Woman Filming Parts Of Sister's Birthday Party At Theater, Charged With Felony Movie Copying

from the throw-her-in-jail dept

Over the last couple of years, the movie industry has pushed hard for stricter and stricter laws for anyone caught “filming” a movie in the theater. Of course, these days, with more and more people having portable video cameras either in their mobile phones or other devices, the likelihood of these sorts of laws being abused or misused only grows over time. Take, for example, the case of 22-year-old Samantha Tumpach, from Chicago, who took her sister out for a surprise birthday party at a movie theater recently. While there, she used her new camera to tape parts of the event, including her, along with friends and family, singing happy birthday to her sister. But, in the course of all this, she also caught two small segments of the film itself, less than four minutes, total — hardly a representative case of “pirate” or “camcording” activity. Still, the theater pressed charges, and Samantha was arrested and spent two nights in jail — and may now face three years in jail as a felon. Good thing Hollywood got those laws, so they can get young women celebrating their friends and families’ birthdays put in jail.

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Comments on “Woman Filming Parts Of Sister's Birthday Party At Theater, Charged With Felony Movie Copying”

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144 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Theater's interest

“My suspicion is that since the theater in question is a very small chain (10 locations), they may not have much of a choice.”

1. You always have a choice.
2. Does not matter how large you are, being a dick is being a dick.

“Would it be any surprise to anyone to find out the MAFIAA has come in and said “press charges every time or no movies for you”? It certainly wouldn’t to me.”

And as a theater owner, I would say… ‘No, you press charges, I’ll keep making my customers happy at your expense.’

John Duncan Yoyo (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Theater's interest

>And as a theater owner, I would say… ‘No, you press charges, I’ll keep making my customers happy at your expense.’

And the Movie Nazis at the MPAA say ‘NO Movies for you’.

Now if the theater were to somehow mess up how it pressed charges so the case got thrown out every time they might be in the clear.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“But generally speaking it’s good if this case goes to court.”

Spoken like someone who has never dealt with any authority group in or near Chicago. And Rosemont is even worse.

Anywhere else I’d agree with you, but your talking about one of the most corrupt cities in one of the most corrupt states in the union. This could turn out very poorly for this chick…

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Actually the lawyer should argue both the intent issue and use fair use. 4 minutes of film gets you 3 years in Jail, seems alot like the unconstitutional fines RIAA get everytime they go to trial. This is the future where you get jail time for copyright infringement. Gonna be fun to watch the french president complain when he gets cuffed and perp walked.

senshikaze (profile) says:

wow.
just.
wow.
Remind me again where those Bill of Rights were? Im sure they were forgotten, oh, twenty years ago or so.

What i find hilarious is the people in charge of the *AA and the movie theater and the judges were all hippies 40 years ago, or grew up in the 70’s.

Peace and Love my ass.

I hope people boycott Rosemont
(they won’t, but i can hope the American populace grows a spine sometime in my lifetime, preferably before the events in 1984 transpire)

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“That is what happens to you when someone tells you to stop doing something that you shouldn’t be doing and you tell them to fuck off.”

Yeah, you clearly clicked through to the article, Sparky. She wasn’t told not to do anything. She wasn’t warned. She wasn’t hiding what she was doing. THEY WERE SINGING AS SHE FILMED, drawing attention to themselves and their super felonious raporist ways.

But hey, why let a fact or two preclude you from your trolling?

McBeese says:

Re: Re: Think in a broader context.

@Dark Helmet – I think the poster was implying the larger issue.

The MPAA and RIAA have both very consistently said “don’t copy our content.” They may be stupid and blind to new business models, but it is still within their rights to manage the content they own the rights to as they see fit.

Too many people with the entitlement syndrome have uttered a collective ‘fuck off’ and copied content.

As a result, we have a lot of stupid rules and even more stupid enforcement policies.

I don’t know who I’m more pissed off at – the parasitic labels and studios who screw their artists while alienating their customers, or the people who steal content and fuel the ridiculous actions of the MPAA/RIAA.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Think in a broader context.

“The MPAA and RIAA have both very consistently said “don’t copy our content.” They may be stupid and blind to new business models, but it is still within their rights to manage the content they own the rights to as they see fit.”

