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Canadian Fined For Videoing Movie In Theatre 382

Posted by kdawson
from the duct-tape-it dept.
canadian_right writes "A Calgary man was fined $1,495 and banned from theaters for a year in the first conviction under a new Canadian law making recording a movie in a theater a crime. Until the new law took effect in 2007, prosecutors had to show evidence of distribution to get a conviction; now, recording without permission is sufficient. The Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association was disappointed that jail time was not given." The man was also banned for a year from possessing any video recording equipment, even a video-capable cellphone, outside of his home.
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Canadian Fined For Videoing Movie In Theatre

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  • by Ostracus (1354233) on Saturday November 15, 2008 @10:58PM (#25774205) Journal

    Am I going to be the only one who asks the obvious? Why should he be allowed to record the movie?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bhtooefr (649901)

      Not sure that it's so much that the recording shouldn't be illegal (it should be, IMO, you're paying for a one view license, at that specific time, technically, and stuff even states that,) but rather the punishment being that extreme.

      • by bhtooefr (649901) <bhtooefr@bhtoLISPoefr.org minus language> on Saturday November 15, 2008 @11:02PM (#25774219) Homepage Journal

        Oh, and I'll reply to myself, because I forgot something... the fine certainly wasn't extreme, the not being allowed to possess video recording equipment outside of his house part is what I consider extreme.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 15, 2008 @11:32PM (#25774381)

          Possibly the judge was trying to draw a hard line under the lesson for the perp and the public, without resorting to jail time -- which would be excessive for a non-violent first-time offense, immediately expensive for the public, and probably long-term expensive for the public and the perp because of the troubles he'll pick up from his time in our overcrowded prisons.

          It's an interesting sentence. It'll get more news-report column-inches and watercooler-discussion than a simple fine. I think the judge was thinking.

        • by CSMatt (1175471) on Sunday November 16, 2008 @01:54AM (#25775191)

          Let's not forget this little gem:

          The Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association was disappointed that jail time was not given.

          The fact that someone could get jail time for recording a movie is scary enough. The fact that the CMPDA wants to throw everyone caught recording a film into the slammer is just plain terrifying.

        • by arkhan_jg (618674) on Sunday November 16, 2008 @08:09AM (#25776633)

          What I find extreme is that there was the possibility of jail in the first place. He didn't use violence. He didn't threaten anyone. He's guilty of using a video camera in the wrong room.

          The worst you can accuse him of is that he was going to cause economic harm to a corporation (and even that's a stretch - how many people do you know that skip going to the cinema because some shitty rip is available? The only people I know who watch rips is because they can't physically go, and the rip is better than nothing)

          They didn't find a massive stash of recorded films and a dedicated shadowy organization ready to run off millions of DVDs and sell them across the far east, with him as the head making millions in profit. they found an unemployed builder on what appears to be his first offence. They didn't convict him of distribution or even copying.

          Yet the studios wanted to put him in jail for using a camera. That's what I find extreme.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by TheoGB (786170)
            I don't like to come down on the side of 'the Man' but in all honesty I don't see why anyone should ever be filming a film with recording equipment in the cinema.

            The studios want him in jail for breaking the law. Thankfully that didn't happen but equally the guy's a class A MORON who should have maybe read those warnings before the film that told him the penalties he could face if he attempted to film the movie, eh?

            I find it hard to have sympathy for dribbling incompetents.
      • I would agree, though the only part that really seems egregious is not being allowed any video recording equipment at all. Then again, he's an idiot, and it's only one year.

        Also, what if a theater WANTS to let him in?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by conlaw (983784)
      I think there may be one more obvious question; despite the illegality of his actions,how could anyone expect to come up with a good image while just sitting there with a video camera aimed at the screen? It seems that you'd have to be careful where you sit--not too close nor too far from the screen. Then, even if you're in the best seat for making a quality videotape, you'll still have to deal with people getting up and walking in front of you, while the other folks around you are talking and a couple of
      • by Wiseleo (15092)

        Matinee showing - that usually means the theatre is nearly empty.

        I tend to watch movies during such times. I don't tape them.

        There are better ways. My camera, for example, has a "rec light" off switch.

        A better way could be using a micro-tripod, pointing the camera between seats and probably from either underneath a seat on which an object like a backpack could be placed or from top of the seat held in place by a backpack and covered by a jacket.

