Prosecutors Come To Their Senses; Drop Charges Against Girl Arrested For Incidental 'New Moon' Filming

from the took-'em-long-enough dept

There has been a ton of publicity about the young woman who was jailed and facing felony charges, because she caught snippets of the film New Moon while filming parts of her sister's birthday party. The outrage over this has been loud and widespread -- causing backlash against the movie theater and the movie studio that put out the movie. Even the director of the movie was complaining about the arrest and prosecution. Realizing that this was a bad situation all around, it looks like prosecutors have come to their senses and dropped the charges against the young woman, though we still have the same ridiculous law in place that made this situation possible. Shouldn't we also be looking to change that right about now?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    senshikaze (profile), Dec 11th, 2009 @ 1:26pm

    yay! I, for one, am glad everybody up north isn't insane.
    and yes the law needs to be fixed, badly, but i am glad she got off the hook.

     

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  2.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Dec 11th, 2009 @ 1:45pm

    "There has been a ton of publicity about the young woman..."

    For once the use of the word "ton" was not hyperbole. I was shocked at how much press this instance received. I would like to hope that it will lead to some real change, but it won't.

    From now one do the right thing and simply shoplift the DVD. That's only a misdemeanor offense without any jail time.

     

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  3.  
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    sehlat (profile), Dec 11th, 2009 @ 1:57pm

    So prosecutors have more sense than theater chains?

    I'm glad for the woman, but the theater chain should be held criminally liable for this abuse of the law.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Dan, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 1:59pm

    simple solution

    Avoid theaters, as an unacceptable risk.

     

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  5.  
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    Headbhang (profile), Dec 11th, 2009 @ 2:04pm

    The once US President Ulysses Grant once said:

    "I know no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution"

    There is some wisdom to that, I think.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 2:18pm

    execution

    I know no method to secure the elimination of the bad and obnoxious MPAA as effective as their stringent and painful execution

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 2:20pm

    Hey, were these laws conceived of in secret? The implementation of ACTA is going to be a hoot.

     

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  8.  
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    TDR, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 2:21pm

    Aye, the MPAA needs to be sued by the girl as well as Muvico.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 2:22pm

    Re: execution

    Hollywood is like an undead hydra. I blame Scientology.

     

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  10.  
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    Grey Ferret, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 2:23pm

    And what if this case had not received so much attention? Would this case still be dismissed? I would like to think so, but it makes you wonder...

    Thanks to the internet, this girl didn't have to wait for a trial. Her story was broadcast to the masses very quickly. She was found not guilty by a "jury of her peers" before a trial had even been scheduled. Because of the response this story generated, prosecutors already knew it would be a losing battle.

    The internet can be a swift tool for justice it would appear.

     

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  11.  
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    fogbugzd (profile), Dec 11th, 2009 @ 2:24pm

    Customers as enemies

    When businesses start treating customers as the enemy, it is only a matter of time before customers adopt the same attitude about the business.

     

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  12.  
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    ObjectiveR (profile), Dec 11th, 2009 @ 2:33pm

    Well, the case was dropped because both the theater operator and the producer have to agree and the producer didn't bother; so the prosecutors dropped their case.

    My question remains though - why was the theater owner so adamant in pressing charges? What's in it for them?

     

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  13.  
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    Richard, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 2:49pm

    laws for laws sake

    "Shouldn't we also be looking to change that right about now?"

    Political grandstanding only makes more laws, rarely does it repeal existing ones. Thats because it's easy to make laws, thats how most countries are setup today. Make laws for laws and then more laws to regulate the laws for laws and so on.. Somehow I get the feeling it's politically risky with little or no upshot to try and repeal a bad law. I can just picture the election mud slinging .. Red bold letters that read: X voted to legalize the filming of homosexual pornography in our schools..

    Is it any wonder were a nation of litigious bastards.

     

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  14.  
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    sehlat (profile), Dec 11th, 2009 @ 3:00pm

    Re: laws for laws sake

    We know what no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now you begin to understand me."
    -- George Orwell, "1984"

    And so: the object of law is law

     

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  15.  
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    Yakko Warner, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 3:23pm

    Re:

    Doesn't always work like that, unfortunately. The "court of public opinion" can be much more harsh than a court of law, even when the facts are on the defendant's side.

    It just so happened that this law was unpopular with the people and was outrageous enough to get the right response.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 3:27pm

    Re:

    The producers may be demanding zero intelligence on these things. Fail to prosecute and we fail to ship the next big release.