That’s fair, I suppose, but it makes this particular story even MORE dumb if that’s the case. It’s as if the RIAA or whoever is pushing for this enforcement identified their targets, lined them up against the wall, presented a compelling and fair reason as to why they should be punished, and then proceeded to shoot somebody that was just walking by in the head. If you want rules to keep something from happening, why use those rules in cases where it doesn’t make any sense at all?

“Too many people with the entitlement syndrome have uttered a collective ‘fuck off’ and copied content.”

I agree. There’s no justification for true infringement. Boycotting is ALWAYS the better option.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Think in a broader context.

What exactly was ‘stolen’ in this case? Nothing. Just someone’s fun captured on video. There is no distribution aspect, she was arrested on the spot. Even if she made it home how many people could have possibly seen the 4 minutes of movie she recorded? I suspect just the folks at the party that paid to see the movie anyway. This whole thing is ridiculous. Welcome to the new police state.

“Too many people with the entitlement syndrome have uttered a collective ‘fuck off’ and copied content.”

Only after the music and movie industries said ‘fuck off’ first when cusomters wanted something slightly different that what was available. Mob rule is not the problem here.

McBeese says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Think in a broader context.

Nothing was stolen in this case and whole thing is incredibly stupid. The point being made was that the stupid rules and stupid enforcement policies that we live with and that ended up making a victim out of this (stupid) girl are a result of people pirating and stealing content on a large scale.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Think in a broader context.

“The point being made was that the stupid rules and stupid enforcement policies that we live with and that ended up making a victim out of this (stupid) girl are a result of people pirating and stealing content on a large scale.”

Okay, I know what you mean, but no. That’s like saying that the only reason we all had to put up with the Patriot Act debacle was because the terrorists attacked us, ergo the blame for the warrantless wiretaps should be laid at the feet of Islamic terrorists. That’s stupid. The laws and rules pushed by the RIAA/MPAA et al are stupid of their own merit. They’d be stupid with or without piracy, and the blame for them lies squarely on the industry’s shoulders, not on the pirates.

People and groups with a propensity for fascism don’t need excuses for their acts, but they hide behind them. Rest assured these anti-freedom laws would be about regardless of whether or not there were pirates. It’s about control, not law….

McBeese says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Think in a broader context.

Yes, I hear what you’re saying and I agree that the laws/rules aren’t necessarily just a result of the actions.

However, do you really think that the MPAA/RIAA would get away with (or pursue) so many idiotic enforcement policies if pirating/stealing wasn’t commonly understood to be rampant? Similarly, do you think the people behind warrant-less wiretaps would have been able to push the bounds so far without the 9/11 event? I don’t think so.

Hornets are born with stingers and sometimes people get stung for no real fault of their own. However, if you disturb a hornets nest, you’re more at risk of getting stung AND you’re at risk of causing the same for some innocent bystander who knows better than to poke a hornet’s nest.

Trevor says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Think in a broader context.

‘However, do you really think that the MPAA/RIAA would get away with (or pursue) so many idiotic enforcement policies if pirating/stealing wasn’t commonly understood to be rampant? Similarly, do you think the people behind warrant-less wiretaps would have been able to push the bounds so far without the 9/11 event? I don’t think so.’

The problem with this logic is that if you excuse each case of ratcheting up the restrictions with absurd laws, then you’ll soon wake up and wonder where did all your rights go and why you’re living in a police state.

How many terrorists were apprehended because of the warrantless wiretaps? I don’t remember reading anything about any of them being caught and I’m absolutely convinced that the govt wouldn’t miss any opportunity of parading some terrorists in front of the cameras and boasting about how the dragnet helped them catch said terrorists.

The same applies to ‘piracy’, more commonly known by it’s correct name of ‘copyright infringement’. How many of these measured did anything to curb copyright infringement? None! And that is because copyright infringement is not the cause but the symptom of the problems of the content industries. When copying content is as easy as clicking a button it means that they should adapt to the times because fighting against technological development might work in the short term, but they’re signing their own death sentence in the long term.

Gordon says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Think in a broader context.

@ Dark Helmet
“The laws and rules pushed by the RIAA/MPAA et al are stupid of their own merit. They’d be stupid with or without piracy, and the blame for them lies squarely on the industry’s shoulders, not on the pirates.”