        Good luck detecting that!

        • They actually have detectors that can pick up the glint off of the camera lens caused by a bright IR emitter placed in the theater. Hard to tell whether/how many theaters have those installed, but it takes care of that problem.

          On a side note, in my former state of Ohio, this particular offense is a felony. It also doesn't have to be a theater, and it only has to be somewhere on the premises where a copyrighted work is being shown. Also, the facility owner is given the right to detain the offender until t

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by PFI_Optix (936301)

            Most if not all cameras are vulnerable to being partially blinded by IR LEDs. I wonder if it would be possible for theaters to use these to ruin unauthorized recordings without spoiling the viewing experience, either by emitting from behind the screen or reflecting them off the screen along with the normal image.

            Of course enterprising pirates would eventually figure out how to work around this by filtering IR frequencies or whatever they would need to do, but it would stop casual recording and reduce the nu

    • by cjfs (1253208)

      Am I going to be the only one who asks the obvious? Why should he be allowed to record the movie?

      He shouldn't. The reason it's YRO is more concern over how far this will go. The Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association was pushing for jail time for this.

      People have been arrested [torrentfreak.com] before for recording under 1min clips on camera phones. Banning someone from operating any recording devices outside their home is a little odd as well.

    • Well he wasn't recording the movie, only the light absorption patterns on an otherwise blank screen. Where else is he going to do that?

      I wish Canadians would stop valuing corporations over science, like here in the states.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by audiodude (897858)
      He shouldn't, but it's simply not a criminal matter. It should be prohibited by theater policy, in which case once he starts he's trespassing. And making a copy of the movie is a civil matter between him and the owner of the movie's copyright.
    • Am I going to be the only one who asks the obvious? Why should he be allowed to record the movie?

      I saw the Bond movie in the theater today and this story makes me regret that ticket.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Am I going to be the only one who asks the obvious? Why should he be allowed to record the movie?

      Infidel. How DARE you ask such a blasphemous question on Slashdot.

      The answer is obvious: "Movies want to be free."

  • by rah1420 (234198) <rah1420@gmail.com> on Saturday November 15, 2008 @11:00PM (#25774209)

    From TFA: he is an unemployed contractor with an aggravating injury that is preventing him from working. It's pretty obvious what he's doing.

    I'm not a big fan of either the MPAA or its Canadian cousin, but I don't see this as news. It's not as if they didn't warn you ahead of time that recording a movie within a theater is illegal.

    Frankly, the sentence seemed reasonable. FTW, he didn't even get jail time. He should count himself lucky.

    • by MrNaz (730548) * on Sunday November 16, 2008 @12:05AM (#25774541) Homepage

      That you think that jail time is remotely acceptable, such that not getting it makes him "lucky", speaks volumes about the level of brainwashing that the RIAA and its global cohorts have managed to inflict upon the public.

      In the digital age, copying a film or music track should be a misdemeanor, given that the principles of the rule of law instruct that the ease of the offense, its commonality, the view that the general public has of it and the mindset that people have when they do it all have to be taken into account.

      Assigning jail time to an action that is as socially innocuous as copying an MP3 violates all of these. It is obviously only there to protect the now-defunct business model that the recording studios live by, and has no basis as a common social conception of what is and is not morally acceptable.

      Which, when you break it down, is what the law is supposed to be; commonly accepted morality. We as a society have become so socially sick that this fundamental concept seems odd to even state.

      • by rah1420 (234198) <rah1420@gmail.com> on Sunday November 16, 2008 @12:38AM (#25774723)

        Nope, I'm not brainwashed. However, I am minded to reply to your comments.

        1) The ease of the offense: We're not talking Ctrl-X Ctrl-Y, we're talking about a man taking a digital camcorder into a movie theater, setting himself up in a good vantage point, taking pains to conceal the camera (he used a sock or something, IIRC, to hide the recording indicators) -- are all these easy? Would the average moviegoer do this? You tell me.

        2) Commonality. Again, the average person knows how to copy files. The average person does not bring a camcorder into the movie theaters, the last time I checked anyway.

        3) The view that the general public has. Again, I haven't polled the general public about this but even given the comments I've seen on this article on /. (duh, serves him right, etc.) I think that it's obvious that the 'general public' would consider copying a file a bit more mundane than actually bringing in equipment to record a movie.

