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Ohio Also Passes Law Against Recording In Cinema 379

Posted by michael
from the money-talks dept.
madmancarman writes "Following California's lead, Ohio has also passed a law making recording in a movie theatre a crime. A first offense would be punishable by six months in jail and up to $1,000 fine, which is lighter than the legislation introduced in Michigan that would bring up to 5 years in jail and a $250,000 fine. The most interesting quote concerns a study by AT&T Labs: 'Their conclusion: 77 percent of the films came from insider sources, either motion picture companies or theater employees taping from the projection booth.' I searched Ohio Gov. Bob Taft's press releases, but couldn't find any mention of it."
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Ohio Also Passes Law Against Recording In Cinema

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  • This is news? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by JoeBaldwin (727345)
    So Ohio passes a law making sure that at least there are less pirate movies. What is wrong with that?
    • by zakezuke (229119) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @03:40PM (#7874512)
      Is that what it's about? I thought it was about back row theater pornography, where in many cases the people engaging in concentual sex acts are not quite of their majority. After all, this is a major problem too.
      • by willtsmith (466546) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @03:49PM (#7874582) Journal
        This is what the infrared settings on camcorders are for. There should be special exceptions for people taping patrons vs the movie ;-)

        • This is what the infrared settings on camcorders are for. There should be special exceptions for people taping patrons vs the movie ;-)

          Yep...

          1. Pay the $7.00 to go see a film, so you can sit in the back row with your camcorder on the infrared.
          2. Start a subscription website of your filmings
          3. PROFIT!!!!

          • There is already established business that uses this. They're called "private detectives". Actually, the best vantage would probably be in front of the subjects a few rows and off to the side. That way you can identify faces.

            Though, I'm sure that quite a bit of fun could be had by high-schoolers catching their classmates necking during some dumb-ass teen movie. ;-)

    • Re:This is news? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by bsdfish (518693) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @03:41PM (#7874525)
      Why does something have to be wrong to be news? Some people may like this law, others may not, but it's certainly newsworthy as it's one of the first state laws of its kind, and the relative laxness of its penalties are also notable.
      • Re:This is news? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Lord Kano (13027) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @04:28PM (#7874852) Homepage Journal
        the relative laxness of its penalties are also notable.

        WHAT?!?! Kiss my ass. 6 months is jail is NOT lax! I don't want to spend 6 hours in the custody of the state.

        I> A first offense would be punishable by six months in jail and up to $1,000 fine

        First offense drunk drivers don't get 6 months in jail in Ohio.

        Just because the pentalties aren't as draconian as California's doesn't mean that they're lax.

        LK
    • So Ohio passes a law making sure that at least there are less pirate movies. What is wrong with that?

      Lots. For one thing it decreases the supply of pirate movies. For another, it makes things illegal which were previously legal. Finally, it encourages state government to spend money enforcing it all.

    • So Ohio passes a law making sure that at least there are less pirate movies. What is wrong with that?

      I live in California, so this is a familiar issue for us. It seems to me that this regulation will do little or nothing to stop piracy. The camcorder rips are only of value when they're released on the 'net BEFORE the movie hits theatres. This means either it was released in another country first (in which case this law is useless) or it was a sneak-preview for a focus group (in which case the industry
  • by Brahmastra (685988) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @03:33PM (#7874454)
    A movie theater is a private place. They can throw out anyone they want. Why don't they use their own security personnel to throw out people with cameras? Why should tax payers foot the bill for what the movie theater can prevent without new laws?
    • You can't seriously be suggesting that politicians avoid spending tax dollars, can you?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 04, 2004 @03:36PM (#7874479)
      Because movie theaters don't care if you tape a movie. The last thing they're going to do is piss off their paying patrons.
      • by netsharc (195805) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @04:10PM (#7874750)
        Shouldn't they be more afraid of the MPAA Mafia? "Ban all cameras, or you'll have to pay 50% more for each film reel we sell to you.", or worse, the MPAA can just stop giving them the licence/whatever to show the films.

        To comment on the article, I don't understand why idiots even bother downloading cam-rips, the quality is so shit, you're not getting the real film: the angle is wrong, the color is usually gone, the audio can be good when ripped from source when it's an inside job (ha nowadays an MPAA cop sits in the projection booth, the article claims), but if they used the camcorder mic to record it, that's not exactly CD quality is it?

