Trickster721 (trickster721) wrote,

Why So Serious?

There's an interesting story making the rounds about The Dark Knight's anti-piracy campaign. They spent six months and god knows how much money to keep the movie offline for, according to them, an extra 36 hours. They're very proud of themselves.

This is the part that caught my attention:

MPAA investigators used the lure of "The Dark Knight" to catch a suspected bootlegger in the act during a 9:40 a.m. showing in a theater in a southeast suburb of Kansas City, Mo.

A Lee's Summit Police Department spokesman said the MPAA investigators spotted the man in the back row of the theater, trying to cloak his video camera with black tarps as he allegedly made an illicit recording. A subsequent police search of the man's home turned up hundreds of DVDs that are believed to be pirated, the spokesman said. The case has been referred to the FBI.

"This wasn't necessarily one of our most covert operations," Robinson said. The investigators in the theater looked like G-men from central casting, wearing MPAA letters emblazoned on their shirts. "It was kind of brazen on this guy's part. Maybe he thought all the MPAA did was rate the movies."

WTF? It turns out that since 2005, it's been a federal crime to use or attempt to use a recording device inside a movie theater to record what's right in front of your face. Theater owners have complete immunity in "detaining" these dangerous criminals.

So in other words, if MPAA investigators detect you attempting to use your cell phone to take video of the movie screen, you can be arrested by the theater. The manager isn't actually allowed to perform a summary execution, yet - instead the real police get to search your house and send you to jail for three years (or seven, if you put that cell phone video online). Your civil liberties are now completely suspended the moment you buy your twelve dollar ticket, and it's too bad, because I really enjoyed going to see movies in the theaters.

It seems like every day they push me a little bit closer to handing out pamphlets on street corners.
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