An American teenager has been arrested in a California cinema as he tried to take a video Spiderman 2 on his handheld camcorder.
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has taken a number of actions to focus the public attention on not copying films in cinema. There is now a message displayed at the start of each film stating that it is a criminal offence to video it and they recently offered a $500 (€406) inducement to cinema staff who reported camcorder usage.
The message in UK cinemas reads “You are not permitted to use any camera or recording equipment in this cinema. This will be treated as an attempt to breach copyright. Any person doing so can be ejected and such articles may be confiscated by the police. We ask the audience to be vigilant against any such activity and report any matters arousing suspicion to cinema staff. Thank you.”
It is understood that in this case the projectionist who was apparently using night vision goggles to scan the audience will be claiming their bounty.
If found guilty, the unnamed 16 year old film goer could face up to a year in prison and a maximum fine of $2,500 (€2028).
The MPAA claim that camcorder piracy accounts for 92% of all illegal copies of films sold on the Internet and street corners worldwide and say that it is now illegal, in the US, to even take recording equipment into a cinema.