Movie Piracy, Hargh!

A few months ago, some friends and I had some lunch at Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles on West Pico near La Brea. And as we got out of the front entrance and walked towards the parking lot, I noticed a guy standing around on the sidewalk selling pirated movies on DVD right in front of the restaurant.

I joked with my friends, “Wow, this guy’s just begging to get arrested.”

And sure enough, either him or someone like him has been arrested by the FBI for movie piracy over at Roscoe’s Hollywood restaurant. D’oh!

5 Replies to “Movie Piracy, Hargh!”

  1. I found the same thing during my first visit to excellent El Tepeyac Cafe in Boyle Heights (812 N. Evergreen Ave.) a couple weeks ago. Right there by the front door was a woman sitting on the sidewalk with a pretty substantial spread of bootlegs including “The Passion of the Christ,” “Eurotrip”and a number of other current and recent releases.

    The rub is El Tepeyac is a popular place for the rand-and-file from the LAPD’s nearby Hollenbeck Division station so you’d think they’d have cracked the whip or at least alerted the feds and that the bootleg market would be better served at someplace less frequented by the law.

    But the relaxed look and unstressed demeanor on the saleslady’s face as she made several cash transactions told of no heat from The Man whatsoever.

    Maybe they’re her best customers?

  2. Yeah, it was the fact that he was so brazen about it that threw me off-guard.

    He should’ve known that if you’re going to pirate movies, you do it on the Internet! ^_^

  3. Reminds me of when I was in Brindisi, Italy. Late afternoon, me and my ex- were sitting off the town square catching some zs, eating lunch, and washing it down with some chewy chianti. This old man, in a white t-shirt, half-shaven, sets-up a TV dinner tray right in the square and starts displaying his smuggled cigarettes for sale. Looks like he hadn’t showered in days, and might have been drinking a little judging by the customer service.

    Folks came by, and would occasionaly buy a pack or two. We watched this guy, amazed by his brazingness and the way he would yell at people passing by. Sure as hell, out of nowhere, two cops come from behind this poor s.o.b., tackle him, break his tray, and the smokes go flying everywhere. He never saw it coming, but we did. The old man didn’t go down without a fight. With his shirt half-way ripped off, he starts kicking the cop who isn’t holding him, and pulling the hair of the other. They finally took him off, walking in handcuffs. Tough SOB.

    Just the other day, a colleague of mine mentions this same town – Brindisi, and in the same breath says how it is the smuggling center of southern Italy. I never got around to asking him if he ever saw an old man, white t-shirt, selling smokes – but perhaps this time with a lookout partner or a rearview mirror.

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