        4) The mindset that people have when they do it. I'm not even gonna touch this one. I think we have all formed a pretty good opinion of what his mindset was - and it wasn't to make an archival copy to watch later. Although I will be the first to admit that I don't know this for a fact.

        So, in my eyes, your argument that assigning jail time to an action 'as socially innocuous as copying an MP3' appears to beg the question of whether setting up video recording equipment in a movie theater is equally socially innocuous. I would hasten to argue that it is not. These are two separate kinds of actions.

        The question of whether it 'protects the now-defunct business model' is moot.

        • My god, you used "begs the question" correctly!

          The mind reels.

        • by SpeedyDX (1014595) <speedyphoenix AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday November 16, 2008 @01:31AM (#25775067)

          I agree with your points. I do think that recording movies seems to be a "higher level" offence than simply electronically distributing them. If I were to see someone opening utorrent and sharing a movie, I wouldn't bat an eye*. But if I saw someone set up a video cam to record the movie, I would probably report him to theatre security.

          I don't think, however, that he should have received jail time. One upshot of Canada's system of sentencing is that it allows judges to be very creative. IANAL (I am not a lawyer), but IAACS (I am a Criminology student), so here is a quick and dirty lesson on Canadian law. The relevant statute is s. 432.1 in the Criminal Code of Canada, which states:

          432. (1) A person who, without the consent of the theatre manager, records in a movie theatre a performance of a cinematographic work within the meaning of section 2 of the Copyright Act or its soundtrack

          (a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than two years; or

          (b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

          An indictable offence is similar to a felony. If the Crown (the prosecutor) decides to proceed by indictment, the accused is given certain rights, such as the right to choose to be tried by jury or by judge, the right to be tried in a federal court, the right to a preliminary hearing, etc. In this case, the maximum jail term if the Crown elected to proceed by indictment is only 2 years. If the Crown elects to proceed by summary (similar to a misdemeanor), the rule in the Criminal Code is that the maximum jail term is two years less a day, and the accused does not need to be given the rights mentioned above. I did not read the actual case, but I'm pretty sure that the Crown elected to proceed by summary in order to avoid all the hassle of having a trial by indictment, considering the punishment would be similar either way.

          Maximum sentences are extremely rare in the Canadian justice system, and jail time is generally considered a last resort, especially in summary convictions. If we considered the closest possible world (i.e., similar judge with similar leniency, etc.), the sentence for jail time would probably be considerably less than 6 months. Considering that it was his first offence, with no evidence of past or potential future offences, and that he is a relatively young adult, I can't imagine a jail sentence of more than 3 months. Judges often take into consideration the impact that jail time would have on your life (job, family, etc), on top of the already stigmatizing effect of a conviction. In this case, it is likely that the judge thought that a jail sentence would do more harm than good to the individual, that the psychological effect of being put through the system, and that a significant fine was enough to "teach him a lesson", as it were. Considering the fine requested by the Crown was only $2000, it is probably the case that the accused could not reasonably have afforded to pay a fine much higher than $2000, which would make the current fine a significant amount. Plus, as someone in his age-range, I would think that it sucks to not be able to carry around a phone with a video camera, which most new phones have nowadays.

          * I, personally, would not bat an eye. Most of the people I have been in contact with (Canadians) would probably not bat an eye. The few Americans that I have talked to (on WoW, admittedly), however, seem to be pretty averse to P2P. I've gotten reactions like "Isn't it illegal?" or "Aren't you afraid of getting caught?" or other similar statements. It seems, on an anecdotal, probably unreliable sense, that the average Canadian is more lenient towards P2P than the average American.

      • You sir, are wrong.

        The law is not supposed to be a popularist "commonly accepted morality." Beating black people was once commonly accepted, even though it was wrong. The law exists, at least in a democracy, for the betterment of society and the people's rights. These people also include those who produce things.

        What you fail completely to understand is that file-sharing is a cheaper form of distribution. A CD may no longer cost $12 to make, but a full length motion movie still takes $400 million. You
        • by reiisi (1211052) on Sunday November 16, 2008 @02:46AM (#25775431) Homepage

          Setting aside for a moment what the law is supposed to do, we must recognize that it does reflect the common morality.

