The following definition refers to a label given to a type of pirate copy of a motion picture. If you are looking for the definition of CAM as it relates to Digital Television Broadcast, or a set-top box, then check our definition of Conditional Access Module.
In this particular case, with Cam we mean a specific method how movie pirates create illegal bootleg copies of original movies. Cam method is basically just a guy who uses either regular or professional camcorder to shoot the movie either from TV or actually inside a movie theatre (in some Cam copies of movies you can actually see audience as well :-). These bootleg copies are normally then encoded into VCD, SVCD or DivX format and distributed illegally over the Internet.
Recently however, there have been movements to ban camming from theaters, and to put the offenders in jail or leave them with large fines.
In the news:
New York wants stricter punishments for film pirates (6 May 2008)
Police arrest and charge "maVen" of piracy scene (6 December 2007)
MPAA want to make movie camming a criminal offense in UK (7 September 2007)