Teen caught trying to record “Spider-Man 2” by theater projectionist using nightvision goggles.

I forgot to mention it previously, but word went out not too long ago that many theaters around the country were going to start using night vision goggles in the fight against movie piracy. According to the MPAA camcorders account for 92 percent of all illegal copies of films that end up being sold as bootlegs or traded across file sharing networks and they recently announced a bounty on pirates trying to tape movies at their local cinemaplex.  And now a theater out in Los Angeles appears to have snagged their first pirate using NV goggles:

Teen arrested in alleged effort to bootleg “Spider-man 2”

The teen could be charged under a law that went into effect Jan. 1 and makes taking a recording device into a movie theater a crime punishable by up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500.

The film industry’s trade group hailed the arrest and credited its recent initiative to offer cash rewards of up to $500 to theater employees who turn in moviegoers attempting to make illicit film copies.

“In theaters nationwide, there are now thousands of eyes looking for camcording-pirates and this incident proves that pirates who use these devices in theaters will be caught,” said James W. Spertus, vice president and director of antipiracy operations for the Motion Picture Association of America.

Hard to say how effective this strategy will be in the long run, but I’m sure that $500 bounty will help in the motivation department considering what your average theater worker earns these days.

6 thoughts on “Teen caught trying to record “Spider-Man 2” by theater projectionist using nightvision goggles.

  1. OK, I agree that recording a movie in the theater is wrong. But a year in jail?? For what is basically a copyright violation??? Oh, no, wait… you didn’t say a year in jail for recording the movie, just for taking a camera into the movie! Does that count even if you don’t turn it on?

  2. I haven’t seen that much of a reduction on the P2P networks. I suspect that I’ll see a Spiderman torrent out there in less than a week.

    Personally, I don’t know what the fuss is all about with this. Have you ever tried to watch one of those recordings? They are awful! Sound sucks, people block the screen, camera isn’t steady.

    I would rather just wait for the movie to come out on DVD. smile

  3. Nope.  It only counts if you turn it on.  The law applies to cell phones as well.  From what I can ascertain it seems to be applicable only in six or seven states at the moment.  Wouldn’t be surprised to see it go national though.  There’s a nice state by state breakdown here: NCSL ORG

  4. There is already a spiderman 2 torrent. It came out on Spiderman 2’s release date.

  5. Copyright laws are such a joke, they don’t do anything but favor the big corporations. Especially that neanderthalesque DMCA. Not only are several provisions in it unconstitutional, but it does absolutely nothing to benefit the artists, etc. who create the products in question. It only benefits the corporations who distribute the material. Disgusting what this world is coming to. I would suggest checking out the Electronic Frontier Foundation website at http://www.eff.org/. Great site and very informative on the hypocrisy and outright scandalous behaviour of our government and big corporations in regards to our privacy and copyright law amongst other things.

  6. Honestly, as someone who has produced copyright protected works in the past, I do see the point of copyrights and I’m not sure how we can abandon them completely without coming up with a better system in it’s stead first. That said, I think the copyright system has been modified a few times too many over the years such that it’s lost much of it’s original intent and function.

    At the very least there’s good reason to reform the laws, though I suspect that the only real way things will change will be through the voluntary adoption of alternatives by those who produce intellectual property. Open Source software is one example of an alternative as is the Creative Commons license. Only by creating and then using an alternative licensing system and finding ways to make money at the same time are we going to convince the big corporations to abandon traditional copyrights that have been such a cash cow for them for so long.

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