          Two hundred years ago, the common view of the world was a lot more dog-eat-dog than it is now. Malthus was an optimist. Actually, Malthus is still an optimist, but the misinterpretation was considered optimistic back then. There was a prevailing opinion that the only way a person could have a reasonable standard of living was on the back of at least a few someone else's slave labor. Even the guys on the bottom accepted that idea to a certain extent. (Speaking from a "western" point of view, since we are talking about western laws. The moralities and laws of the people that were imported to be the new bottom rung didn't count, which, of course, makes the slave trade that much more evil.)

          The revolutionary concept was that we didn't have to be at war with everyone else to survive. That we didn't have to oppress others to have something good of our own. And we've forgotten that concept.

          And this law, frankly, is stark evidence that we have forgotten it.

      • by reiisi (1211052) on Sunday November 16, 2008 @01:52AM (#25775183) Homepage

        Yeah, society is sick when so many people are thinking, "But he shouldn't have been ..." instead of "Why can't the theatre just confiscate the tape, eject him from the theatre, and bar him from coming back?

        As far as we know, this was a first offense.

    • by neoform (551705)

      What's news here is that it is no longer a civil matter when you infringe upon a company's intellectual property rights, It's criminal. This should always be a civil matter. I do not want to have my tax dollars spent on locking people up in prison for copyright infringement.

  • Medical devices (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hao Wu (652581) on Saturday November 15, 2008 @11:11PM (#25774283) Homepage

    Are they going to ban retinal implants [igargoyle.com] for the blind?

    Eventually they might produce quality vision that can be recorded (and of course redistributed):

    The system comprises on an implant, ... a pair of spectacles that contain a camera and a transmitter, and a wearable computer worn at the patient's waist that processes the input from the camera to replace the information processing function of the formall healthy retina.

    • Are they going to ban retinal implants [igargoyle.com] for the blind?

      Based on this article I don't see why. The article (and even the Slashdot summary) makes it quite clear that under the new Canadian law, it's necessary to prove that there was intent to re-distribute the illegal recording before any charges can be laid.

      What happened (if the article's correct) doesn't really bother me. It's a movie protected under copyright law that he was illegally recording in a movie theatre with the intent of re-sell

      • by canajin56 (660655) on Sunday November 16, 2008 @12:17AM (#25774619)

        He's not saying it's the same at all. He's making an analogy. Steal a loaf of bread to eat, they will go easy on you. Steal it to sell it they will not. Record a movie for your own use, they can't even charge you under this law. Record a movie and sell copies, they can!

        Would it make you feel less righteous indignation if he compared it to breaking and entering? If you break into a home with intent to rob, they'll throw the book at you. If you are caught in a storm and break into a remote cabin you stumble across, that's a completely different situation. Better?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jesterzog (189797)

          He's not saying it's the same at all. He's making an analogy. Steal a loaf of bread to eat, they will go easy on you. Steal it to sell it they will not. Record a movie for your own use, they can't even charge you under this law. Record a movie and sell copies, they can!

          Good point, I mis-read it and was hasty in assuming she was saying copyright infringement is the same thing as stealing. It still irks me though that she even used the stealing analogy given the topic of the case.

          The movie and recording indu

        • That's not how I read the article. In fact, if I remember the article correctly, it said something to the effect that, under the new law, they don't have to show any evidence of intent to sell.

          The old law, they did have to prove something, and that was why the RIAA wanted to change the law.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by CSMatt (1175471)

        Based on this article I don't see why. The article (and even the Slashdot summary) makes it quite clear that under the new Canadian law, it's necessary to prove that there was intent to re-distribute the illegal recording before any charges can be laid.

        No it doesn't.

        Until the new law took effect in 2007, prosecutors had to show evidence of distribution to get a conviction; now, recording without permission is sufficient.

  • Riight... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cjfs (1253208) on Saturday November 15, 2008 @11:13PM (#25774293) Homepage Journal

    The house lights were turned on and the movie was shut off and Calgary police arrested him.

    I'm sure all their paying customers enjoyed this. Way to encourage honest people to buy your product.

  • What took so long? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by C18H27NO3 (1282172) on Saturday November 15, 2008 @11:17PM (#25774309)
    1. They arrested him on the spot with the equipment.
    2. The theaters each have a unique embedded watermark.
    3. The investigation into his wrongdoing took 6 months.
    /boggle
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SpeedyDX (1014595)

      This wasn't a crime where anyone's right to physical security was threatened. Police just took their time to investigate, gathered evidence, and made a case against the accused. I don't see what's wrong with this. I'm GLAD it took this long. It means the police didn't take (m)any short cuts. This is just what due diligence by the police looks like. We still have some semblance of it in Canada.