I agree with you more often than not my good man but not in this statement.
It doesn’t fall entirely in the lap of these groups. The Senators and Congressmen/women of the govt. should be listening to these groups give their requests for legislation, then telling them that it’s unconstitutional and asking them to leave their office.

They don’t, then they accept $$ from these groups and we end up in a police state. Welcome to the Socialist States of America.

McBeese says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Think in a broader context.

“>are a result of people pirating and stealing content on a large scale.

I disagree. They are a result of greed and ignorance on the part of the RIAA/MPAA/etc.”

…says a member of the entitlement society. The RIAA/MPAA are certainly both greedy and ignorant. I’ll add naive and sometimes just plain old stupid. However, none of those characteristics are illegal or uncommon. If people would stop pirating and stealing content, the MPAA/RIAA would throttle back on their efforts that end up in unreasonable cases like this one being discussed. How do I know that? Because the the MPAA and RIAA are greedy and the enforcement efforts cost money. The people who pirate and steal content are the people who justify the business case for the MPAA/RIAA enforcement efforts.

Jon Bane (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Think in a broader context.

>says a member of the entitlement society.

Do I know you? Cause you sure has hell proclaim to know me.

Do you honestly believe that the MPAA/RIAA wouldn’t be pushing for stronger copyright laws and enforcement if there was no theft? If so, you haven’t paid attention to their past. Many if not most copyright extensions have been at the bequest of those two parties. They have lobbied for increasing the scope and penalties of copyright since the record player.

I suspect the only way they will ever come close to be satisfied is if every performance of a song/movie/whatever was paid for each time, at a rate that meets their profit needs, and without having to pay the artists involved in its creation.

I suspect at this point, they will never let up off suing people due to the huge amount of profit they make from the settlement letters. Lawyers for companies of that size are on retainer and litigation essentially becomes a fixed cost.

While I can appreciate, to an extent, the technicality of her maybe having brken a law, that in no way justifies the law, the prosecution, the MPAA/RIAA’s behavior, or the destruction of this girls life.

Bruce says:

Re: Re: 3 years in jail

I agree that it is a pity she spent time in jail, and I agree that it’s all a travesty, but there are two things. First, the statute says that she can’t sue, and second, the statute is against operating the camera, which she did. It doesn’t matter what was playing or which way it was pointed or whose party it was.

My problem with it is that when the legislation was first proposed, the proponents said again and again that it would only be used when someone clearly intends to pirate a movie. As so often happens, it seems as if exactly the kind of silly enforcement we’re told not to worry about is exactly what happens.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

They won’t respond and here is why.

They do think it’s right so long as it’s not them doing the piracy.

However, they don’t want to admit to it because they know it’ll create huge public backlashes. After all, if they had to spend time in jail for something like that they would be upset too so they know that the public would also be upset, but since it’s happening to someone else it’s fine with the MPAA. Their only morality is, “it’s ethical only if it makes us profits.”

Nate (profile) says:

This probably won’t be a popular point of view, but out of all the things someone could have chosen to video tape, she chose a birthday event at a movie theater? Do people know it’s generally not a good idea to bring a camera to a movie theater? I agree that the punishment given so far is unreasonable and the theater overreacted, but this wasn’t the best idea in the world either…

Ryan says:

Re: Re:

I was unaware that it was bad to bring a simple camera to the theater; guess I’ll be leaving my cell phone at home from now on when I’m going out for dinner and a movie.

I wonder, would you say the same thing to a parent that got charged with child pornography because they filmed their child taking a bath? I mean goshdarnit, don’t people know by now that a camera should never be within a 5-mile radius of anyone under the age of 18 in any state of undress?

llfar says:

Re: Re: Re:

In every theatre I’ve been to in New Zealand, they have signs stating you are not allowed recording devices inside. They also ask you to turn cellphones off while the movie is playing.

At swimming pools, they now have signs stating you cannot bring a camera or cellphone into the pool area.

I want to know why they’re singing and recording DURING the movie… Was there anyone else in the theatre, because I can guarantee that if a group started singing Happy Birthday in the middle of a movie, I’d be complaining to management and asking for a refund.

pixelpusher220 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

it isn’t Mgmt’s ‘fault’, but it is there responsibility to provide an adequate viewing environment. If people are being disruptive to other’s enjoyment of the movie, the theater would do well to listen to complaints lest they lose even more customers.

