for selling illegal DVDs due to heavy foot traffic and that piracy will drop as a result of the cameras rather than move to a new location.

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