  • I've seen the warnings that are played before movies since about 2006, but I', not sure if I'd report anybody that was recording a movie. Has anyone else actually encountered this? What would you do?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Skye16 (685048)

      Watch the movie?

      Mix sno-caps and popcorn together in one mouthful?

      Hiss at my fiancee when she decides to try talking during the previews?

      Pretty much the usual.

      (Hey, you asked!)

    • Nothing. Kind of like I don't report speeders on the highway every time I see them; and the speeders might actually hurt someone.

      On a sort of related note, it was when I took my niece to see Superman back in '06 that I found out about pirating movies. I'd never though of it before, but upon hearing the total for two tickets (one child), two drinks and a popcorn, I was looking downward to cool myself off from the register-rage (the close-cousin of sticker-shock) that was welling up when I noticed a label on

    • I would tell the person doing the recording to turn it off.

      If s/he does not do so, I would then get up and find the manager.

      (my good friend is the manager of the only cinema in my town)

  • Serves that bastard right for using it for the wrong purposes.

    Stay away from my guns though. I reserve every right to carry them around in public.

  • not now, but eventually, the quality of video recording in phones will be getting pretty decent. Am I going to get arrested for bringing in a phone with video recording capability? What if I txt during the movie? At what point do the house lights go up and the police barge in?
    • by icegreentea (974342) on Saturday November 15, 2008 @11:38PM (#25774411)
      When the person next to you, or behind you sees you holding up your cellphone pointed at the screen for 20 straight minutes. Seriously, use some common sense. The people running theatres aren't all dumbasses. They'll put up some rules about cellphone use, and since they won't want to piss off their customers, they'll make the rules reasonable, and in return, they'll ask people to report other people who have their damn cell out for 30 minutes at a time.
    • by ozbird (127571) on Saturday November 15, 2008 @11:46PM (#25774449)
      What if I txt during the movie? At what point do the house lights go up and the police barge in?

      As soon as possible, you inconsiderate clod.
      • by rmallico (831443) on Sunday November 16, 2008 @12:07AM (#25774561) Homepage

        had a row of teen girls in front of us last week (their parent right in front of my 4 year old) at the Madagascar 2 showing... two people asked them to stop texting and the mgmt was not anywhere in sight. my 4 year old was getting into the movie and his feet were kicking the back of the seat (of the parent might i add) and she asked me to control my child kicking her seat... and my response was short and sweet..

        I would love to have him stop once the texting by her child (and others) stopped...

        I expected her to have them stop... no, she huffed and moved the group up to the neck crick seats (ones like 5 feet away) and which also put her children in plain sight of the finally walking through theatre mgmt person who asked them 2 times to stop and finally booted them...

        what a great show it was...

        • by Dutch Gun (899105)

          And you've summed up nicely why I rarely go to theaters anymore.

          A 63" TV + extra large subwoofers + my own theater room in my own house > movie theater. Being able to pause the movie to grab a snack or go to the bathroom doesn't hurt either.

          • by ljw1004 (764174)

            > A 63" TV... Being able to pause the movie to
            > go to the bathroom doesn't hurt either.

            For some reason, the bigger the TV, the prouder people are about their incontinence. I have a 110" screen from my project but I can hold it in for three hours...

    • What if I txt during the movie?

      Texting is obviously different, since your phone would be in your lap and not stuck out right in front of your face where everyone could see it.

      If you do text with the cell phone glowing for all around to see, I'm not sure if it matters much what with your cell phone either in tiny pieces at the front of a room or stuffed in your drink.

      Remember, doing things that greatly annoy others in a small dark room in the middle of a building with multiple exits is just about the stupide

  • I thought film piracy wasn't done by taping off the screen (I can't imagine that would produce a watchable result), but by people who have access to the film in a quality digital format, e.g. the DVD "screeners" sent out for promotional purposes.

    The judge said "but he has an item that is more supportive of taking something to be used to make a profit." Really? Is there big money to be had in shaky, flickery, low-quality home videos off a theatre screen? Not a rhetorical question.

