AfterDawn: Tech news

Teen faces up to year in jail for recording 20 seconds of movie with camera

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 04 Aug 2007 18:45 User comments (62)

Teen faces up to year in jail for recording 20 seconds of movie with camera A teen girl in Virginia was arrested and now faces up to a year in jail and a $2500 USD fine after recording a 20 second clip from the movie Transformers to show her little brother.
The girl recorded the clip on a borrowed Canon Power Shot camera and was arrested minutes later on the charges that she was a pirate. The girl, understandably was terrified. “I was crying, I’ve never been in trouble before.” She hoped to get her little brother hyped to go pay and see the movie by recording a small clip of the action.

Obviously the girl was not planning to sell the 20 second clip, but the theater, in Arlington, did not care. Kendrick Macdowell, a representative National Association of Theater Owners said in a response: “We cannot educate theater managers to be judges and juries in what is acceptable. Theater managers cannot distinguish between good and bad stealing.”

Although she should have known better than to point a camera at a movie screen in this day in age, I hope the case is thrown out.

Source:
TF

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62 user comments

14.8.2007 18:49
aabbccdd
Inactive

she will get off but its going to cost her parents money. so the lawyers win/cash in once again

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 04 Aug 2007 @ 18:50

24.8.2007 19:15
AXT
Inactive

cruel and unusual punishment anybody???

34.8.2007 19:18

I guess thats where they get the phrase "Don't mess with Texas."

44.8.2007 19:30
armorthis
Inactive

Lol, how stupid.

54.8.2007 19:33

leave it to the texans to be ultra everything in the worst way possible

64.8.2007 19:37

20 seconds? WTF

these guys just want to cricify this girl and use her as an example, they should be the ones being arrested

74.8.2007 20:03

So now everyone when they go into the theater can pretend to be recording the film with your phone. When management asks you to step out; you make a small scene and appear to be embarrassed. When police are called there will be no recording on the phone-no evidence- and then YOU can hire the attorney and maybe "own" the theater down the road. Juries can be quite liberal with corporation's money! LMAO

84.8.2007 20:12
WierdName
Inactive

?! Ridiculous! This just proves that the MPAA are no long after protecting copyright holders but rather they are just out for money.

94.8.2007 20:46

once again the crook head of the govt of the usa show it head, land of the free their say- ya right if you are rich maybe- it about time American woke up to see what happening to their country- once a gain i glad i do not live in the USA- from from i see it the land for the greedily

104.8.2007 20:47

They had to arrest her, she was recording a movie about real life government cover up... when the aliens landed.. and took me up with them... jk

It was to set an example... they probably had their lil nerdy employees on "Code Red Alert" for potential pirating movies... Its ashame how thats all our governments have to worry about is "pirating movies"

114.8.2007 21:51

All I have to say is I hope her little brother was able to watch the 20 seconds of the video,because I can't even barely make out anything on a cell phone camera.

124.8.2007 21:54

Personally, I would catch this theatre manager away from his job and crush his skull in while filming it with the cell phone. SOB!

134.8.2007 22:05

the freaking trailers werent good enough? what good were 20 seconds on a crappy cell phone camera going to do?

pretty stupid of her to do that. But still pretty freaking retarded for charges to actually be pressed.

144.8.2007 23:31

Movie theater employees get fat bonuses for turning in anybody, People will do anything for a buck.

154.8.2007 23:44

Quote:
“We cannot educate theater managers to be judges and juries in what is acceptable. Theater managers cannot distinguish between good and bad stealing.”

Correction: Theater managers cannot distinguish between copyright infringement and free advertising.

165.8.2007 0:06
2colors
Inactive

I guess it depends on which story you believe! This one says a camcorder, the above says cell phone. If it was a camcorder I can see why she's up on charges.
http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/08/02/1538256

175.8.2007 2:07

well I think DVdback23 who wrote this piece may have made a mistake, the version of the story that his link points to doesn't mention a mobile phone being used so i suppose we must assume that it actually was a camcorder.