     

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  17.  
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    Grey Ferret, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 4:24pm

    Re: Re:

    Yes, the pendulum does swing both ways. I was not suggesting that the internet "jury" be a replacement for a real court.

    And I don't think it was the law that was so unpopular, but rather the way that the theater and police enforced it that generated the outrage.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 4:51pm

    Note the absolute worthlessness of our mainstream media to do anything.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 4:57pm

    Re: Re:

    "The "court of public opinion" can be much more harsh than a court of law"

    Sure, because you want the court of public opinion to be nice to big corporations who transgress and mean to individuals who might do anything that might remotely threaten the profit margins of rich corporations. It's only YOUR judgment that matters, no one elses, of course. Hence the public should be censored from things that might cause the public to become angry at the evil actions of huge corporations. and outside the Internet the evil likes of you have accomplished just this.

    Or, better yet, why don't big corporations not act unethically and maybe the public will be more sympathetic towards them.

     

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  20.  
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    Raptor85, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 4:57pm

    Re:

    About $500 if memory serves...

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 5:00pm

    Re: Re:

    "It just so happened that this law was unpopular with the people"

    Yes, because you have no regard for morality you only think in terms of "what's popular with the people" and what's not. You don't think in terms of "right" and "wrong" because anything that promotes your selfish desires is "right" and anything that opposes it is "wrong" according to you.

    Or maybe you should try and think in terms of ethics, instead of public relations and how that affects your profits, and perhaps you will be more popular with the public.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Ryan Diederich, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 7:27pm

    Open Source Trials

    Who says that 13 people alone in a room should have a more valued opinion than 100 million people out in the open.

    The 100 million just give a more averaged view, and less likely to be abused.

    The law sucks. The punishments are cruel and unusual, and pressing charges over an accidental recording. Its just plain stupid. She didnt plan to make a profit. It was a fricking birthday party.

    Honestly, try to find a person ANYWHERE who truely thinks that she is guilty and deserves to be punished. Forget the fact that I could rob a bank and recieve less jailtime.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 7:55pm

    Re: Open Source Trials

    I agree, trials should be open sourced IF the defending wants them to be. If the plaintiff does not like the open nature of the trial than tough, the plaintiff can drop his/her lawsuit. It should be up to the defendant to choose whether or not the trial should be open to the public. If you initiate a lawsuit you shouldn't have the luxury of censoring every aspect of the suit from the public.

    However, perhaps there could be exceptions for those who sue corporations under certain circumstances since I do not consider corporations as individuals who deserve the same rights as individuals.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 8:35pm

    Re: simple solution

    Absolutely. They are over-priced, risky in regard to catching all sorts of germs, and this stupidity will repeat itself again and some poor guy without such a great publicity story to save his ass is going to get a book thrown at him over it.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 11th, 2009 @ 11:43pm

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 12th, 2009 @ 5:10am

    Re:

    Good.

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Jose Burgos, Dec 12th, 2009 @ 5:46am

    Re: Customers as enemies

    The clock stopped ticking a long time ago.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Gene Cavanaugh, Dec 12th, 2009 @ 2:50pm

    Draconian copyright laws

    First you would have to have campaign finance reform.

     

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  29.  
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    nasch (profile), Dec 13th, 2009 @ 9:23am

    Re:

    From now one do the right thing and simply shoplift the DVD. That's only a misdemeanor offense without any jail time.

    Wow, stunning. I guess this is what happens when the penalties for breaking a law are set not by how much harm is done by the crime, but by how much the lobbyists want to stop the crime from happening.

     

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  30.  
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    Manfriend, Dec 13th, 2009 @ 2:48pm

    Don't forget to rate the theater!

    Ahh the sweet smell of a Streisand effectflash mob on the internet! Don't forget to rate the theater where all this went on:

    http://maps.google.com/maps/place?cid=16195052917625124963&q=%22Muvico%2BTheate%20r%20%22 %2Brosemont&hl=en&gl=us

    The management there need to know there is a consequence for brainlessness.

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    hegemon13, Dec 14th, 2009 @ 9:25am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I see that you are attacking someone, but I don't have the faintest idea what your point is. Who is "you" here? The poster? The people who disagree with this law? The studios? The theater? Or does it change from paragraph to paragraph?

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    noonanknight, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 3:39pm

    new moon arrest

    The legal system is more involved and interested in getting court fees than it is in the spirit of the law

     

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