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Woman Filming Sister's Birthday Party Gets Charged With Felony Movie Piracy

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the ignorance-knows-no-bounds dept.

Movies 705

A 22-year-old woman from Chicago recently spent two nights in jail and could face up to three years in prison for taping four minutes of the new movie Twilight: New Moon. Samantha Tumpach and family threw her sister a surprise birthday party at the theater and captured much of it on video. Unfortunately, two "very short segments" were enough to make theater managers want to press charges. "Tumpach insisted she recorded no more than three minutes while in the theater — and said not all of the video she shot was of the movie. There's footage of [Tumpach] and her relatives singing to her sister, she said. 'We sang "Happy Birthday" to her in the theater,' Tumpach said. She also took pictures of family members in the theater before the film began, but an usher who saw the photo session never issued them a warning, Tumpach said."

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You Just Don't Know When to Shut Up, Do You? (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329518)

'We sang "Happy Birthday" to her in the theater,'

A copyrighted work [wikipedia.org] ? Performed in public? If I were a lawyer my nipples would explode with joy. The planets have aligned for an orgy of copyright violations! Tell me, in the video were you also photocopying the Harry Potter books with a scanner hooked up to a laptop with a cracked version of Windows 7 on it?

Re:You Just Don't Know When to Shut Up, Do You? (4, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329548)

Tell me, in the video were you also photocopying the Harry Potter books with a scanner hooked up to a laptop with a cracked version of Windows 7 on it?

No, it was an Acer Netbook Hackintosh.

Re:You Just Don't Know When to Shut Up, Do You? (5, Informative)

yurtinus (1590157) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329794)

Everybody knows you use the Dell netbook hackintosh because the Acer wifi is unsupported!

...amateurs

Re:You Just Don't Know When to Shut Up, Do You? (4, Funny)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329974)

...the Acer wifi is unsupported!

Hey, 2005 called and wants its joke back.

Re:You Just Don't Know When to Shut Up, Do You? (4, Funny)

daeley (126313) | more than 4 years ago | (#30330038)

Hey, 2005 called and wants its joke back.

Hey, 1995 called and wants its rejoinder back. ;)

Re:You Just Don't Know When to Shut Up, Do You? (1)

Aranykai (1053846) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329556)

Why would they be using a cracked version when they can use the RC legally for free until Oct 2010?

Re:You Just Don't Know When to Shut Up, Do You? (4, Funny)

arizwebfoot (1228544) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329558)

If I were a lawyer my nipples would explode with joy.

Really?

Can we watch - I've never seen nipples explode. Do I need to use an include tag?

Re:You Just Don't Know When to Shut Up, Do You? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30329612)

From my point of view in Italy this is crazy. Are they going to sue me because I remember a film? Just as foolish as copyrighting a law.

Re:You Just Don't Know When to Shut Up, Do You? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329840)

Are they going to sue me because I remember a film?

That's different. Under United States law, reproduction involves making a "copy", or fixing a work into a tangible medium. The flash memory of a camera phone is deemed a tangible medium, and a brain is not.

Re:You Just Don't Know When to Shut Up, Do You? (1)

tuxgeek (872962) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329976)

Are they going to sue me because I remember a film?

They just might especially if you continue to think of any particular scene more than once after leaving the theater
To do that you must pay a royalty to the MPAA

Re:You Just Don't Know When to Shut Up, Do You? (4, Insightful)

pitchpipe (708843) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329630)

'We sang "Happy Birthday" to her in the theater,'

A copyrighted work? Performed in public? If I were a lawyer my nipples would explode with joy. The planets have aligned for an orgy of copyright violations! Tell me, in the video were you also photocopying the Harry Potter books with a scanner hooked up to a laptop with a cracked version of Windows 7 on it?

Welcome Citizen... to your future!

We were so busy being scared of the communists (a la 1984) that we forgot to fear the other extreme: Unregulated free markets. It's funny how the unregulated *free* market seems to regulate us so well.

