Ahoy, matey! You fancy yer-self a pirate hunter?
Sorry, I couldn’t resist the pirate talk…
Believe it or not, spying on pirates is a great way to make extra money. Although, the pirates we’re talking about aren’t the kind that sail the open sea, but the kind that are illegally stealing music and movies.
One type of pirating that is plaguing the entertainment industry are bars and restaurants that play popular sporting events without paying for the license to do so. The practice has become so pervasive over the last few years that television studios have started to fight back by hiring private investigators to root out abusers. The cool part is that anybody can do this job and it’s pretty easy to get started.
How it Works…
Private investigative companies are usually hired directly by companies like Pay-Per-View, Showtime, and HBO. The PI’s then hire independent contractors around the country to help them find piracy thieves. The contractors are usually dispatched during highly pirated events like boxing matches.
Once you’ve been hired as an independent contractor, your job is to scout out bars/restaurants in your area that are going to be playing the “big fight” or the “big game.” You are paid by the location you catch in offense, so it is in your interest to find as many locations as possible. One good way to get started is to create a list of bars/restaurants in your area by combing the phone book. In the week leading up to the event, start calling the locations and explain that you are looking for a place to watch the event and were curious if they would be showing it. You will also be given a list of locations that have paid to show the event, so your job is to make a notation of companies that plan on airing the event and have not purchased the rights.
On the night of the event you’ll need to visit each of the locations that said they would be showing the event. You need to pose as a regular patron so it is appropriate to take a seat and order a drink. Remember, you’re job is to stay incognito the whole time, so be sure you don’t tell any other patrons that you are a piracy investigator.
If you see that the location is playing the event, you need to document it and provide some type of evidence. Some investigative jobs require that you just take a quick picture of the TV with your cell phone, but others request you record a few seconds of video with your smartphone.
It’s easy to visit dozens of location in a night and you are usually paid anywhere from $125-$175 per location that you catch illegally showing the event. The next day you will need to send a signed affidavit and overnight it along with your evidence to the private investigation company. They will pay you directly for your efforts within a set period of time. Some private investigators have reported making anywhere from $250-$1000 in a night!
How to Get Hired…
Piracy surveillance jobs are often posted on Craiglist.com in the weeks leading up to big events. Two of the private investigative companies that are currently hiring people are PiracySurveillanceJob.com and SignalAuditing.com. Their websites also have great tips on how to find abusers, plus a link to their applications.
Another company that often posts “for hires” on Craigslist is Omni Present Investigations, however we were unable to locate a website for them. That may be common for private investigative companies that try to fly below the radar.
Good Luck Penny Hoarders!