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Sunday, June 27, 2004

Keep your camcorders at home

The Boinged one (and, I say that with all fondness) has a post about the U.S. Senate’s efforts to protect the MPAA, among other things (Senate approves PIRATE act).

I just wanted to point out the Illinois senate’s own efforts in this regard when earlier in June, Senate Bill 2134 was passed and sent to the governor’s desk. The vote in the senate was 57 yays and 0 nays, and in the house, 117 yays and 1 nay. And they said Illinois wasn’t friendly to business.

The guts of the legislation:

Provides that it is a Class 4 felony to knowingly operate an audiovisual recording function of a device where a motion picture is being exhibited without the consent of the owner or lessee of that exhibition facility and of the licensor of the motion picture being exhibited. Establishes immunity from civil liability for an owner, lessee, employee, or agent of a facility where a motion picture is being exhibited or of the licensor of the motion picture or his or her agent or employee who in good faith detains a person suspected of a violation of these provisions until law enforcement officers arrive. Permits law enforcement officers to carry audiovisual equipment into a motion picture exhibition facility during a lawful investigation.

The following was apparently tacked on to the end of the bill as an afterthought:

Permits a person to operate an audiovisual recording function of a device in a retail establishment solely to demonstrate the use of that device for sales and display purposes.

So, if both of these efforts get enacted, anyone who records a movie in a movie theater in Illinois can expect to be sued by the federal government and be fined up to $25,000 and or get one to three years in state prison. While the MPAA sits back (and I don't know; what?) with its feet up on the desk?

See also, TechDirt: Orrin Hatch's Other Ridiculous Copyright Bill Passes The Senate.

For Illinois crime classifications and the punishments that go with them, see National Crime and Punishment Learning Center.

Posted by Marie at June 27, 2004 2:21 PM


eh... "Class D Felonies" aren't normally prosecuted. For instance, Cable Theft. This didn't do any good except making the MPAA think they've done something. [and screw them, anyway.]

Posted by: ben at June 30, 2004 11:28 PM