        The only thing it's doing is helping the FUD for those who claim "Star Wars 2 was available on the internet in digital quality 30 minutes after its grand opening.". Digital quality? F'ing idiots.
        • by freeweed (309734) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @06:54PM (#7875786)
          The only thing it's doing is helping the FUD for those who claim "Star Wars 2 was available on the internet in digital quality 30 minutes after its grand opening.". Digital quality?

          Actually, while I can't comment on Star Wars 2 specifically, many, if not most movies are in fact available online when the movie premieres, in full digital quality.

          No one bothers with cams anymore, because screeners get leaked like there's no tomorrow. These are DVD copies of the final movie sent out for reviews, etc. Someone copies it, uploads to usenet/kazaa, and bam! I've seen many movies as of late that are in fact available days and weeks before they hit the theatre.

          Cams are so 1999. And laws like this are absolutely pointless (and assinine), as most movie trading is done using screeners anyway.
    • by DoorFrame (22108) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @03:38PM (#7874497) Homepage
      Well, because it's not really the movie theater's individually who are angry... it's the film executives. They don't own the movie theaters, they own the movie producing companies. Now, if only they had a monopoly on venues as well as production, we'd be in a much better situation.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Now, if only they had a monopoly on venues as well as production, we'd be in a much better situation.

        I don't even know where to start with this one.
        Do you work for microsoft?

        ~dank
      • if only they had a monopoly on venues as well as production

        They used to and they would if they could. They are forbidden by law. Actually, the studios are charging the theaters so much to show the crappy films they produce that the theaters have to charge 8.50 and 9 bucks just to break even.

        -B
        • Actually, the studios are charging the theaters so much to show the crappy films they produce that the theaters have to charge 8.50 and 9 bucks just to break even.

          Their profit is more likely to come out of selling expensive soft drinks and popcorn.
    • by AndroidCat (229562) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @03:43PM (#7874535) Homepage
      With the percentage quoted for insider jobs, their own security personnel are probably in on it.

      Why don't the politicians pass a law to really throw the book at bank-robbers who double-park during the robbery?

      • by AxelTorvalds (544851) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @04:32PM (#7874871)
        What better way to make good bootlegs?

        We should follow the military on this, you want a security clearence you know what they look for? They look at your financials like nothing else because that is how you're blackmailed or instable. Most of the spies that have damaged our country did it for the money, very few did it for ideology. You can probably have DUIs and drug arrests and become a secret service agent easier than having a some late bill payments on your credit.

        What do you think goes throught the mind of a projector jockey making $6-$15 an hour showing the same shitty movies over and over and over. Shit, the managers of the places don't make crap. And it's not like the industry doesn't brag about its money, that's all you hear about movies in the news, "record breaking weekend," "record opening," "biggest budget ever." I mean in a recession, a movie and dinner date is what? $50 to $100 depending on if you have drinks with dinner, you think the people working at the theater can afford that with their disposable income?

        If I was working at a theater, I could possibly start boot legging, you can buy a decent recorder cheap and then if you had the connections to sell the movies you could easily make a lot more than you'd ever get at a theater. That's just simple economics. You want loyalty you have to fork out some more money. I'm not saying it's right to do it or anything but you get what you pay for and the movie biz is extremely top heavy paying people 10s of millions of dollars regularly where the people taking your tickets and cleaning up the theaters and actually showing the movies make squat.

        • by 1ini (629558) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @05:06PM (#7875069)
          What do you think goes throught the mind of a projector jockey making $6-$15 an hour showing the same shitty movies over and over and over. You should watch Fight Club, as Brad Pitt pretty much explains it there.
        • "What do you think goes throught the mind of a projector jockey making $6-$15 an hour showing the same shitty movies over and over and over. Shit, the managers of the places don't make crap. And it's not like the industry doesn't brag about its money, that's all you hear about movies in the news, "record breaking weekend," "record opening," "biggest budget ever." I mean in a recession, a movie and dinner date is what? $50 to $100 depending on if you have drinks with dinner, you think the people working at t
        • You can probably have DUIs and drug arrests and become a secret service agent easier than having a some late bill payments on your credit.

          I've known more than one SCI (Secret Compartmented Intelligence) holder who had done all kinds of crazy shit before they started working for The Man. But none of these people gave a damn.

