Screaming Justin Bieber Fans Using Camera Phones To Capture Snippets Of Movie Premiere Berated For Piracy

from the cultural-divide dept

We’ve pointed out many times that the laws, especially around things like copyright, simply don’t match up with the basic cultural norms of what it means to be a kid today. Remember, for example, the woman who was arrested and spent two nights in jail because she used a camera to capture a few very short segments of the movie Twilight, because she was trying to capture her sister’s birthday party (with the movie showing being a part of the event). Now, TorrentFreak points us to an unintentionally hilarious article written by a woman who appears to make her living as a Marilyn Monroe/Anna Nicole Smith impersonator, complaining about how a bunch of Justin Bieber fans were thieves because they dared to film snippets of his new movie (wait, Justin Bieber has a movie?!?) at a special VIP Premiere ($30 a ticket!) with their camera phones.

Bieber fans watched the film and screamed with glee at the sight of him on the big screen, but many were also committing a crime. The crime was committed when they began taping the film for their own use. Since most of the audience consisted of teenage girls with their parents, I am left to wonder what parent lets their child commit a crime? Even scarier ,what kind of parent lets them do it in public?

Also I wonder how can Justin’s fans call themselves true fans by stealing from the star?

Just what they “stole” from Bieber is not made clear, of course. Of course, there seems to be a bit of a cultural divide here. The Bieber fans aren’t stealing anything. What they’re doing is sharing with their friends. They’re not sharing the movie, of course. I’m sure the screaming crew of Bieber fans are all begging their parents to take them to the theater (probably multiple times). What they’re sharing is the experience of going to see the film. Filming a snippet and sending it to friends is a way of letting their friends know “hey, look, I got to go to the Premiere!” or something along those lines.

Of course, thanks to rampant lobbying by the MPAA, such filming is a crime. But this sort of situation just serves to underline why it’s stupid to consider just any filming of a movie to be a criminal act. The screaming teen girls at the Bieber movie were not “pirating” the movie in any sense. They were trying to share a cultural experience. It seems pretty bizarre that doing so actually does put them at risk of being sent to jail for a few years.

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Comments on “Screaming Justin Bieber Fans Using Camera Phones To Capture Snippets Of Movie Premiere Berated For Piracy”

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Christopher Gizzi (profile) says:

Opposite Directions

I wonder what the kids would say if someone told them they were guilty of the crime of pirating a Bieber movie clip.

I wonder what the parents would say if the cops told them their kids were held at the station for copyright infringement.

I?m willing to bet both sets would look at them like they had two heads. Neither the kids or parents would think it a crime to send a movie clip of a life experience to their friends in that way.

And I dare anyone to jail a child for filming a Bieber clip.

But the real thing to take away is this: the law isn?t just taking a long time to catch up to social norms, the law and the social norms are heading in exactly the opposite direction.

Christopher Gizzi (profile) says:

Re: But they've now seen the Bieb...

Somehow, I don’t think Bieber fans want to see his movie for the “plot.”

FACT: I saw a 30 second preview of nearly every movie I’ve seen and figured out the plot. It made me want to see the movie in the first place.

ALSO FACT: I’ve read review articles in the paper and online and watched them on the evening news and ALSO understood the plot. Sometimes, I saw the movie.

Seeing a 30 second clip isn’t going to stop paying customers from paying. They either want to see the movie or don’t. But I bet you’d get more people seeing the movie than people deciding against seeing the movie after watching a 30 second clip.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: But they've now seen the Bieb...

And for footbal fans the holy grail [PDF] A Video-Based 3D-Reconstruction of Soccer Games

If you get many, many video sources you can reconstruct the images and enhance them and probably end up with a good version of that movie theoretically.

John Doe says:

The real crime here...

The real crime here is that this lady is robbing the estates of Marilyn Monroe and Anna Nicole Smith. Every dime she has ever made using their likeness should be immediately remanded to the estates of these women. Think of their children! They may have to buy Fords now instead of Mercedes all because their trust funds were robbed of the income this impersonator has stolen!

Anonymous Coward says:

Yet another straw man alert

“It seems pretty bizarre that doing so actually does put them at risk of being sent to jail for a few years.”

Are you seriously stating that these children will be held liable for copyright infringement? Nothing is going to happen to these kids just because some blogger wrote an article that you don’t agree with.

Is everyone who snaps a picture of a live NFL game technically breaking the law? Yes. Has anyone been seriously been taken to task for this “offense”. I’m not counting paltry DMCA takedown notices.

YesItsMeAgain says:

can you pass the wetnaps please?

I know exactly how those girls feel. They just want to show off to their friends and say “I was there” and maybe 300-400 times a day sneak a peak at their smart phones to relive the experience of something great until they can make their way back into the theater again with like minded souls. I believe they committed no crime and perhaps it was a “mob mentality”, a case of “Everyone else is doing it so why can’t I?”.
I myself have been victim of this ridiculous copyright law when trying to document my experiences in a perfectly legal albeit a little damp adult themed theater to merely share with others and dare I say, rub it in their face.

Armando Kirwin says:

Howdy. I read techdirt religiously and I actually happen to work at Paramount, we made Never Say Never (the Justin Beiber movie).

In my personal opinion, there is no way in hell you can experience a movie by watching 30 seconds of it on Youtube. (Not to mention the fact that there are currently no cell phones capable of recording a 3D movie correctly.)

As someone on the inside of the industry, it bothers me deeply that the law has deviated so far away from common sense. I don’t expect that this will always be the case.