That’s just basic customer management skills.

Anonymous1 says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

How is it management’s fault that a couple twenty-somethings don’t have manners?

Typical dense reply from you I see, as expected. It isn’t “their fault” as you READ INTO the previous posters statement idiot.It is however their RESPONSIBILITY to remove unruely, disruptive people from the theater, per complaint, as needed.The charge is absurd but your lack of reading comprehension is just as bad.

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Phone

> guess I’ll be leaving my cell phone at home from
> now on when I’m going out for dinner and a
> movie.

If only.

Nothing like having a nice dinner or a movie ruined by all the idiots who feel the need to bring those things with them (and use them constantly) wherever they go.

The last time I saw a movie in a theater, there was a nonstop sea of glowing little screens bouncing and moving in my eyeline throughout the entire film as people incessantly texted their friends and checked e-mails for two straight hours.

If this sort of draconian enforcement starts making people leery of even bringing their phones into a theater, then at least one good thing has come from the MPAA’s scorched earth campaign.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Phone

The last time I saw a movie in a theater, there was a nonstop sea of glowing little screens bouncing and moving in my eyeline throughout the entire film as people incessantly texted their friends and checked e-mails for two straight hours.

Why do they pay to sit in the dark and use their cell phones? You can do that at home for free. I don’t get it.

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Phone

> Why do they pay to sit in the dark and use their cell phones?

You got me. It’s like they’re addicted to crack or something. They can’t leave the damn things alone for even an hour or so.

I had one girl sitting right next to me in a crowded showing of 2012 who opened up her cell phone literally every 2-3 minutes. God knows what she was doing– checking e-mail or texts or Facebook or somesuch nonsense– and when I asked if she could please stop doing that because the glow from the screen was ridiculously distracting from the film, her response was to slide out of her seat and crouch down in the aisle, shielding the glow with her body. Her complete attention was on the damn cell phone for the entire duration of the movie. I have no idea why she even bothered to come to the theater. Seems to me she could have just stayed at home and spent the whole night staring at her little gizmo like some kind of mindless zombie.

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Phone

> Why do they pay to sit in the dark and use their cell phones?

You got me. It’s like they’re addicted to crack or something. They can’t leave the damn things alone for even an hour or so.

I had one girl sitting right next to me in a crowded showing of 2012 who opened up her cell phone literally every 2-3 minutes. God knows what she was doing– checking e-mail or texts or Facebook or somesuch nonsense– and when I asked if she could please stop doing that because the glow from the screen was ridiculously distracting from the film, her response was to slide out of her seat and crouch down in the aisle, shielding the glow with her body. Her complete attention was on the damn cell phone for the entire duration of the movie. I have no idea why she even bothered to come to the theater. Seems to me she could have just stayed at home and spent the whole night staring at her little gizmo like some kind of mindless zombie.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Yes, but WHY is does the theater seem so rediculous to you? Because it’s common sense, or because the MPAA has gotten out of hand?

Did you know you aren’t supposed to take photos in a Mall? If you snap a pic of your friend shopping, you can be booted out. Rediculousness of that aside, because it’s private property the worst they can do is kick you out. Yet, somehow the theater is different, and she is now facing felony charges?

Nate (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Taking a picture at a mall and recording a movie are two separate ordeals. I don’t know the exact rules for malls, if they exist (I hadn’t heard of it), but I can see where people would be upset about their privacy. If that’s the case then it’s a matter of privacy violation versus copyright infringement.

Nate (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

To clarify more, if the woman took video of just her friends and stuff WITHOUT ANY CLIPS OF THE MOVIE and if the theater had a problem with that then they could get kicked out or something along the lines you described. The fact that the woman got clips of the movie (whether on purpose or accidentally) just adds another layer of crap that makes it different from a mall picture. That’s when it becomes copyright infringement. Whether or not you agree with the law as written now (I don’t agree with it), that’s just how it is. Yeah it sucks, but the point I made earlier was that I thought people in general knew about the risks of taking a camera into a theater and would not attempt it because situations like this can occur.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Yes. It’s against the law. Since when was common sense removed from administering the law? When did we as a country start catering to this kind of idiocy? Four minutes. Really? For a ninety minute film that is what, 4.44% of the film? Assuming that she actually caught anything of the film and not just a fringe shot of the screen with her friend’s head dominating the shot.