          FBI Questioner: "Did you fuck that chihuahua in Mexico City back in 1988, as your ex pain mistress asserts?"

          Would Be Secret Agent: "Yep, I sure did, and damn that was fun."

          FBI Q

    • Why don't they use their own security personnel to throw out people with cameras?

      Perhaps because a person with a camcorder is still a paying customer... and if I were hollywood, I would be paranoid that theaters would be tolerent of this fact.

      Besides, then they would have to employ more people, and why bother when you can get the police to do it if it's a crime?
    • So basically the police can now arrest you for making a movie in a private business but they won't write a ticket for an auto accident in the parking lot of that same private business. Something looks mighty screwy here.
    • by dirk (87083) <dirk@one.net> on Sunday January 04, 2004 @04:04PM (#7874698) Homepage
      It's also private property in a store, yet it is still illegal to shoplift. Why don't they just throw people out of the store and forget about it? The whole point of making something illegal is to discourage people from doing it. The only way to discourage someone from doing something is to have some kind of consequence. Getting thrown out of a movie theatre is not the kind of consequence that will stop people from doing something. Hell, it won;t even keep people quiet during a movie.
      • It's also private property in a store, yet it is still illegal to shoplift.

        Not if you have permission of the store owner.

        Getting thrown out of a movie theatre is not the kind of consequence that will stop people from doing something. Hell, it won;t even keep people quiet during a movie.

        So would you support a law against talking during a movie?

      • Why should recording in a movie theater be illegal? This is a private matter between movie producers, movie theater operators, and paying customers. Why does the government need to intervene? There are already laws that deal with copyright infringement but that's a separate crime by law.

        Would it be OK if gov't made recording at all concerts illegal? And passed a law to jail anybody with a camera or a microphone recording a performance? Some venues and artists allow such recording, and it's none of governme
  • Jail??? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pragueexpat (674635) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @03:35PM (#7874474)
    It seems that we are getting lazier and lazier with out punishments. Just throw everyone in the slammer for every infraction. Is jail really necessary for this crime? I think a much higher fine and/or serious community service would benefit society much more...
    • Re:Jail??? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Kenja (541830) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @03:40PM (#7874516)
      They should force the perps to watch the whole Matrix trillogy front to back unless they promise to be good from now on.
    • Re:Jail??? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by willtsmith (466546) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @03:45PM (#7874547) Journal
      Agreed, lots of community service would probably serve the public better. Of course, the MPAA lobby isn't concerned with the public's interest, they are concerned with their own.

      The biggest deterrent is probably to just confiscate a $500 camera. This would keep most amateurs from engaging in the activity.

      The jail time should be reserved for those who sell bootleg tapes. That's a commercial endeavor. Simple fines won't discourage them. Thats just a cost of doing business for them.

    • Re:Jail??? (Score:3, Funny)

      by Interruach (680347)
      Why not make all the people so obviously anxious to record things, go out and make endless endless public advice films. "Here is Bob. He thought he'd make a few bucks down at his local cinema...."
      Could use it as advertising. Each one different. We're in favour of that, aren't we?
    • Re:Jail??? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Simonetta (207550) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @04:04PM (#7874697)
      I agree. We need fewer idiot laws that don't do anything to address the underlying cause of the problem, but throw people into corporate-owned private prisons for chickenshit offenses.

      When I was reviewing films for a small magazine, I would often bring a small hand-held microcassette recorder to capture the thoughts and opinions that I had on a scene or sequence as it was playing on the screen. I would review the taped comments afterwards and type up a detailed and helpful movie review.

      Now this is a felony?

      Plus if theatres are going to put twenty minutes of commercials and psuedo-news about the entertainment industry before showing the movie that we have paid for, then we should certainly be allowed to bring our own entertainment devices like portable DVD players and laptops to make productive use of this time. And since all digital devices today record as easily as playback data, then doing this is now a felony?

      Threatening people with serious jail time for engaging in an activity is not really the best way to encourage people to want to do that activity. So why are people that depend on having other people putting their butts into seats watching a movie threatening jail time to people who come to theatres to watch movies? Whether or not they want to record a movie that they're watching is really the concern of the viewer and the theatre owner.

      If the theatre owner were more concerned about providing the optimum movie-going experience to his paying customers, he wouldn't have to worry about anyone wanting to duplicate the experience outside of his venue.

