A woman who tried out her new pocket camera by video-recording a few minutes of her sister's surprise birthday party at a showing of "New Moon" has been charged with a felony -- "camcordering" a movie.
Penalties for camcordering have been ratcheting higher and higher (and have been introduced in international treaty negotiations, as well as in bilateral trade agreements with the US, which demands that its trading partners imprison people operating video recorders in cinemas). But the actual incidence of camcordered pirate DVDs is declining relative to "screeners" and other leaks from the industry itself.
The movie industry has turned into an alcoholic dad who beats up his family at the slightest transgression while ignoring his own gross failures -- blaming everything on external forces and refusing to confront its own problems.
Meanwhile, 22-year-old Samantha Tumpach spent two nights in jail for recording her friends singing "Happy Birthday" at a movie theater, for capturing less than four minutes of a feature film. She is charged with a felony and if convicted, could lose the right to vote, to work with children, to hold office, and to partake in full civil life.
And the movie industry's pitch to us remains, "Please stop pirating our discs, because if you don't stop, we may be driven out of business and then society would suffer from our absence."
(Image: Camcordering, a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike photo from kowitz's photostream )
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