Re:You Just Don't Know When to Shut Up, Do You? (4, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329686)

Copyright is the epitome of regulation.

Re:You Just Don't Know When to Shut Up, Do You? (3, Insightful)

pitchpipe (708843) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329772)

Copyright is the epitome of regulation.

It was an observation of irony. Those corporations that participate in the free market are using copyright laws - through the buying of congresscritters - to regulate us. So you are correct in this case: Copyright is the epitome of regulation, the regulation of you.

Re:You Just Don't Know When to Shut Up, Do You? (0)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329820)

There isn't any irony when your statement is pretty much nonsensical.

Also, corporations can't participate in a free market, they are entities that exist solely at the whim of the government.

Re:You Just Don't Know When to Shut Up, Do You? (5, Informative)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329954)

I think the point was that whenever regulations on corps are proposed, the corps cry "Fascism!" and decry all regulation. The irony is that they are more than happy to use--and in some cases, abuse--whatever regulations are in place to further their own profits.

Obviously, we don't know the full story, but this sounds like pure silliness. My guess is that the theater manager figures he'll lose his job if he doesn't press charges.

Re:You Just Don't Know When to Shut Up, Do You? (4, Insightful)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329790)

Uhm, unregulated free market? It's not the free market slapping her in jail or running the court proceedings. Actually, this is the application of law, and by nature this is a form of regulation. I know it's trendy to rant against "the Man" (who doesn't?) but if you're going to do it at least make sure you know what you're complaining about.

Re:You Just Don't Know When to Shut Up, Do You? (4, Insightful)

pitchpipe (708843) | more than 4 years ago | (#30330024)

Uhm, unregulated free market? It's not the free market slapping her in jail or running the court proceedings. Actually, this is the application of law, and by nature this is a form of regulation. I know it's trendy to rant against "the Man" (who doesn't?) but if you're going to do it at least make sure you know what you're complaining about.

UHM, yeah, unregulated free market. Or have you not thought deeply about where these draconian laws originate? With the average citizen? No, it comes from *Corporations* (oh noes)! I'm not ranting against "THE MAN." I'm just pointing out that the end result of corporations with lots of money can buy power and influence. Guess what they can do with that power and influence? Change our laws! Surprise Surprise. It's not a rant. It's an observation.

If you don't believe that what I just said was true please point out the flaw in my thinking.

Re:You Just Don't Know When to Shut Up, Do You? (1)

locallyunscene (1000523) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329912)

True story, poor example.

Re:You Just Don't Know When to Shut Up, Do You? (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329922)

It's funny how the unregulated *free* market seems to regulate us so well.

Your comment is pointless: Copyright law is a market regulation.

Is a movie theater really a public place? (3, Insightful)

Richard Steiner (1585) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329634)

While the public can pay to enter, the theater is really private property. Isn't it?

I still find it shocking that the penalty is so harsh for this type of thing while so many violent crimes in the US result in much more lenient sentences... :-(

Re:Is a movie theater really a public place? (4, Insightful)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329716)

That's because nobody cares if you die - they only care if they don't get paid.

Re:Is a movie theater really a public place? (4, Insightful)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30330002)

True. A dead person can't be in perpetual debt, in effect, and indentured servant.

Re:Is a movie theater really a public place? (2, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329740)

No, it's a privately owned public place. That's why a mall owner can't have a No Pants Day at the mall (show up with no pants and get 10% off!). It's also why a mall owner can't (legally) restrict you from taking photographs inside the mall; just because it's privately owned doesn't make it private.

Re:Is a movie theater really a public place? (5, Interesting)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329812)

Yeah, they can have a no-cameras, no flash-photography policy in a privately-owned publicly-accessible place. If they catch you taking pictures, a big guard comes up to you and orders you to leave the premises: then if you stay there, you've committed the crime of trespassing.

They can't exact physical violence against you to prevent you from taking pictures though, and taking your camera, or destroying film, is illegal for them to do (and may result in you suing).

Re:Is a movie theater really a public place? (2, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329860)

What would be wrong with giving people wearing dresses, skirts and kilts a discount?