185.8.2007 2:27

with all the thing going on with piricy now, it don't matter if it is a cell phone or a camcorder she should know better, i can see soon in the neer future that they will ban cell phones in the movie theathers, rember when the lazer pointers first came out and people would take them in the movies and point the beem all over the place, same thing, i will bet that she won't be able to come to that movie house again.

195.8.2007 2:51

That's true but i think it does matter...there is a hell of a difference between pointing a mobile phone at a cinema screen and capturing with a camcorder.
I doubt she would have been arrested if it had only been a mobile phone. At 19 she is old enough to know that filming with a camcorder is asking for trouble, especially in MPAA land (USA)
I think this topic title needs to be edited to remove the reference to the phone because that inaccuracy paints an entirely different picture of what actually happened.

205.8.2007 3:00

I am sorry but the fact is wrong. TEXAS? Come on~~~
It was in Arlington, VIRGINIA. Ballston Common Mall Regal Cinema.
And also it wasn't a cell phone but Canon Power Shot digital camera.
Please refer to the link below for right fact and to see the photo of the girl.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con...7080102398.html

It funny to see how facts get distorted when words are passed from people to people.

215.8.2007 3:58

lets have a game of chinees whispers. I thought there were 3 individuals caught at different cinemas all doing their bit with phone/ cam with Transformers.
Anyway lets exagerate the story even more. I heard she worked for the MAFIAA as a red herring and the other 2 were stoogies.
But on a more serious note, My wife and I went to see harry potter at the local cinema here in Holland. First time Ive been since the other H/P movies and / or lord of the rings / matrix. So anyway long story cut short. We get to the cinema and were welcomed by a rather big chap handing out A4 sheets of paper which gave a great layoff on pirating movies. When the movie started this particular JOBSWORTH / idiot / manager walked up and down the cinema countless times looking for anything untoward. He also stood at the bottom of the big screen watching for camers. Now am not easily annoyed, BUT!!!! come on that was really bugging the life out of me. So it came to half time during the movie and we all head to the WC / bar / outside for some fresh air and a ciggaret ( he he he ) so I decided I gonna go to the car and roll a jamaican woodbine. So a done that and got back to the cinema just as the second half was starting, and the sun blocker guy ( big burley security guard) stopped me as I went in and asked WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN AND WHAT YOU BEEN UP 2. So I was almost gonna bite his head off (from a distance of course cause he was a big fu**er), and at the last moment I changed my mind and simply said lenguardium levyosa ( or however the hell you spell it) and the guy burst out laughing and waved me in. The manager came down the isles again in the second half and had a good look and said nothing to us but pulled a young couple and asked them to move further back to other seats. Now if he said that to me I would honestly have asked for my money back and walked out. So what is all the fuss about folks. Peeps getting the jail for recording movies and a $2500 fine, jesus you can get less for dangerous driving ( and to you and me that means killing someone, by accident, with your car).

225.8.2007 3:58

Another foreign immigrant ignoring the laws. Some get driver's licenses and are amazed when they receive tickets for speeding. This is a university student! Thanks for the story link.

235.8.2007 4:32

Originally posted by 1Randyc:
I am sorry but the fact is wrong. TEXAS? Come on~~~
It was in Arlington, VIRGINIA. Ballston Common Mall Regal Cinema.

I think it's all an honest mistake by DVDBack23.

There's an Arlington, Texas and there's also Arlington, Virginia. I think he just assumed it was the Texas city that the news item was referring to.

Originally posted by faqman98:
leave it to the texans to be ultra everything in the worst way possible

So does this apply to Virginians too then?
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 05 Aug 2007 @ 4:51

245.8.2007 5:13

lol, 20 seconds.

255.8.2007 5:43

you would think that the theater would be more interested in people jumping from one movie to the another after one lets out than to look for children recording something on a cell phone! these big movie complexes with multiple movies, one next to the other, should watch for movie jumpers and leave this nonsense to inspectors ... after all.... it's not like this teenager will post that 20 sec. clip over the internet for all to see! Stupidity and ignorance......starts wars!