      The core problem of Hollywood is not how people chose to consume its product, it is that amount of time and money that people are willing to spend to consume its product is beginning to fall while the price of producing this product continues to rise uncontrollably.

      Passing horseshit laws about camcorders in theatres doesn't address this core issue, and therefore will do nothing to solve it.

      • Re:Jail??? (Score:3, Interesting)

        Plus if theatres are going to put twenty minutes of commercials and psuedo-news about the entertainment industry before showing the movie that we have paid for...

        We are actually paying to see 20+ minutes of advertisements, and this astounds me. I went to see LOTR a while back and as if a 3 hour film isn't long enough, I sat through 20 minutes of advertising at the start of it - that I paid 27 NZD to see! Sure, I'll obviously not buy anything from the advertisers, but is the public really so pacified that t

      • Re:Jail??? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jonfelder (669529) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @05:25PM (#7875157)
        Why was this modded as Insightful?

        When I was reviewing films for a small magazine, I would often bring a small hand-held microcassette recorder to capture the thoughts and opinions that I had on a scene or sequence as it was playing on the screen. I would review the taped comments afterwards and type up a detailed and helpful movie review.

        Now this is a felony?


        No. Not unless you were -VIDEO- taping the movie. Using an audio recorder and recording your comments does not fit this description.

        Plus if theatres are going to put twenty minutes of commercials and psuedo-news about the entertainment industry before showing the movie that we have paid for, then we should certainly be allowed to bring our own entertainment devices like portable DVD players and laptops to make productive use of this time. And since all digital devices today record as easily as playback data, then doing this is now a felony?

        Not unless you use the devices to record the movie.


        If the theatre owner were more concerned about providing the optimum movie-going experience to his paying customers, he wouldn't have to worry about anyone wanting to duplicate the experience outside of his venue.


        Why's that? People often sell these bootleg copies. Furthermore there are always people out there willing to get something for nothing or next to nothing. How can a theatre owner compete with someone selling bootleg copies for $1.00 a piece? These people are already willing to watch a crappy camera rip. I don't see how the theatre experience is really relevant at this point.

        The core problem of Hollywood is not how people chose to consume its product, it is that amount of time and money that people are willing to spend to consume its product is beginning to fall while the price of producing this product continues to rise uncontrollably.

        Not true. The problem is, is that technology has made better and better quality rips (they still suck though) easy to do. Cameras have gotten much smaller, cheaper, and now they are digital making distribution a lot easier. It will always cost less for someone to video a movie than to produce it. Hence the cost for the bootlegs will always be less. As technology gets better the bootlegs will get better. As you know there will always be people willing to pay for an inferior product if it's considerably less.

        Passing horseshit laws about camcorders in theatres doesn't address this core issue, and therefore will do nothing to solve it.

        Ah, finally a somewhat true statement. Since according to the MPAA 77% of the bootleg copies are insider jobs, this will do nothing. However one thing it does do is take a portion of the piracy out of the theatre's control. Before the theatre had no incentive to kick people out for video taping movies. Now the police do it. I believe the punishment is crazy. I think confiscating the tape and maybe the camera would be much more reasonable. Reserve jail time for the people found selling the bootlegs. What's really nuts is that the punishment for doing this is worse than the one for a first offense DUI.
        • Re:Jail??? (Score:3, Informative)

          by Niadh (468443)
          What's really nuts is that the punishment for doing this is worse than the one for a first offense DUI.

          Untrue. In Ohio a first offense DUI is a first-degree misdemeanor that has the same punishment as this crime. The difference is that a first offense DUI has a mandatory minimum of 3 days in jail or a 72-hour alcohol safety traffic school, $250 fine, 6 points against your license and a 6 month license suspension (you can get work driving rights). Other than you're right. This law has no place in the books
  • How much longer before movie-downloading becomes so commonplace and convenient that Slashdotters start convincing themselves that they're justified in doing it to appease that pang of guilt they feel? They've already done it with mp3s. After movies, all that's left is warez, but for some reason everyone is opposed to that.
    • Maybe a better question is how long until you can legally download movies. Their size is the biggest hold back but that won't last long. History has shown that people will pay for something they can get for free so long as there are benefits to it (good quality, fast download, legal, etc).
    • Well, software costs a lot of money to develop while movies are basically free and the studio keeps all of the profits anyway...
    • by westyvw (653833) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @04:41PM (#7874921)
      Legal guilt? Many laws are based on morality and henceforth are biased, so dont mention legality. Whats legal and whats not often is just who ever was loud enough and had enough money to pay for it.