Re:Is a movie theater really a public place? (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329870)

Are you sure that's right? I think a private property owner could do either of those things if they chose. Granted the former would be corporate suicide (for a shopping mall at least) and the latter would be practically unenforceable, but I think they could still do it. The mall in my area has all kinds of crazy rules (including a rule aimed the up-skirt crowd that prevent people taking pictures 'secretly') and regularly kick people out if they break them.

Re:Is a movie theater really a public place? (2, Funny)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329904)

No, it's a privately owned public place. That's why a mall owner can't have a No Pants Day at the mall (show up with no pants and get 10% off!).

That's discrimination against the Scots (kilts) and women (skirts, dresses)!

Also, in several jurisdictions, topless is legal for both sexes [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Is a movie theater really a public place? (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329956)

t's also why a mall owner can't (legally) restrict you from taking photographs inside the mall;

Yes they can. They can ask you to leave. If you refuse to do so then it's trespassing and the guys with the handcuffs, tasers and firearms get involved. They can't take your property (camera) from you or (legally) require that you delete any pictures you've taken but they can insist that you leave.

I learned this in my concealed carry classes. My state has no legal provision for a property owner to post "no guns allowed" signs. They can post them but they have no force of law. All they can do is ask you to leave if they discover that you are armed -- you haven't actually broken any laws unless they ask you to leave and you decline to do so.

Re:Is a movie theater really a public place? (4, Insightful)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329926)

I still find it shocking that the penalty is so harsh for this type of thing while so many violent crimes in the US result in much more lenient sentences... :-(

I know! To hell with copyright infringement so we can watch movies! My friends and I are going to go out on a gang rape spree! That way, if we get caught, at least we won't have to worry as much about the penalties.

No profit - fair use. (2, Interesting)

pigeon768 (589860) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329702)

IANAL, but the performers are not profiting off of the performance. The performance is permissible under fair use.

If the employees of the theater sang the song, they (the movie theater) would get sued.

It depends on the use (4, Insightful)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329868)

Recording where there are signs conspicuously placed warning you not to record erodes some "fair use" claims.

Assuming she has a good lawyer, she will walk on the criminal complaint. The arraignment judge said as much when he let her out without bond.

If they had sued for an injunction ordering her not to show anyone else the video except as needed to pull off the non-infringing parts, it would be an open-and-shut case in the movie theater's favor.

The only reason I can think of to have her arrested in the first place is so the camera could be seized as evidence, which it no doubt was. This makes sure the video doesn't leak before an injunction is issued. Still, it's a PR nightmare for the theater chain and this "arrest first, dismiss after the video is secured" policy, if done on a large scale, just isn't worth it for people who aren't trying to film the movie for torrenting.

Re:No profit - fair use. (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329874)

Fair use only applies if she was exhibiting the short clips for the purpose of a review, to parody (but not to satire) or to educate. Since she didn't own a legal copy to be exempted as an "archive copy", these are about her only outs. I hope they continue to prosecute, as this is the only way to show how genuinely borked our current legal system is, by allowing this silliness to get to a real court.

This demonstrates why "copyright infringement" should only be a civil issue and not criminal issue. Of course, the people who are actually copying the movie to sell them are running around free, while the incidental filming is prosecuted. Same legal genius thinking that gets us to prosecute little old ladies for stealing mp3's, even if they don't even know what an mp3 is.

Good test case (4, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329540)

This seems like a good test case. A faithful application of the law here would shock the conscience.

Re:Good test case (4, Insightful)

RichMan (8097) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329626)

> A faithful application of the law here would shock the conscience.

As to the movie it is going to depend on the legal definition of excerpt and context. Otherwise every photograph with a TV image would be a violation.

As to the performance of happy birthday I think they are clearly guilty. The key will be to appeal to the jury on reasonableness and the fact that the performance while public was not to the public and thus not technically a public performance.

Re:Good test case (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329842)

The performance of happy birthday does nothing against them unless: (A) the copyright owner is taking the action.