Common sense says she was not filming the movie, and at most she should have been asked to leave for bringing in a camera. People on here are complaining of entitlement society. Laws like these, and responses such as this woman received, are indicative of such an entitlement society, but who is so entitled? The MPAA, in this case. Why? Simple. They and their lobbyists have pushed through laws so draconian as to put people in mind of the fascism of Germany ca 1942. An industry can now remove YOUR RIGHTS just for the dire mistake of catching the smallest bit of their piece of bloated crap on film (digital media, whatever).

Once more, we see punishments that do not fit the crime. Will WWIII be everyone bombing America for their totalitarian ways? Seems far-fetched, but laws such as this are only the beginning.

Anonymous Coward says:

Ryan, why yes, parents charged with child porn for pics of their babies in the tub has happened.

Did you know that if a 17 year old sends a naked pic of themselves to you they can charge you with child porn? You can bang them in most states and that is fine, but if you have a naked pic of them, its child porn.

Nate (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Just so you know, I wouldn’t say “it’s not a good idea” if images were kept privately by the family, for the family. If the family was distributing it then there’s a big problem with that. Rules for recording devices in theaters are there because of assumed intent. There’s nothing particularly fantastic about your run of the mill movie theater and most people act with a purpose. You’re fine to have your cell phone because the assumed intent of you having it is NOT to record movies but to communicate with other people.

I know you’re not an idiot, but seeing the world in black and white is a terrible way to look at things.

Catharina says:

When is it enough?

I hope this story is a hoax but if it is not, then when will the people stand up to these companies that abuse the laws? When will we the people stand up to these governments who make these laws? When will we ask our governments: ” hey what you’r up to there? Aren’t you to supposed to be working for us?”

Ryan says:

Re: When is it enough?

They are working for us; they’re working for the special interests that can deliver them the most money and influence. It strikes me as naive that any activist and interventionary government will not favor certain groups within its populace over others; we will stand up to them when we stop electing our current politicians because they are not Republican or not Democrat, because they actually have some knowledge of the subject instead of telling us what we want to hear, and because they have a track record of setting fair rules and then staying the hell out of the way.

Andy (profile) says:

Bad press...who cares?

If this happened in almost any other scenario, the business concerned would realise the bad press something like this would generate and would no doubt back off. It seems the “entertainment” industry have gone so far off-track with good public relations in their pursuit of their “entitlement” with whining and litigation, they simply don’t see the disturbing reality of just how unhappy they are making their customers.

sehlat (profile) says:

FYI

The President of this theater chain is:

Hal Cleveland
Muvico Entertainment, L.L.C.
3101 N. Federal Highway, Sixth Floor
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33306

I intend to write him a very polite letter congratulating his chain’s customer service policies.

I mean, it’s not everybody who gets a gift at their sister’s birthday party. What gift, you ask? Why, a criminal record! A gift that keeps on giving. I’m sure Ms. Tumpach will remember this birthday every time she fills out a job application and gets to the “Have you ever been arrested or charged with a crime?” question.

THIS, people, is the kind of customer service that got me into theaters all of four times in the past year, and my wife only had to drag me for three of them.

America has a long tradition of replacing old, worn-out industries and methods with new and efficient ones. Cars replaced horse-and-buggy transport. The telephone replaced the telegraph which replaced messengers.

So join me in applauding Muvico’s efforts to push another decaying industry into its twlight, so a new moon may arise.

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Re: FYI

“Tumpach will remember this birthday every time she fills out a job application and gets to the ‘Have you ever been arrested or charged with a crime?'”

Oh, it’s better then that. Most jobs don’t care about the little things, the most common question is “Have you ever been charged with a felony?” Now she gets to say “Yes”. I wonder how may employers take the time to pay attention to that section labeled “details”.

Ron Rezendes (profile) says:

Re: Re: FYI

Here’s the content I sent – credit to CST for making such a salient point!

Dear Mr. Cleveland,

I’m sure this isn’t the first email nor the last you will receive regarding the case of Samantha Tumpach who was jailed for two nights and faces felony charges and possibly three years in prison.

