The Motion Picture Association of America said Tuesday that it will fund the installation of 10 new surveillance cameras in downtown Los Angeles--ostensibly to help catch ne'er-do-wells who are selling counterfeit DVDs on the streets.
But don't worry, it will be the city police department watching the close-circuit screens, not Hollywood piracy enforcers. I presume that the resolution on the new cameras will be good enough to detect the subtle differences between actual counterfeits and used DVDs, which are legal to sell under the first sale doctrine.
But why stop there? Since Hollywood is putting up the $186,000 to set up the pole-mounted cameras, studios should own the copyright to the resulting videos. Just think of the opportunities for new reality TV shows, live from the gritty streets of LA. Or pay-per-bust Webcams, perfect for the nation riveted by COPS reruns and OJ's slow-speed Bronco chase. Who said Hollywood was technologically behind the times?