And (B) the court recognizes the copyright owner's claim to the work -- the Happy Birthday song has been in the public domain for over 100 years, it's unlikely that someone has any valid claim to it...

Re:Good test case (1)

sabs (255763) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329910)

Michael Jackson's Estate owns Happy Birthday

No Lie

Re:Good test case (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#30330010)

Says who?

The melody was written in 1893, and the song appeared in print prior to 1912, with no claim of copyright, even then.

Someone might want to claim it, but that doesn't mean their claim has even a remote glimmer of validity.

Re:Good test case (5, Interesting)

RichMan (8097) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329936)

> the Happy Birthday song has been in the public domain for over 100 years, it's unlikely that someone has any valid claim to it...

Uhhmm. No. The happy birthday copyright is in full force.

Ever wonder why those food places have the servers gather round and sing some really stupid non-happy birthday song to the birthday person.

The Happy Birthday copyright is vigorously defended.
http://www.snopes.com/music/songs/birthday.asp

I don't know how it works exactly as the song predates current copyright limits.

Re:Good test case (5, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30330008)

the Happy Birthday song has been in the public domain for over 100 years

Not sure why you'd think that. It was copyrighted in 1935 (under 100 years ago) and the copyright is currently owned by Time Warner. Under current copyright law in the US, it will not become public domain until 2030, just in time for the end of the UNIX epoch. Given that the song is basically a plagarised version of an earlier song with one note changed, however, there is a good chance that they copyright could be challenged in court, by someone with the funds and standing to do so. Time Warner collected $2m in royalties for the song last year, but does not require royalties if you don't sing it for profit.

Happy Birthday (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329924)

I don't think there is a criminal complaint based on the Happy Birthday. It will be up to the owners of that copyright to enforce that in civil court, which I very much doubt they will do unless she uploads that part of the video to teh interwebs.

Re:Good test case (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329958)

Otherwise every photograph with a TV image would be a violation.

Too late.

Re:Good test case (2, Interesting)

SlashdotOgre (739181) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329646)

I agree, and from the article (I know...), it seems like there's already some effects. She's quoted as say, "They were so nice to me," which implies the cops were being decent (nice to hear), and the judge released her on a personal recognizance bond (so she didn't have to pay bail or a bail bondsman, assuming she shows at court). She did get two days of jail, but I definitely hope this gets some good media exposure as I believe most folks are going to side with her even if it's not the letter of the law. I'd be interested to see if anyone more familiar with this law could shed some light on its details. Best case would be if she could get off on a technicality (e.g. the amount filmed was too short to count for the felony), but even then she still has to live with being arrested.

Re:Good test case (4, Interesting)

Tanman (90298) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329660)

It's only a good case if it gets bench time. If charges are dropped before it goes to trial, or if she does a plea for probation to avoid possible further jail time, then nothing happens.

Personally, I would hope this turns into a situation where she goes to trial, is found not guilty, and then is able to sue for malicious prosecution or whatever else the nastiest, meanest, pit-bull-of-an-attorney she hires can drum up since it's obviously not a piracy situation. At least from the story, it sounds like law was not followed to its intent.

Re:Good test case (1)

schon (31600) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329932)

the nastiest, meanest, pit-bull-of-an-attorney she hires can drum up

Paging Mr. NYCL. Can Mr. NYCL please come to the courtesy phone?

(Just kidding - I wouldn't consider him nasty or mean - but definitely the right man for the job.. if he was in Chicago :)

Re:Good test case (2, Funny)

electricprof (1410233) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329774)

Let me see ... I'm reading from the actual law ... offender shall be set on fire dragged by the ears naked through Death Valley until ... oh wait! That's the penalty for sneering at an RIAA lawyer.

It's official. Hollywood is dying . (5, Insightful)

Stratoukos (1446161) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329568)

I guess ars didn't think of this when they said that the movie industry won't go down like the music industry did [arstechnica.com] .

If Hollywood is NOT dying.... (2, Insightful)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329650)

Then there is no need to fight movie piracy.