Also, for all you macho men out there who hate Beiber by default, you will be surprised by how good the movie is. 🙂

Anonymous Coward says:

What they stole more than anything is the artificial scarcity that is some important to the whole “after the music industry dies” world. The movie is the scarcity that people are willing to pay for.

The chisel away that the movie, piece by piece, slowly chipping away it’s exclusive nature, and perhaps even making it so they don’t have to pay to see it again.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Are you saying this was a concious conspiracy by hundreds of young girls to, with machine precision, take 30 seconds each of this movie to paste together later on their Hello Bieby computers to make a whole film?

“Emily’s syncing the audio, Bridget’s tweaking up the edits, and Ashley’s gonna handle the whole 3D thingy!”


Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Well he may be concerned about the chipping away, but actually there is technology to do exactly what you said automatically.

Just search for “3D reconstruction from video”, heck there is even a link to a paper demonstrating how to recreate in 3D a football game.

Stack all that footage together and you can reconstruct the video and even enhanced it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Let me add this:

Speeding is illegal. Even if you are speeding to see Justin Bieber perform (god knows why, I would be speeding away). You cannot break the law just because some juvenile performer is involved.

In the same manner, you cannot record movies with a camera legally. Even if Bieber is involved. The story is a whole lot of window dressing for a basic problem: It’s against the law.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

But should it be?

What happens when everyone on earth have a digital camera recorder in their glasses that they use for augmented reality?

What happen when you have the capability to filter environment factors and plugin your own factors like noise level, light, smells and etc.

The law is becoming anachronistic in that regard and sooner or latter it will be revised to take into account the new technologies, which will lead to some painful decisions for some people.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Blame the idiots who pirated movies by filming the theaters. Don’t blame the law, the law is in place because your friends, your online buddies, that guy seeding the latest movie right now theater rip set up a situation that was legally intolerable.

It is sad and stupid that we are at this point. But the few who choose to blatantly make a problem has ruined it for everyone else. Go verbally attack the people that caused this mess (and no, it ain’t the movie people, and it ain’t the theaters… it is idiots with cameras).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

What do you do when the entire population has cameras and they are all idiots?

Please explain to the parents of all those little girls that you will send their daughters to prison because they dared to film the big screen in front of them.

I want to see the PR nightmare this will turn into the first time any idiot try to arrest a little girl filming the screen.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

In the same manner, you cannot record movies with a camera legally. Even if Bieber is involved. The story is a whole lot of window dressing for a basic problem: It’s against the law.

In the same manner, you’ve still missed the point.. The story is a whole lot of window dressing to highlight the stupidity of the law.

Anonymous Coward says:

Let's frame this a different way

For those who actually do believe this is stealing (I know you’re in the minority here but I’m honestly curious), let’s frame it a slightly different way. I’d like to know where the line is.

I don’t know who this Beaver kid is, but I do read a book series with a pretty fanatical following. Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series is the one I’m talking about. There are numerous forums and web pages that have snippets of the book and chapter summaries and all sorts of goodies. Now, I’d like to know where the line for legality is.

Scenario 1: I have an eidetic memory. I discuss the book with another fan in person and quote entire sections of it. Other people overhear us and gather while we wax philosophical over the books with me sometimes quoting pages and passages. Illegal?

Scenario 2: I break out my Nook with a legally obtained copy of the book on it with a friend while we’re discussing it. We read a few chapters together. Does this count as public performance?

Scenario 3: Same as scenario 1, except this time in an online forum that requires registration to read instead of in public.

Scenario 4: Scan and OCR the book that I own for personal use to shift it to my ebook reader.

Several of these have some elements that correspond to what actually happened here. The information is a snippet of the whole, and it’s being discussed. Which one is illegal, and why is the line where it is?

Carl Barron_agpcuk (profile) says:

Gaping Hole in Anti Piracy Laws.

It is possible that I have discovered a Gaping Hole in Anti Piracy Copyright Laws.

The reason being that Copyrights strength is in the fact that it is ?Legally Regarded? as if written in stone whatever material is under copyright. Hence if you only copy a segment of the original Copyright material it is not theft as it is incomplete. Hence not as the original as the original is a completed script hence taking a single element cannot be judged as Copyright Theft.

Likewise if you copy Copyright Text and change the font it is not as the original yet by changing the wording of text slightly puts you well safe of being charged with copyright theft.

Signed Carl Barron Chairman of agpcuk

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

I haven’t had cable TV in over 2 years, I don’t have an antenna, so there is no TV in my house, period.

I don’t have a DVD player, or a VCR. If I did, I would only watch the things I have already paid for.

I don’t go to the movies, I don’t listen to music except the ones I have paid for already, or that are from the artist directly.

I like my boycott. Gives me more money to do the things I love….like spending time with my kids and my WoW. Instead of lining a greedy bastages pockets.

Anonymous Coward says:

@56 (“Tell me, which copyright laws do you break when you snap your own photographs?”)

I don’t know but it reminds me of this article…

“There is, however, another message about copyright in the National Portrait Gallery: it is implicit in the “No Photography” signs prominently displayed throughout its rooms, including one by the entrance to the Pop Art Portraits exhibition.

These signs are not intended to protect the works from the depredations of camera flashes (otherwise they would read “No Flash Photography”). No, the ban on pictures is meant to safeguard the copyright of the works hung on the walls – a fact that every member of staff I asked instantly confirmed.”

Full article – Warhol is turning in his grave

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