Woman Sues Theater For Pressing Charges Over Filming Twilight Snippets At Birthday Party
from the keep-the-dream-alive dept
You may recall the story from late last year of the young woman whose sister had a birthday party, where part of the festivities was going to see the Twilight: New Moon movie. Since it’s pretty common for people to record part of events such as birthday parties, this woman, Samantha Tumpach, kept filming part of the party, and that included some snippets from the movie. Because of that, the theater had her arrested under the MPAA’s favorite anti-camcording laws. She ended up spending two nights in jail, and and even the movie’s director claimed the whole thing was “terribly unfair.” The theater and prosecutors stood by the arrest for a while… until finally dropping the charges.
At the time, Tumpach suggested she might sue the theater, but it looks like it took seven months to get everything in order to do just that. Tumpach is now suing the theater company, Muvico, over the arrest, saying that she wasn’t warned, and that even the MPAA had told the theater to just delete the content and file a report. But, the lawsuit claims, the theater went further in pressing charges because of the possibility of collecting a monetary reward that was promised to theaters that provide info on bootleggers:
“Buckus signed the criminal complaint in hopes of collecting a reward for providing information that leads to the arrest and conviction of a person engaged in video piracy when he very well knew that she was guilty of no such act.”
When rumors of her planned lawsuit first came out, we pointed out that the Illinois law in quesiton appears to make the theater’s actions perfectly legal, so there’s probably not much chance of the lawsuit succeeding. However, it does highlight the perverse incentives created by the MPAA in its mad rush to both pass anti-camcording laws like this one, and then to incentivize theaters to press charges against anyone, no matter what the circumstances.