Sunday, 12 January 2014

We’re Watching You Watch For Cash!!

UK Theater Workers Caught Dozen Movie Cammers

Since April, over a dozen alleged cammers of the most popular films have been apprehended in the United Kingdom thanks to the vigilance of theater staff. But despite their rapid response, only 5 pirates were arrested and none of them have been prosecuted.

Camcording of movies in theaters is regarded by the entertainment industry as the most damaging form of piracy, which has been going on for over 30 years. In the United Kingdom, the movies are normally released a little later than in the United States, and cinema workers are promised cash incentives to watch out for the camcorders. For example, theatre staff can earn up to £500 each if they manage to stop a potential pirate.

Strict rules exist in the UK to govern whether an individual is awarded money for stopping movie piracy. One of the most interesting ones is calling the police, because simply recording a movie is not against the law in the country. According to the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, a suspected cammer can be charged only if there is proof that the recording was part of a commercial operation or that there was intent to later upload it.

However, the police have still attended a dozen suspected camming instances in the country on such movies as Gravity, Rush, One Direction: This Is Us, Captain Phillips, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa and Monsters University. 15 employees will get rewards of up to £500 each as a result. The cinema employees remain the frontline in protecting movies from being pirated. The strategy of anti-piracy outfit Federation Against Copyright Theft is funded by the movie distributors in order to seek to prevent the initial recording which seeds piracy worldwide. Apparently, the group wants to stop recording in theaters by any means and will therefore they like the results of this year, but there are obvious weak points in the law that won’t change anytime soon.

Of a total dozen incidents, which must have involved at least twelve people and maybe even more, the police arrested only 5 and issued another 9 with cautions. At the moment, only 2 are on police bail. In the meantime, there’s no mention of a single prosecution or conviction of the camcorders.

Despite the fact that the UK legislation favors the potential pirates, the anti-piracy group can still get the police to take camcording seriously, particularly when the allegations go beyond simple recording and into distribution.

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