265.8.2007 5:44

Never had experience with Texas law enforcement while there, but look out for Va. Also the Southern Confederacy is alive in parts of Virginia. But then the KKK is alive in this area.

275.8.2007 5:48

Hey IHoe; Follow 1Randyc link to read the article. The story does not include a cell phone.

285.8.2007 6:21

@Wazzat...... a Cannon PowerShot......most are digital cameras..... the article doesn't say whether it's this model or not:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canontx1/

if it is this model...... then she can be screwed! but if it's the other powershot digital cameras that take just clips! Come on! the intent is not there!

295.8.2007 7:26

Quote:
Originally posted by faqman98: leave it to the texans to be ultra everything in the worst way possible

So does this apply to Virginians too then?
Yep...ever hear about the increased fines for breaking traffic laws. That is just one way. I live in VA, has it's up and downs, but more downs than anything...since it is a commonwealth state, most citizens get screwed either way, so I am not surprised that if it was in Arlington, VA, that this happened.

If I was a cop and got called for this nonsense, I would have arrested the manager of the theater for bringing me on in this crap...cause like a reader on the washington post site stated:

Quote:
...While the police officers were arresting her for trumped-up charges, two women were raped, five cars were stolen, and a person was held-up at gunpoint. Talk about priorities.
Yeah...priorities.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 05 Aug 2007 @ 7:40

305.8.2007 8:02

Sorry guys, from the articles i had read it said Texas and a mobile phone, but I will edit it now and thanks for the heads up :)

As for it being a camcera, that changes my stance significantly as bringing in a camera to a theater and trying to record with it, is just um..plain stupid.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 05 Aug 2007 @ 8:03

315.8.2007 8:07

No matter if it was Texas or Virginia, a phone or a camera, the law was broken... PERIOD. It's not like the punishment for piracy is something new. This has been ramping up for years now. There is no way this person can claim ignorance of the law. She sat there and watched the "anti-piracy" clip showed by all theaters right before the movie and still chose to record a portion of the film.

And a year/$2500 is the maximum. If she has no other priors then of course she'll receive a lesser punishment. If it we're a middle-aged male you guys would have been saying "he knew better and got what he had coming".

You guys that say "shouldn't the police be out solving serious crimes" and "doesn't our government have better things to spend our taxes on" are right. And because the police/government are making a big deal and becoming so involved with piracy should be enough to show you just how epidemic piracy is becoming...

325.8.2007 8:08

I have an interesting question. Would it be illegal to stand outside a movie theatre and hand out flyers with detailed instructions on how to download movies that are inside the theatre? Or stand outside a Game $top store with mod info?

335.8.2007 9:33

Quote:
Although she should have known better than to point a camera at a movie screen in this day in age, I hope the case is thrown out.
I slightly disagree with this, yes the case should be thrown out no question. However, she its not like she recorded even a minute of the movie. 20 seconds is barely enough to get anything out of it. $2,500 and a year in jail? Whoever came up with that punishment needs to be drawn-and-quartered.

That punishment, the $2500 and a year in jail, is cruel and unusual. Sure, it may not seem mean but thats way to steep for 20 seconds.

Think of it this way, she recorded about 0.002 (thats two-thousandths) of the movie and they send her to jail for a year and fine her $2500?

Whats the punishment if you record the entire thing, life in prison and $1,000,000?

They seriously need to re-look at this "law".

Peace

345.8.2007 9:47

meanwhile real pirates are out on the street and selling the movie

355.8.2007 10:03

Guys are we overlooking something? Most important fact in this case, that girl is friggin hot.

I would let her record 20 seconds of anything she wanted.


"It is the mark of a good programmer that they do not stop once they have found a way to make something work. Instead, the conscientious programmer sets about finding every way that their solution might not work, and then writes some code to cover those situations." -Vince Barnes

365.8.2007 11:48

This is just wrong. I understand when actual pirates are made an example of but when it happens to people like this it's just makes others mad, not scared. Something seriously needs to be done. Unfortunately all of our government officials are probably paid off to look the other way.