It’s not everybody who gets a gift at their sister’s birthday party. What gift, you ask? Why, a criminal record! A gift that keeps on giving!

I’m sure Ms. Tumpach will remember this birthday every time she fills out a job application and gets to the “Have you ever been arrested or charged with a crime?” question.

You can be assured that none of my friends or family will ever spend a single dime in one of your establishments during our lifetimes. Congratulations!

Sincerely disheartened,
~Ron Rezendes

Trails (user link) says:

Awesome!

This is brilliant! This is exactly what the world needs. We should be putting more productive young members of society in cages alongside career felons in order to enforce anachronistic and draconian laws enacted by bribed politicians made to prop up a dieing business model.

This is also brilliant because this is exactly what the courts and jails are for. I, as a taxpayer am thrilled that this is how my tax dollars are being spent and I will vote, several times in a single election if I can figure out how, for any politician who supports these actions.

To be clear, in my honest opinion, there is absolutely nothing more important for law enforcement and corrections resources to be spent on than making an example of this woman. How excellent! I am inspired by this, and what it says about the law, the legislative process, and a society that permits this to occur.

mjb5406 (profile) says:

Lessee... Rosemont... Small Movie Chain...

Must be Movico! That’s about the only small theater chain I’m aware of with a location in Rosemont, where the son of the late Donald Stephens (former mayor) runs the city with an iron fist, esconcing fairness to all (NOT). Although never proven, Stephens (the dead one) supposedly was “connected”. I’ve dealt with Rosemont Police; the only thing they seem to do is abuse people and direct traffic at Allstate Arena. I’m sure the politics in Rosemont have a lot to do with the arrest.

Carl (profile) says:

The loss in revenue for this . . .

comes not out of the millions of dollars that the studios will surely lose if those 4 minutes of Twilight are distributed, but that people are going to be too scared of being thrown in jail to go to the theatre for events like birthday parties or anything where someone might want to film their friends and family. I’m certainly not going to be going to the theatres for a while.

jacksombra says:

Re: The lesson the MPAA is teaching

“”If your friend is having a birthday, don’t take them to a movie.”

Is that the lesson the MPAA wants to teach people?”
MPAA who know’s?
Other cinema goers? Most certainly

Cinema is not a party location, where ene sings, dances and shouts, it’s a place to watch movies, hopefully with minimal disruption from other people there

Anonymous Coward says:

What if she’d been arrested in a larger city? A young girl like this, with no apparent criminal history, is someone easily victimized by male guards and other inmates, and she spent two days locked up before she had a bail hearing.

A potential of three years in prison is not in any way justified by the level of her ‘crime.’ Tell me why I would want to take my own children to the movies so they can witness someone being handcuffed and arrested for copying four minutes of a movie onto their video camera. It’s not worth the price of admission. Hello, Netflix.

McBeese says:

Throw the book at her!

I just read the story. Nowhere does it say that this was a private showing of the film, yet it goes on and on about how she was talking the whole time she was filming. I say throw in her jail for as long as possible. Not for filming a few minutes of a bad movie, but for being one of those stupid cows who won’t shut up whenever I go to a movie. Send her to the prison wing where they put the people who don’t signal in traffic because their hand is full holding a cell phone to their ear.

Llihsyrt Sudni says:

Valubale lesson

Why does everyone leap to outrage on issues like this? Rules are rules and common sense is common sense. You don’t take beer into Saudi, talk religion in Beijing, take photos of kids playing in Green Park in London or even drive 28 in a 25 mile zone. Ignorance of the law is not a excuse, cases like this that get the public’s attention serve to educate the masses to our rules and laws. She should be charged to the fullest extent of the law and we all will be better off with the lesson it brings. How many of you will now bring your camcorder into a theater?

Trevor says:

Re: Valubale lesson

I see that you’re one of those people who think that laws are there just for the sake of them being there and that people should follow them with blind obedience.

All your examples are examples of clueless following of the letter of the law instead of the spirit of the law. I’m sorry to tell you, but the law should serve society, not the other way around. The current copyright laws are so bent out of shape that the letter of the law has nothing in common with serving society.