      Morally? The fact that art used to define culture, art was an expression. Now it is OWNED. Thats a moral dilemma. Is the Cat in the Hat a movie or an AD to get my kids into Burger King? Thats just sad.

      I personally dont download movies just because I am not going to sit around that long. Its just boring.
    • What guilt? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by nurb432 (527695)
      I have zero guilt.

      If i download media, its beacuse i wasnt going to go see/purchase it in the first place.

      Therefore there is no loss of revenue on their part.

      Therefore there is no need for guilt.

      If i was actually going to pay for the media, i wouldnt have downloaded it in the first place.
      Unless it was to 'demo' it before i waste money on the purchase. If its worthy of my funds, then i go out and purhcase it.

      For the record i do all 3... And if they would allow returns of poor product, then that would e
  • by gilrain (638808) <gilrain@[ ]arpolicy.net ['lun' in gap]> on Sunday January 04, 2004 @03:37PM (#7874489) Homepage
    ...who haven't figured out that you can get high quality DVD rips earlier and more reliably. This seems to be yet another solution in need of a problem.
    • I'll bet they're more concerned with in-theater pirating going out on P2P networks while the films are still playing in the theaters, thereby reducing the take at the box office. That is, after all, the biggest source of income for the studios. Here on /. we're seen post after post about how CD's are so expensive relative to DVD's, neglecting to consider that the DVD sales are secondary to the box office take.

      If anything, this law indicates more that the MPAA considers DVD piracy a lost cause and is shif
      • On the topic of DVD piracy... I wonder if there were any repurcussions against Xing, because they were the ones dumb enough to store the decrypting keys for the DVDs without encrypting them first. That made Jon Johannsen's job real easy, he claimed when he released decss. DVD piracy would've still been possible anyway, IMO, because there's enough DVD manufacturers, and somewhere.there would have been someone who'd leak the keys.

        Or did Xing (or some engineer who worked for them) even do it on purpose?
      • The argument is still the same. Most movies are released on DVDs for the press before they run in the theater. If the movie is anticipated enough, you can be sure there are DVD-rips available before the premiere.
      • The MPAA considers DVD piracy a lost cause? Have you already forgotten what still goes on regarding DeCSS lawsuits?
  • Overseas (Score:5, Informative)

    by oaf357 (661305) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @03:38PM (#7874496) Homepage Journal
    Every bootleg I've ever seen has been recorded overseas.

    If you want to stop copyright violations go to a foreign country and start busting the K-Mart and 7-Eleven equivalents that are selling LOTR and Matrix movies on store shelves while the movies are still in the theatres.

    There is nothing wrong with this law, in my opinion. But, I find it an incredible waste.

    • but the other one is rediculus! Jail time and a quarter-million dollars just for a damn video camera in a movie theater!?

      Then again, this is the same nation that treats breaking into a computer as a more serious crime than manslaughter. We should've expected this.
    • Re:Overseas (Score:4, Funny)

      by dpilot (134227) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @05:02PM (#7875051) Homepage Journal
      Reclassify movie bootlegging as "economic terrorism" and you can apply a whole different set of laws and punishments. Plus if there's some particular country harboring economic terrorists this way, there's always Regime Change.

      First to go should be Norway, for harboring that well-known economic and computing terrorist, Johansen.
  • by heironymouscoward (683461) <heironymouscowardNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Sunday January 04, 2004 @03:38PM (#7874499) Journal
    Curiously, when "Master and Commander" came out in Belgium a month or so ago, it was proceeded by a bold notice that anyone caught filming in the cinema would be hunted down, skinned alive, and thrown naked and bleeding to the dogs. And their film and camera would be confiscated and maybe kept for like a week or so.

    The hordes of surreptitious filmers immediately ran out of the cinema, where they were aprehended by the local branch of the MPAA.

    Not. I have never seen anyone filming in a theater, and the few pirate films I've seen that were made this way were incredibly unwatchable ("cough cough", shadows walking in front of the film, noises of coke being slurped and people making out in row 2.)

    I mean... does this actually present a threat to the movie industry?