Also, there are A TON of bootlegers in NY, i go to (forgets name) street and I can buy movies from the theater for 3 bucks! I don't understand why the cops don't do anything about them, they sell it in the open street everyday, it's not like you need to actually look for them.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 05 Aug 2007 @ 11:52

375.8.2007 11:55

Originally posted by L-Burna:
All I have to say is I hope her little brother was able to watch the 20 seconds of the video,because I can't even barely make out anything on a cell phone camera.
the headline says phone, but the article says a canon powershot.

385.8.2007 12:48

she needs more time in jail. she could have showed her bro the trailer. what a retard. lol. i think she was trying to record the whole movie until her dumbass got caught... lol.

395.8.2007 16:33
duckNrun
Inactive

Lets analyze this for just a second.

from the link:

Sejas was enjoying the movie so much that she decided to film a short clip of the sci-fi adventure's climax to get her little brother hyped to go see it

Minutes later, two Arlington County police officers were pointing their flashlights at the young couple in the darkened theater and ordering them out. They confiscated the digital camera as evidence and charged Sejas, a Marymount University sophomore and Annandale resident, with a crime: illegally recording a motion picture.

"I was terrified," said Sejas, her voice breaking. "I was crying. I've never been in trouble before." She said the assistant manager of the theater saw her holding up the Canon Power Shot and reported it to the general manager, who called police


The Assistan manager reported it to the general manager who then CALLED the police...but minutes later (after she was recording presumably) the police were there.

It sounds like this owuld have taken WAY longer than a mere 20 seconds of her filming.

I know that some theaters have off duty cops working security but again the article states they called the police which implies not the security officer.

It takes more than moments for a cop to get to my door when I'm reporing the neighbor running after her husband with a knife... i doubt it was moments later, which would tend to make it seem it was more than a 20 seconds worth of filming.

But then I wasnt there and so dont know.

405.8.2007 16:40
WierdName
Inactive

Actually, duckNrun, now that you start to analyze it, there is a lot of missing info. Also, who is to say it was a 20 second clip because it isn't stated whether or not she was still recording when the police arrived. Also, you make a good point about the minutes later for the police arriving. Typically, they have better things to do than go arrest a movie pirate.


Doesnt expecting the unexpected make the unexpected expected and therefore mean youre expecting the expected which was the unexpected until you expected it?
"Opinions are immunities to being told were wrong." - Relient K

415.8.2007 22:37

Whew! I checked out the article. Man that girl's HOTT! I wanna find out how I can contact her so I can treat her for her 19th B-Day!! (hehe!)

426.8.2007 4:48

Use the internet to legally download a trailer to get your brother hyped!
1. She should have been smuggling junk food into the theater rather than a camcorder.
2. She should have known that recording a movie in the theater is illegal regardles of how much she recorded.
3. Why? The movie has been on many torrent sites for weeks now.
If you can afford a camcorder, then you can afford the internet so dont waste your time and dont risk getting caught!
The time and fines are not excessive as these are clearly marked in the copyright acts.

436.8.2007 8:28

Minutes later.....20 second clip.....hmmmm. What that says to me is that she intended to take a small clip of the movie to show her brother, otherwise, when the police came, she would still have been recording. There was no intent to pirate the movie. Who the heck is going to try to sell a 20 second clip when they can view a higher quality trailer? She probably pulled out her camera, was spotted, and by the time the police came, she had put it back in her purse and was macking with her boyfriend.

Btw, she is definitely high maintenance. Just look at her. She probably calls the web "internets." This is no criminal ring. They should throw the bimbo book at her.

447.8.2007 8:21

QUOTE:
By bhetrick
No matter if it was Texas or Virginia, a phone or a camera, the law was broken... PERIOD. It's not like the punishment for piracy is something new.