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Valubale lesson

> All your examples are examples of clueless
> following of the letter of the law instead of
> the spirit

Well, except for that bit about not bringing alcohol into Saudi Arabia. That’s perfectly in line with the spirit of the law– they don’t want anyone importing or using alcohol in their country, period. It’s not just a technicality.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Valubale lesson

Are you smoking crack? I don’t live in Saudi Arabia, thanks be to God or Allah, because I’d hate to be stoned to death for being a rape victim. Or hung in the public square for the crime of drinking a beer. England and China, both countries you cite, have their own laws unique to their countries and the needs of their cultures.

I expect – and we all should demand – that American law reflect American values. We don’t (at least not yet) stone people to death for bringing a camcorder into a movie theater, and driving 28 mph in a 25 mph zone should not get you arrested anywhere in America. Neither should recording four minutes of the movie Twilight on your video camera.

Jon Bane (profile) says:

Re: Valubale lesson

Ending a persons life with intent = 5-6 years.
Filming 3-4 minutes of a movie without intent = up to 3 years.

The only lesson she is going to learn is how to live on the streets and what discrimination is. 3-4 minutes of video for a life of bullshit. Dificulty getting a job (even worse in a recession), restrictions on her freedoms, limitations to her rights as a citizen, etc., etc.

How the fuck do you justify that? What harm did she do to ANYONE to deserve her life to be a tossed on for the next decade or more?

Llihsyrt Sudni says:

Re: Valubale lesson

The law is the law of the land … and of the people. If you don’t like it then supposedly you in “America” have the right to change it. So instead of being outraged and writing on this forum why don’t you write your political leaders and and apply pressure legally. We should respect and follow the laws … to the letter. Even if it be beer in Suadi, Jesus in Beijing or Photos in London.

Kudos Trails

Jason says:

Re: Valubale lesson

There is no LAW against a camera in the theater. It’s not that she was ignorant of the law, she just wasn’t breaking it.

This is a classic case of lack of criminal intent – not, as you so ignorantly suggest, a case of ignorance – she was not intending to make a copy of the film, she was fiddling with her camera.

Llihsyrt Sudni says:

Re: Re: Valubale lesson (Intent)

Intent? Her actions caused her to violate a law. If you were doing 28 in a 25 zone and didn’t intend to speed you are still violating the law. (A better example would be not seeing a 45 zone sign and doing 55) You are still violating the law even if it was in the middle of the desert and no one around .. except for that police officer that caught you. She violated the law and that should not be done. If you don’t like it … go out and get the law changed. At least you have the right to do that in the USA. Exercise it or loose it to the the real industry shills.

Mario says:

Re: Re: Re: Valubale lesson (Intent)

You seem to have lost your common sense to the real industry shills already. Unless you’ve been in cryo sleep for the last decades, I would think you’d noticed the fact that the majority of the politicians are as crooked as they come and they’re on the take from the copyright industries (look at Biden… and he’s just the top of the iceberg). Unfortunately ‘America’ is not really a democracy anymore.

The tragedy here isn’t necessarily that the politicians are crooked though. The tragedy is that some of the people think like you do, and believe that they owe complete obedience to their government, which suggests a woeful lack of independent thought.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Valubale lesson (Intent)

It reminds me of a programme I once saw about a British police chief.
He addressed a meeting of recruits and asked the question. “Will anyone here who has never broken the law please raise their hands? ”

No hands went up.

He continued by explaining how proper policing should always use common sense and not enforce the law blindly.

Cipher-0 says:

Re: Valubale lesson

Why does everyone leap to outrage on issues like this? Rules are rules and common sense is common sense.

Two reasons.

One, it’s idiotic as four minutes of shaky home video of a movie has zero value as far as piracy is concerned.

Two, you do realize that should this be illegal this also makes home videos people do in their own home with a movie playing in the background are equally illegal, right?

Tim the Reporter says:

I had once gone to a Don Henley concert at an outdoor amphitheater in Milwaukee. I was with friends on grass seating, way in the back, on a rainy day. To document the night with my old friends, knowing that it would rain, I grabbed an old Nikon 110 underwater camera (it has about a 2ft to 10ft range for fairly good images). Not even pointing at the stage, I took a couple pictures of my friends and was immediately surrounded by security and asked to: “come with us.”