    Surely a balanced law would also mandate prison for people who make movies like Matrix 2 and 3? This kind of crap product is a far greater threat to cinema revenues than pirates can ever be.
    • by tkrotchko (124118) * on Sunday January 04, 2004 @03:57PM (#7874642) Homepage
      "I mean... does this actually present a threat to the movie industry?"

      No, but I think its because the MPAA (and RIAA to the same extent) are looking to shift blame away from certain facts.

      People filming in the theater is so absurd that you'd have to be pretty hard pressed for entertainment to watch it.

      The real trouble is coming from people ripping films distributed on DVD (I seem to remember an article on the Washington Post about this a few months ago). The trouble is, they won't do anything about the actual source of the leaks, so they blame their own customers.

      Same with the RIAA...the big source of problem is organized crime making illegal copies by the thousands and millions. But those guys have guns and will kill you if you screw with them. Catching 12 year-old brittany is safer and makes better headlines and makes it look like they're doing something for their shareholders.

      Its all a game, and the only ones fooled seem to be our congressmen and women.
  • by gotpaint32 (728082) * on Sunday January 04, 2004 @03:39PM (#7874501) Journal
    As far as I've seen recently, the majority of bootleg movies didn't come from a videotaped recording, but rather from award screener dvds instead. This law should have came in effect back in the hayday of bootleg VHSs when bootleggers relied on taping of the bigscreen. Back in the day you defintitely knew it was recorded in a theater, you could even hear babies crying in the background at times.
    • by zakezuke (229119) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @03:43PM (#7874531)
      defintitely knew it was recorded in a theater

      or the days that you knew it was recorded in hong kong, when you can see the shadows of people's heads below the screen, and all of them are holding small camcorders.

    • Back in the day you defintitely knew it was recorded in a theater, you could even hear babies crying in the background at times.

      No no no, that was baby jesus.

    • If they really, really wanted to stop piracy via DVD screeners, then all they've got to do is put bl00dy obvious watermarks that jump about the edges of the screen and are hard to digitally remove... whocking great copyright notices that subliminally flash at random times during the movie would be a help as well...

      But as usual they hound the consumers of the product citing dead old evidence of taping of movies that used to occur ages ago back in the days of dodgy video tapes.

      But there isn't a requirement fo

  • For example, the pirated version of The Hulk I saw (on a co-worker's laptop, Mr. MPAA Thug) was an early cut, with incomplete special effects and crappy audio. With movies like Cold Mountain and others being shot digitally and edited in Final Cut Pro, with DVD dailies being mastered regularly, it's concievable that the pirates will be soon beat the studios to post-production! Instead of the Special Edition Director's Cut, we could be downloading the Sp3c1@l Ub3r 1337 H@c|3r's Cut.

    And of course, who wouldn't want to see Episode III: The Non-Crappy Version, complete with a Star Wars Kid cameo added by the pirate who actually edited together the flick...
  • Cell phones (Score:5, Funny)

    by dattaway (3088) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @03:42PM (#7874530) Homepage Journal
    What about rebroadcasting the entire movie with cell phones? Should they be allowed to transmit the entire movie over the airwaves? I'd like to see the morons in front of me who spend the entire movie talking sent to jail.
  • Seinfeld (Score:5, Funny)

    by n0nsensical (633430) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @03:48PM (#7874572)
    Reminds me of Seinfeld episode 137:

    Jerry: What do you mean he's bootlegging the movie?
    Kramer: Well, it's a perfectly legitimate business.
    Jerry: It's not legitimate.
    Kramer: It's a business.

    Jerry: I don't care about Brody. I was up on 96th Street today, there was a kid couldn't have been more than ten years old. He was asking a street vendor if he had any other bootlegs as good as Death Blow. That's who I care about. The little kid who needs bootlegs, because his parent or guardian won't let him see the excessive violence and strong sexual content you and I take for granted.

    George: I'm a bootlegger.
    Anna: You're a what?
    George: I'm bootleggin' a movie, baby!
    Anna: Isn't that illegal?
    George: I can do hard time for this one. And community service!