Sorry but if the laws were just and reasonable this wouldn’t constitute piracy. If this was on cable and she recorded it would she be a pirate? I think not. They haven’t proved she was going to sell it or even post it on the NET but this is the implication. It used to be you had to break the law before getting busted now we legislate against a possible intent and assume that is the only reason possible. Now I understand the Theater not wanting people to record during the movie and for that they should have JUST kicked her out not arrest her.

Maybe she should get the death penalty for this anis crime she has committed. I must admit she wasn’t so smart holding her camera up like she did but then that might suggest she wasn’t intending to do anything wrong.


QUOTE:
By netdata
Guys are we overlooking something? Most important fact in this case, that girl is friggin hot.


Hit the nail on the head she is sweet!

457.8.2007 8:54

She should be put away for life...to protect herself from her own massive stupidity!!!

Also, she could afford a digital video camera, but not a ticket for her little brother?

467.8.2007 10:24

Originally posted by Mr-Movies:
QUOTE:
By bhetrick
No matter if it was Texas or Virginia, a phone or a camera, the law was broken... PERIOD. It's not like the punishment for piracy is something new.



Sorry but if the laws were just and reasonable this wouldn’t constitute piracy. If this was on cable and she recorded it would she be a pirate? I think not. They haven’t proved she was going to sell it or even post it on the NET but this is the implication.
Doesn't matter what she's going to do with it... it's illegal to operate recording devices in theaters. Right there she broke the law. Regardless of what she was going to do with it afterwards.

Quote:
Copying a motion picture from a theater performance is a felony under the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act of 2005, punishable by up to three years in a federal prison.

477.8.2007 10:47
WierdName
Inactive

Wait a second, doesn't the fair use act have something about 10% of a work can be reproduced for reporting, critic, or other such purposes?

487.8.2007 11:06
SC420
Inactive

racist rantings removed

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 08 Aug 2007 @ 4:48

497.8.2007 12:04

Originally posted by SC420:
racist rantings removed
Every village needs it's idiot...
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 08 Aug 2007 @ 4:48

507.8.2007 12:13
WierdName
Inactive

Originally posted by bhetrick:
Every village needs it's idiot...
Not an idiot, just a drunk to spew an incoherent string of profanities in attempt to get their point across.

517.8.2007 13:11
hughjars
Inactive

This is one of those times when the 'community' ought to act.

Far more appropriate would be the arrest and trial of all of the lawyers and those involved in bringing this case for the malicious and grossly wasteful abuse of the legal process.

Some adult and sane consideration would be nice in this kind of outrageous idiocy for a change; it's BS like this that has people convinced the process of law is completely screwed.

528.8.2007 17:47

i found this bit of information that could rain on this girls party (Attempted infringement" appears in new House intellectual property bill


Back in May, the Justice Department issued some proposed legislation to tighten US intellectual property laws and to criminalize some forms of "attempted infringement." Now, legislation based on the proposals has been introduced in Congress by Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH), complete with stiffer jail terms for violators and the controversial "attempted infringement" clause.

H.R. 3155, the Intellectual Property Enhanced Criminal Enforcement Act of 2007, aims widely. Everything gets a section: unauthorized recording of films in theaters, circumventing copy protection, trafficking in counterfeit goods. The bill even directs the Attorney General to send federal prosecutors to take up permanent residence in Hong Kong and Budapest and specifies the number and makeup of FBI investigative teams.

In most cases, the bill appears to simply double existing penalties. Section 12 alone, for instance, makes a 10-year prison term into a 20-year term, three years into six, five into 10, and six into 12. Poof! More prison time!

One of the bill's controversial features is the fact that people can be charged with criminal copyright infringement even if such infringement has not actually taken place. "Any person who attempts to commit an offense under paragraph (1) shall be subject to the same penalties as those prescribed for the offense, the commission of which was the object of the attempt," says the bill.

While copyright infringement is sometimes believed to be solely a civil matter, that's not the case. US Code 17, section 506 (a) spells out the conditions for criminal infringement under which the government can actually do the prosecuting, and they are quite modest. The infringement must be willful, and the material in question must have a total retail value of over $1,000. This wouldn't be a difficult threshold for many P2P users to clear, except for the fact that this section also requires that the infringement be done "for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain."