Having missed much of the concert I eventually convinced them that even if I took a picture of the stage, Don Henley would have been a blurry speck about the size of a pinhead. And it was explained to me that there are no exceptions to the policy and examples needed to me made…I was the “lucky one.”

Whats the moral? Once you start picking and choosing who the laws or rules apply to – and making exceptions – you break precedent making it much harder to enforce your rules and laws.

Does it suck? Yes – big time. Years later I’m still ticked over the concert situation. I understand even though I don’t want to.

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Re:

> Whats the moral? Once you start picking and
> choosing who the laws or rules apply to – and
> making exceptions – you break precedent making
> it much harder to enforce your rules and laws.

Baloney.

Declining to prosecute this woman would in no way limit or hinder or “break precedent” (your use of that phrase is nonsensical in this context) or in any way hamper prosecuting other people who really are trying to pirate a movie by filming it in a theater.

There’s a reason criminal law requires intent and this is a prime example of that.

Peter M. says:

I've been to this theater

I’ve been to this theater- It is not a “normal” movie theater- they offer a dinner & movie package deal with a huge dining area just beyond the theater doors. The family would have been here singing & partying, not in the actual theater. Most people bring camera/cell phones to birthday parties in public eateries, it hardly makes her an idiot.

Vic says:

The paper is in it?

How do you like the headline of SunTimes? Did you notice?

“Woman arrested for trying to record ‘Twilight’ on digital camera”

Now, when papers or radio or TV report on crimes they usually put there what? Something like “person suspected of …” or “the suspects”. Here, in this case looks like the newspaper has already tried her and decided that she definitely was recording the movie! Makes you wonder if they are in the same bed with MPAA…

Anonymous Coward says:

She's already guilty

Face it. This is the MPAA/RIAA she’s dealing with here. She’s already been tried, convicted, and sentenced the moment she was arrested. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. She won’t get the right of an adequate defense… not anymore. Maybe 20 years ago, sure.

All that’s left is for her to go before a judge and find out how many millions of dollars she now has to pay. No matter what defense attorney she gets (even with the Chewbacca defense), she’s already guilty. Might as well save some money and represent herself.

She’s done. That’s it. She’s over. The way things are going, no judge is going to find her innocent. The MPAA/RIAA have already won.

Anonymous1 says:

Re: Valubale lesson
by Llihsyrt Sudni
The law is the law of the land … and of the people. If you don’t like it then supposedly you in “America” have the right to change it.

Are you truely the biggest fool ever to walk the planet?
You’re definately in the running in my opinion. Then again, you’re probably just a nasty-pathetic troller, but just in case you’re not:

Criminal actions in “America” require intent, in most cases.
You don’t know our laws, nor the details of it, so please go directly to the nearest lake, and jump in it, you arrogant twit.

Anonymous1 says:

@Llihsyrt Sudni: Here’s a little education twit:

Criminal Infringement.—
(1) In general.— Any person who willfully infringes a copyright shall be punished as provided under section 2319 of title 18, if the infringement was committed—
(A) for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain;
(B) by the reproduction or distribution, including by electronic means, during any 180–day period, of 1 or more copies or phonorecords of 1 or more copyrighted works, which have a total retail value of more than $1,000; or
(C) by the distribution of a work being prepared for commercial distribution, by making it available on a computer network accessible to members of the public, if such person knew or should have known that the work was intended for commercial distribution.
(2) Evidence.— For purposes of this subsection, evidence of reproduction or distribution of a copyrighted work, BY ITSELF, shall not be sufficient to establish willful infringement of a copyright.

You were ranting?

Got Money? says:

Re:

Yeah, assuming that they can afford a paid attorney… You would be surprised how overloaded public defenders are. I was once arrested and my PD only wanted me to “cop out” for 5 years in state prison”no record prior, never even arrested”. Forced to seek help from family, ended up hiring a Shark, I mean attorney, who ended up getting $14,600 in all to defend me on a charge that a jury of 12 half wits could see I was not guilty of. But my public defender said I had to plea bargain or I would get the maximum sentence.

So basically, when you get arrested for a felony, if you can not afford a real attorney, you are screwed. Forget innocent or guilty. Innocent with a PD is essentially guilty. Sad but true.

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