    Frank: I'm sitting at home, reading a periodical, and this is the call I get? My son is a bootlegger? (He hits George in the head)
    George: Ow! Dad...
    Frank: Who put you up to this, was it her?
    Elaine: All right. Wait a minute. I think you've got it backwards.
    Frank: My George isn't clever enough to hatch a scheme like this.
    Elaine: You got that right.
    Frank: What the hell does that mean?
    Elaine: It means whatever the hell you want it to mean.
    Frank: You sayin' you want a piece of me?
    Elaine: I could drop you like a bag of dirt.
    Frank: You wanna piece of me? You got it!
  • I wonder how they justify making this a separate and more serious offense from copyright infringement in general. Or do they even bother with justifications beyond the implicit "they paid me a boatload of money to pass this law" these days?
  • by dada21 (163177) <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Sunday January 04, 2004 @03:53PM (#7874617) Homepage Journal
    Here's a useless law. Government is not needed in this case (as in most new laws, they are not relevant).

    If a theater wants to show new movies, they should already have rules about this. Because a theater is private property, they should be able to ban anything they want (free speech, weapons, anything). If they want to ban recording cameras, they're free to.

    Maybe a theater may want to ALLOW cameras. In this case, the major movie production companies will probably decide not to show movies there. Smaller companies may want the cult-like home recorded movies and may possibly allow it. The free market has provided this solution already, and government now will mandate one more way for private movie theater owners to run their business.

    We are no longer free, we are no longer capitalist. We live in a mercantilist system of oppressive regulation, taxes, and tariffs. None of this system helps the average citizen.
  • Jail for this? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WhitehatSystems.com (736014) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @03:54PM (#7874620) Homepage
    Its amazing that our society now days the answer for any violation of law is "Throw them in Jail" seems for minor infractions you get more time then you do for harsh infractions.. Why should the tax payer pay for the Movie company's property rights to be protected? Hrm..
  • Righty-o (Score:5, Informative)

    by finker (735219) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @03:56PM (#7874633)
    "Their conclusion: 77 percent of the films came from insider sources, either motion picture companies or theater employees taping from the projection booth." I happen to be a projection manager at a local movie theater (not for bragging rights, just to set the stage that I actually know what I'm talking about) and I can safely say that taping a movie from a projection booth is the most retarded idea I have ever heard of. Actually, I doubt any clued-in projectionist would want to tape a movie from the booth. Most modern projectors are noisy as hell, likewise with the heat which is why film will melt extremely fast if the bulb gets too hot. The glass between the booth and the auditorium is usually (in a good theater) soundproof. Also, there isn't any sound in the projection booth with the exclusion of the "cute" hum of X number of projectors cranking away. Basically what that amounts to is: nobody likes standing next to projectors. Ever. You feed the film, start the film, and get the hell away. Repeat. Lastly, where I work, I am usually the only projectionist at night. This might be different, but trying to keep 14 projectors running at the same time gets to be a real pain. Nevermind having the time to be dicking around trying to setup a video camera to record Hollywood's next trashy movie. Cheers.
    • Re:Righty-o (Score:3, Interesting)

      by willtsmith (466546)
      Is it possible to run the audio feed directly from the sound system into the camcorder?? That would deal with all the coughs, screaming babies, etc... Assuming the glass in the booth is optically transparent AND there is a spare window (acounting for changeovers), couldn't a camcorder be used? In the projection booth.
  • by AEton (654737) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @04:06PM (#7874718)
    but did you also search the Slashdot archives [slashdot.org] before you posted this dupe? Check out the comments on that story for an explanation of why this law is super duper crazy.
  • by Grimster (127581) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @04:07PM (#7874725) Homepage
    Ok so it's now punishable by law to record in a theater, does this affect you? Were you planning on doing it before it became illegal? I already considered this a "bad idea" figuring any theater that caught me recording their warez would throw me out immediately forfeiting my HEFTY entrance fee.

    I mean it's not like they made it illegal to go watch a movie and tell your friends the plot and ending (though in some cases I almost wish that were illegal!).