The attempted infringement clause actually falls under this criminal infringement statute, meaning that it won't apply to file-sharing unless the courts suddenly take a hugely expansive view of "commercial advantage or private financial gain," and it's unlikely the government has some new interest in such cases.

The bill is full of the sort of things that groups like the EFF aren't going to like, and in fact the EFF has already issued a statement condemning the legislation. One of their concerns is that a small change to the law could have big effects on casual file-sharers for a different reason: P2P users could face greater penalties for infringement after statutory damages are expanded.

The bill allows "a judge to dole out damages for each separate piece of a derivative work or compilation, rather than treating it as one work," wrote Derek Slater, "for example, copying an entire album could translate into damages for each individual track, even if the copyrights in those tracks aren't separately registered.")

539.8.2007 10:13

Our Congress at it's best! NOT.



549.8.2007 16:52

imagine how much money they could have made off her if she indeed was going to capture the whole movie at 20 seconds at a time. LOL


If they thought the intent was there,they should have just let her go to it.


j/k

5510.8.2007 9:00
PetahG
Inactive

i hope these ppl die..poor girl...i dont give a edited by ddp if she broke the law...what the hell is she going to do with 20 seconds...edited by ddp tahst about it..I hope the guys who arrested get edited by ddp...she payed for the movie..she can do whatever she wants...
but this is only my opinion..
i know some of u will disagree with what i say..
but hey..i dont give a edited by ddp..movie stars and directors make enough money already...
plus the girl could say that she was brining more business for them by getting her brother to see it...the way i see it..is that if someone downloads a movie, it means they werent gona go see it in the thatres anyways...

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 10 Aug 2007 @ 18:24

5610.8.2007 10:51
WierdName
Inactive

This is pretty ridiculous. For that kind of an offense, they should just give her a little fine and a slap on the wrist. I'm gonna laugh if they get a good judge that says this is BS and throws the case out after they pay a crapload on lawyers and getting the case going.

5710.8.2007 13:20
morguex
Inactive

PetahG
See payed to watch the movie, not record it.
I'm not saying I agree with 2500.00 fine and a year in prision, that is kinda harsh, but people know the law and just go ahead and break it and then cry when they get caught. I find it very diffcult to feel sorry for people who bring trouble upon them selves.

Peace all

P.S.I hope a Moderator see's what you typed in here and gives you a two week vacation

5810.8.2007 18:27

PetahG, you have a week off to clean your mouth & mind. don't do it again or will be permanent ban. post edited

5910.8.2007 19:44

This is funny but sad for the teen and the brother. I think this is taken out of all proportions.

6013.8.2007 7:56

The law should be written to take intent into account and not just the technical definition of a crime. Too many lazy prosecutors/judges/juries fail to use common sense when they can just rely on the way a law was written...so I never feel comfortable saying "Well...the system will exonerate her because this is a rediculous use of the law."

Nowadays we are quick to call the police to deal with situations like this where, in the past, cops used more common sense and business owners used common sense and just gave a warning and let you go. Now we live in a world where people are fed to the machine for minor infractions of rediculously overreaching laws.

6116.8.2007 13:46
Movie69n
Inactive

Where did it say she bought the camera? maybe someone else did and gave it to her, like say........a birthday present. Also, w/ the way ticket prices are these days maybe she took out a loan for them and really was going to use the 20sec clip to show her brother(as opposed to what selling it as a 20sec splice?)

6216.8.2007 14:00
Movie69n
Inactive

actually, after just reading the article myself, this statement says it all: "Her boyfriend, Ivar Villazon, said the camera belongs to his sister; the couple borrowed it, Sejas said, to "make memories" on her birthday". Ok so........A girl who is using a camera to record a movie to presumably sell(according to the M.A.F.I.A.A.)is goin to record it on a camera that has pictures on it already to what.....end up having the movie come up short so she can sell it for less value.....come on ppl, show me intent, malacious intent to defraud the movie industry.

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