Arrested For Recording Movies

from the fair-application-of-the-law? dept

Late last year there was a lot of talk about a new California law that completely banned bringing any kind of video camera into a theater, even if you weren’t using it. As many people pointed out, this seemed to go too far – as just carrying a video camera (especially a camera phone) doesn’t mean you’re doing anything illegal with it. Well, the law went forward and now the first two arrests have been made – in both cases traditional situations where people in the audience were caught trying to record the film on camcorders. While the actions described clearly are illegal, it still seems like this law goes too far. In other related news, the article mentions the sentencing of the guy accused of putting screener tapes online – saying that his sentencing has been delayed six months so the studios can “calculate the losses incurred.” It’s going to take six months to calculate the losses? Expect the losses to be nowhere near reality, as they’ll assume that every potential download was a “lost sale,” when that’s clearly not true. It’s likely that many of the big fans of those movies went and saw it in the theater anyway, and others never would have paid to see the movie anyway. In fact, there’s a chance that the download enticed some people to go see the films in the theaters. But, of course, don’t expect Hollywood to take into account any of those things.

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