    Though I wish they'd waste their time more productively but how is illegalizing (is that even a word) something most anyone with a brain would already realize was not something you'd want to do anyway all that big of a deal?
  • damn (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SQLz (564901) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @04:16PM (#7874788) Homepage Journal
    Six months for this? People get less time for assault.
  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @04:17PM (#7874797)
    It reminds of the Great Wall of China. The Chinese built the wall to keep out the Mongols at a great financial and human cost. In its first 100 years it was breached 3 times. While the Mongols never successfully overran the defenses, the breaches did not come from superior Mongol weapon technology or military tactics. They came when Mongols successfully bribed guards. All that technology defeated by human factors.
  • Watermarks... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by anthony_dipierro (543308) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @04:25PM (#7874834) Journal
    On a related note, has anyone else noticed the watermarks they've been putting into movies lately (presumably to try to catch pirates)? My friend pointed out the patterns of pink dots which were appearing throughout "Master and Commander" (a terrible movie), and I couldn't help but notice them for the rest of the movie. Granted, if the movie hadn't been so boring maybe I wouldn't have noticed them, but still, they were quite annoying.
  • Who really cares? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @04:26PM (#7874840)
    This law seems like a waste of time to me, but why should we argue about it? Certainly there are valid reasons expressed here as to why in theory it's mostly irrelevant; but really - if you don't plan to illegally film a movie, and you don't view these illegal recordings, why does this matter to you?
  • by -tji (139690) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @04:40PM (#7874915) Journal
    This appears to be a trend.. If getting these restrictions passed at a national level is too difficult, or is noticed and opposed by too many people, the lobbyists go to the state governments. This was the same tactic taken for the anti-VPN law [slashdot.org] and others I can't think of right now.

    While in principal I agree that filming of these movies should not be allowed. I find it disturbing how easily lobbying groups can get their pet projects pushed through state legislatures.
  • Illegal law (Score:4, Informative)

    by cpt kangarooski (3773) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @04:59PM (#7875030) Homepage
    Not in that it's unconstitutional in and of itself (though perhaps it does violate the Ohio Constitution) but rather because it's preempted by federal law.

    17 USC 301 makes void any state law that is equivalent to any of the federally created copyrights. This Ohio statute sounds as though it pertains to duplication -- which is already covered in 17 USC 106, making it void, at least in regards to that portion of it.

    Honestly, you'd really think that someone would've checked that sort of thing in advance.
  • laws & america (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rzei (622725) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @05:13PM (#7875111)
    By judging from up here in Scandinavia, only bad laws get set in America. This once again proves that the saying "Americans have the best goverment money can buy" and your politicians aren't even being ashamed, no, they'r are busy setting the next best record for stupid laws.

    Not that it mattered else but usually the stupid laws enforced there end up here, luckily with a big lag. As pointed out before, filming in private place like the cinema is the problem ought to be taken care by the Cinema, not by the goverment. And the penalties for a huge people destroying crime like that are just absurd.

    It's clear that no one is going to feel satisfied by the quality of those CAM and TS releases, even PROPERs are plain shitty (while being as good as they can given the circumstances) which makes it really hard to enjoy or understand the film. But as the CAM or TS works as a preview, less people will see it. As this also works the other way around, Hollywood people should be more engouraged into hiring more talented scriptwrites and new directors than lawyers and lobbiers.

    Just my 0,10e
  • by scovetta (632629) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @05:45PM (#7875258) Homepage
    Average Time Served: (from http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/pdf/psatsfv.pdf)
    Homicide: 71 months
    Rape: 65 months
    Sexual Assault: 35 months
    ---------------
    Recording a movie
    in a cinema in Michigan: 60 months
    " in California: 12 months

    Is it just me? Yes, I know that these are the maximum sentences, but many violent crimes carry maximum sentences around only 10 years, and they are often less than that anyway.

    <sarcasm>Basically, the message here is that if someone tries to arrest you in a theater for videotaping the screen, you should shoot them, cause hey, it would only be another few months in jail if you get caught.
    </sarcasm>
  • by adzoox (615327) * on Sunday January 04, 2004 @06:22PM (#7875538) Journal
    I noticed five different tables this morning at my local flea market with Paycheck, Kill Bill, and Matrix Revolutions.

    At another local flea market (one of the largest in the country) there are as many as 50 tables that have pirated movies.

    These sales should be stopped at a flea market management level or the OWNER of that market should be fined.
  • Hilarity ensues (Score:3, Interesting)

    by buckeyeguy (525140) on Sunday January 04, 2004 @06:30PM (#7875609) Homepage Journal
    As a former state employee, I can almost assure that Bob Taft signed this law in without ever reading it; he has people who read the important stuff for him. It probably sounded like common sense at the time, and he likely gave it no more thought than that. Sign the bill, move on.

    Patently Offtopic Comment: Now for the really important stuff, Gov. Taft... former Gov. Voinovich left us a 'rainy day fund', i.e. a budget surplus that was to be kept in case of economic downturns. Where is it now?

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