Animals fight each other when they are out of food.

Singing Happy Birthday in public? (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329590)

Surprised she didn't get sued or charged over that one as well.

If anyone wants to have a little fun, go to the Muvico theater in Rosemont and hand out "I only work here, I actually DO have common sense" buttons to employees.

If Illinois has public-protest-permitted-on-private-property laws, you could have some fun and send a message and not get into hot water. Check local laws before doing this though.

To be fair, the theater manager was probably acting under orders. It will probably take a note from corporate to drop the criminal charges.

I hope she posts a clip of this - sans the movie clips and "Happy Birthday" - to the web.

This is the best copy of New Moon on Pirate Bay (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30329606)

Check in the top 100 movies section.

This should be best release until the R5 which only contains 2 minutes of the movie along with footage of some guy named Dmitri's colonoscopy.

There is a near screener quality copy of the movie available, but unfortunately it contains the entire run length of the movie and is best avoided.

Punishment almost fits the crime (5, Funny)

sartalon (887122) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329614)

Two days in jail seems fitting, for the crime of annoying the hell out of every other moviegoer in the theater who paid $$ to watch a cheesy vampire emo movie.

Re:Punishment almost fits the crime (1)

Tanman (90298) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329688)

Cry some more!

Re:Punishment almost fits the crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30330034)

No, you.

Re:Punishment almost fits the crime (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30329786)

Two days in jail seems fitting, for the crime of annoying the hell out of every other moviegoer in the theater who paid $$ to watch a cheesy vampire emo movie.

My impression from the summary, not the article, is that they bought the place out for a party. Could be wrong though.

Re:Punishment almost fits the crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30329964)

Anyone who actually admits to liking a movie about a gang of butthurt emo sparkle faggot vampires and furfags on steroids deserves some jail time...

Re:Punishment almost fits the crime (4, Insightful)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329998)

a cheesy vampire emo movie

Thank god I'm not the only one who thinks that...

Vampires shouldn't glitter in sunlight - THEY SHOULD EXPLODE!

Re:Punishment almost fits the crime (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30330014)

Two days in jail seems fitting, for the crime of annoying the hell out of every other moviegoer in the theater who paid $$ to watch a cheesy vampire emo movie.

My guess it was a reserved screening. Theaters sometimes have a party room. But yeah you sound like an ass so who cares.

Re:Punishment almost fits the crime (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 4 years ago | (#30330028)

I was thinking that going to see the movie was punishment enough.

Theater manager (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30329620)

"Tumpach was arrested after theater managers insisted on pressing charges."

Wow, talk about a jerk of a manager. Someone should find out what theater this was and start a boycott.

Re:Theater manager (1, Interesting)

jackspenn (682188) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329710)

Here is my guess of what happened. She took video fo B-day party, she then realized "Holy Crap, I can record movie as well". Followed by recording of said movie. Followed by manager demanding of video deletion. Which naturally was undesirable, because said video also included family party. If movie was playing in background while events of party were focus of recording I would be 100% behind her, but my suspicion is that party footage was taken, then filming of movie was taken.

Re:Theater manager (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329900)

Tumpach insisted she recorded no more than three minutes while in the theater

So... she's lying in your opinion?

Re:Theater manager (3, Insightful)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329914)

my suspicion is that party footage was taken, then filming of movie was taken.

And unless something unusual happened, I would guess you're absolutely correct. If, for no other reason, it would have been too dark for good birthday video once the film started playing. Further, it would have been pretty boring to watch a dimly-lit version of the birthday girl's face watching the movie.

Re:Theater manager (5, Informative)

chill (34294) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329800)

Re:Theater manager (5, Informative)

Unknown Relic (544714) | more than 4 years ago | (#30330022)

The MPAA gives a $500 reward to theater employees who assist in the arrest/charging of someone who is caught recording a film. So yes, a jerk, but because he wanted his blood money. It's the same situation as that girl who recorded a few seconds of Transformers a couple years back.