  • Fine by me (Score:5, Funny)

    by jesperhh (1364637) on Saturday November 15, 2008 @11:36PM (#25774397)
    Fine by me, i hate cam releases!
  • A person is doing something that a private company does not want him/her to do in their establishment. The company then has the right and obligation to insist that he leave the premises and/or call the police to have him removed (which also includes a trespass warrant against entering again).

    Now in Ontario, you can only be 'Charged' with a trespass offence if you do NOT leave when first asked.

    It seems to me that the government shouldn't get involved at all. The movie 'owners' (MPAA types) then have a civi

    • How do you keep the government out, but the courts in?

      • by wfstanle (1188751)

        Your joking aren't you? The answer is obvious, you can't because the courts are a part of the government!

    • A person is doing something that a private company does not want him/her to do in their establishment. The company then has the right and obligation to insist that he leave the premises and/or call the police to have him removed (which also includes a trespass warrant against entering again).

      I kind of agree as far as being allowed to have some say in what happens on your property, but in situations like this -- especially where the main use of the property is to publish copyrighted material under controlled

  • ...the first conviction under a new Canadian law making recoding a movie in a theater a crime.

    Damn. Guess I can't use Nero Recode [softpedia.com] in the theaters anymore. I'll have to go all the way home to start compressing the video I took. What a pain...

  • I am astounded that whatever police force was involved in this would even bother? There are people in the world who traffic in narcotics for relatively paltry sums of money, at the risk of very harsh mandatory minimum prison sentences. Contrast that with this paltry fine? Who is going to care. The audacity of the wasted effort boggles my mind to think that any effort to keep a screener off of the torrents is asinine. The greater the effort put forth to prevent distribution, the greater the reward or pre
  • by timholman (71886) on Saturday November 15, 2008 @11:49PM (#25774471)

    Frankly I wonder why theater owners haven't tried placing infrared floodlights all around the screen, so that any cell phones or videocameras pointed at it will only record a washed-out image. I know that some researchers at Georgia Tech have tried building a system that targets cameras and blinds them with directed IR, but that's always struck me as overkill. Just brute-force it with lots of floodlights.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Snowtred (1334453)
      Could easily be countered by a cheap IR filter, no? There are dozens of sufficient ones in our optics lab. I wonder if this would stop even the directed IR?
    • What about behind the screen? in most places, the screen is simply a piece of blank white cloth.

      I imagine it shouldn't be difficult to set a large bank of IR lights behind it so that the image is impossibly washed out for videos.

      Of course, they'd just need to throw an IR filter over the lens to compensate, but, if I recall correctly, most consumer gear does not have that by default.

    • by deniable (76198)
      Would it damage the screen? What about heat load and air conditioning?
    • by Waccoon (1186667)

      I've heard about people trying to attach IR LEDs to the hoods of their jackets to keep their faces obscured from security cameras. The skinny: it doesn't work.

      Why place the lights around the screen and risk hurting people's eyes with light they can't see? Just have one IR lamp on the roof of the theater beam a light show on the screen, just like the projector does. Any cell phones recording the performance will have messages like, "enjoy your bootleg, PIRATE WUSSIES!" marquee across the picture. An IR f

  • by jaredbpd (144090) on Saturday November 15, 2008 @11:50PM (#25774485)

    I think I'm more bothered by the fact that he can't possess any video recording device, of any sort, outside of his home, for any reason, for an entire year. Last I checked, most people don't automatically walk into a movie theater the second they leave their homes.

    • by erikina (1112587)
      It's really not a big deal. He got away with no jail time (which I think he should've) -- he can spend a year without a video camera.

      In fact, I'd like to see punishments like this for people that aren't a danger to society. Like tax evasion, let's not ruin their lives over it (at further tax player expense, may I add) but still provide a disincentive to other people.
  • "...the first conviction under a new Canadian law making recoding a movie in a theater a crime. Until the new law took effect in 2007, prosecutors had to show evidence of distribution to get a conviction; now, recording without permission is sufficient."

    What if I'm an indie film director and I want to film part of a movie that takes place inside of a movie theater? What kind of hoops do I have to jump through just to line permission?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by SpeedyDX (1014595)

      Perhaps you misunderstood the poorly worded summary. There are two ways to read the summary: 1) You cannot create video footage in a theatre; or 2) You cannot create video footage of a movie that is being shown in a theatre. The statute is as follows (emphasis mine):

      432. (1) A person who, without the consent of the theatre manager, records in a movie theatre a performance of a cinematographic work within the meaning of section 2 of the Copyright Act or its soundtrack

      (a) is guilty of an indictable offence an

    • by LingNoi (1066278)

      Then you should be paying to use another films content in your film. You can't just use other people's copyrights.