I don't see the problem. (5, Funny)

eclectro (227083) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329636)

unfortunately two "very shot segments" was enough to make theater managers want to press charges.

Shooting at anybody is grounds for assault with a deadly weapon. I didn't know they put guns in camcorders now. Fortunately that she will be out on parole sooner than if this was actually a copyright violation.

Re:I don't see the problem. (2, Funny)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329726)

Think of how much damage a 9mm does and then realize it was probably a 35mm camera! It must be like 3 times as powerful!

Re:I don't see the problem. (3, Funny)

idontgno (624372) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329940)

No kidding! Even the A-10 Thunderbolt II's [wikipedia.org] main antitank cannon [wikipedia.org] is only 30mm!

It's amazing what people smuggle into movie theaters nowadays.

Re:I don't see the problem. (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329996)

Think of how much damage a 9mm does

I have. That's why I bought a .45 ;)

WTF!? (4, Insightful)

cyberjock1980 (1131059) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329694)

Ok, so regardless of the whole argument over whether any short portion of the video would be "Fair Use" and all of the other reasons we'd argue that this was completely legal...

1. What manager of a movie theater would be stupid enough to push this through? Do they not realize how much VERY bad publicity this is making for his theater.
2. What manager of a movie theater would be so unreasonable to not just ask them to leave and be done with it? If it was obviously for a birthday, then kindly tell your customer (you know, the one that just paid to get a ticket for the theater) that what they are doing is not permitted and to please leave.
3. What entity is going to be stupid enough to press charges for this knowing all of the bad publicity this is going to cause?

Sure, I'd be upset if I was sitting in the row behind them and suddenly a mob came running in and started singing "Happy Birthday" during a movie I paid for, but WTF?

Re:WTF!? (1)

dwiget001 (1073738) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329782)

I wouldn't be surprised if the mangler -- er manager -- was out of a job shortly, due to the fucking stupid ass thinking on his part.

Also, I wonder if the MPAA is going to help the theatre get all lawyered up for the ensuing court room slug-fest they are surely going to receive.

What, we need to avoid the theaters now, too? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30329708)

Jeezus, when will people learn to stop abusing their customers?!?!?

Re:What, we need to avoid the theaters now, too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30329746)

Jeezus, when will people learn to stop abusing their customers?!?!?

If they (theaters, banks, politicians, etc.) keep this up someday somebody is going to snap and start lobbing molotov cocktails through windows.

This is so unreasonable it's mindless... (5, Insightful)

mruizcamauer (551400) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329732)

is everyone in the USA crazy or what? How silly can you get? Are there any adults left? Jeeez...

Re:This is so unreasonable it's mindless... (1)

JobyOne (1578377) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329858)

Nope, since I dumped your mom we're all just a bunch of children over here.

Re:This is so unreasonable it's mindless... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30329966)

Americans, you are so fucked, so fucked! It is the downward spiral.

Yes, there are 2 adults left in America (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329982)

They were both at home watching a torrent of the movie on their home theaters.

Re:This is so unreasonable it's mindless... (1)

Bender Unit 22 (216955) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329992)

No it is just a small percentage of the population, Frank.

"Against stupidity ... (2, Interesting)

Tim Ward (514198) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329752)

... the gods themselves contend in vain."

Er ... ... well, that's it, really.

singing during the movie? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30329758)

The fact they were singing while the movie was apparently on screen is enough for me to side against them. This annoying lady and her family deserves jail and is lucky someone in the theater just didn't walk over and punch them in the face.

Re:singing during the movie? (1)

thelonious (233200) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329930)

Wait, I thought they were white.

j/k

Organized boycott of the theater? (1)

Ang31us (1132361) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329766)

I know that if I lived in Chicago, I would never go to that movie theater again.