      I doubt anyone would arrest you for filming someone watching a film as long as you're not filming the screen.

  • Note to editors (Score:3, Informative)

    by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Sunday November 16, 2008 @12:04AM (#25774533) Homepage Journal
    video is not a verb [merriam-webster.com].
  • by CuteSteveJobs (1343851) on Sunday November 16, 2008 @12:16AM (#25774613)
    > "The Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association was disappointed that jail time was not given."

    That's a bit rich since the movie industry itself regularly engages in fraud to rip off movie makers and actors. Did you know the author of Forrest Gump didn't make a single cent from the movie, the smash hit My Big Fat Greek Wedding technically made a loss (so the actors were ripped off royalties) and both Rob Schneider and Spielberg and many others have both stolen movie ideas in the past and baulked at paying the creators. So why is camcording a movie a criminal offense publishable by jail but fraud isn't? and in the US why is fraud only ever settled in civil courts without the threat of jail?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_accounting [wikipedia.org]
    http://www.tmz.com/2007/12/11/aussies-to-adam-you-stole-our-gay-firemen-flick/ [tmz.com]
    http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=335127 [ninemsn.com.au]

  • Hotbed, eh? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Grokko (193875) on Sunday November 16, 2008 @12:22AM (#25774639)

    What makes this funny is the comments from the Paramount exec:

    From the TFA:

    "Canada is a hotbed of movie pirating, which is a billion-dollar loss to the movie industry," Mark Christiansen, executive vice-president of operations for Paramount Picture's motion picture distribution, said outside court after reading his victim impact statement.

    - Really? They caught one guy. You had a better chance of winning the lottery than getting caught for recording a movie.

    "The perception is that Hollywood stars are the only ones hurt by this, but it affects everybody who works in theatres."

    - I'm sure all the high school students getting minimum wage in the theatre believe that in all their hearts, their pay and jobs will be affected by some jerk recording a fuzzy copy of a movie.

    Virginia Jones, of the Canadian Motion Picture Distribution Association:

    "We would have liked to see jail time, sending a stronger message. We hope this is just a starting point," she said outside court, also after delivering a victim impact statement.

    - She delivered a victim impact statement? Asked for jail time? The winner, for best performance in a dramatic role is Virginia Jones.

  • "Man Caught Taping Movies for Download Forced to Download Movies To View"

    Incrementing the demand counter. Very intelligent.

  • Red LED (Score:3, Funny)

    by Easy2RememberNick (179395) on Sunday November 16, 2008 @03:12AM (#25775547)

    I bet a person in the movie theater could have some fun with a 9V battery, a resistor and a red LED.

  • Draconian penalty (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jandersen (462034) on Sunday November 16, 2008 @04:53AM (#25775919)

    The Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association was disappointed that jail time was not given

    Which is why it is just as well that the prosecutor is not the same as the judge.

    The man was also banned for a year from possessing any video recording equipment, even a video-capable cellphone, outside of his home.

    Which is what I think is wrong on many levels. A fine is OK, I think - he knew that he was doing something that was illegal and it had to have consequences. A ban from going to theatre might have been reasonable too; but banning a person from carrying any video recording equipment in public is likely to be perceived as wrong. The validity of any law rests ultimately on public support, not on the severity of the punishments, and if penalties are seen as unreasonable, you lose the public support. We can see this in several places in UK - when the police want to investigate even a murder in certain areas, they don't get anywhere, because people don't support them. Whole local communities have somehow lost their trust in the authorities and simply don't want to help the police. From that perspective it may turn out to be a very stupid decision by the judge.

  • by Alomex (148003) on Sunday November 16, 2008 @09:54AM (#25776999) Homepage

    Look, someone with a video camera in the theater is likely not a high-school kid making copies to file share with his classmates. In all likelihood this person had done it before, many times which is why they were waiting for him with cops and all (yes Virginia, movies have theater-specific watermarks).

    The only reason people here are supporting this guy is reflexive anti-RIAA sentiment, nothing else.

    On this case, they seem to have landed a professional criminal who makes it a business to record movies and sell them for distribution, in which case jail time is not out of the question.

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