If you don't live in Chicago (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30330030)

If you don't live in Chicago you can still join the boycott!!!

what's worse? (5, Funny)

nilbog (732352) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329810)

I'm not sure which is worse:

1. Video taping a movie in a theater
2. Singing happy birthday in the middle of a movie theater in the middle of a movie
3. Seeing New Moon

Singing at a movie theater? (2, Funny)

Alex777 (1113887) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329824)

What I want to know is: Why were they singing "Happy Birthday" during the film?

torrent sites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30329838)

Great, this was the missing part of the movie, the last pussle, now my torrent is ready for upload - full movie length

Oh my! (0, Troll)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329846)

There’s footage of she and her relatives singing to her sister, she said. “We sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to her in the theater,” Tumpach said.

“You can hear me talking the whole time,” Tumpach said.

All of this in a theater. And it doesn't say if they rented it out exclusively, meaning there were other paying patrons trying to watch the fucking movie

She should get the death penalty or, if I'm feeling really really pissed, have her listen to my mother complain why I don't call enough.

Re:Oh my! (1)

D Ninja (825055) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329984)

All of this in a theater. And it doesn't say if they rented it out exclusively, meaning there were other paying patrons trying to watch the movie

No. If it doesn't say they rented it out exclusively, it means that you don't know if there were other paying patrons. There may have been, there may not have been. If there were, I agree that this would have been annoying. But, your conclusion does not follow your first statement.

Re:Oh my! (1)

zill (1690130) | more than 4 years ago | (#30330026)

She should get the death penalty or, if I'm feeling really really pissed, have her listen to my mother complain why I don't call enough.

The infliction of cruel and unusual punishment is in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

3 minutes = 3 years (5, Funny)

nick_davison (217681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329856)

If she's facing three years in jail for filming three minutes of Twilight, what is the movie's director of photography facing? Surely all ninety minutes of it, plus being the original creator of that, merits far more?

Next time ... (2, Funny)

Korbeau (913903) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329862)

Next time Micheal Moore comes annoying some poor multinational CEO with his video camera, just repeal him with an iPhone playing some blockbuster flicks and call the cops!

Never have a party at a movie theater (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30329872)

Make sure you tell everybody that you know about this story and how celebrating a birthday at a cinema can get you into jail.

Note to self: (4, Insightful)

MyFirstNameIsPaul (1552283) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329898)

Don't hold events at theaters.

Taping a few minutes of some crap movie (2, Funny)

Perp Atuitie (919967) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329934)

is not a crime. Singing during said crap movie should be. Let's get our priorities straight.

Which movie theater was this? (1)

101010_or_0x2A (1001372) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329968)

She should publicly identify the actual movie theater and the managers involved in the prosecution, and that would be a sure way to make them pay through the negative publicity. This is getting totally out of hand, the ridiculous "crackdown" on movie piracy.

I can sympathize (2, Interesting)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329978)

Look, the theater probably has a contract with the movie distributor that states "no one is to be allowed to record any part of this film", which justifies barring anyone from carrying a video camera into the theater, and they should have signage up that clearly states this restriction. Problem is, many cell phones are now also video cameras (with extremely limited storage). The manager is within his rights to 1) bar people from bringing recording equipment in, 2) kick people out with no refund for attempting to record, and 3) ask people who are recording to delete the recording. Criminal charges seems a bit harsh, but if you very politely ask someone you catch in the act of recording the movie to delete the recording and explain that your contract with the distributor requires you to do, and they refuse to comply -- well then, what choice do you have but to use the threat of arrest to force them to comply? I'm not party to exactly what went down here, but like most situations, I'm pretty sure it could have been resolved satisfactorily to all participants long before the cops got there, if both sides weren't being asshats about it.

imdb (2, Insightful)

drougie (36782) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329988)

Maybe they're just bitter about the 4.6 stars [imdb.com] the film got.

Let's charge the chargers (1)

HollyMolly-1122 (1480249) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329990)

Let's charge the chargers about what they are charging... Sue all the world. A years ago like in a movie, with city full of just lawyers. They was anger to sue any stranger just because of nothing. Just because of this was the one and only way they are making money to live. Of course all their claims was bull$hit, but anyway - he was left in a jail. Is it true - U.S. is the capital of lawyers ? - Everyone just earns money for being sued sooner or later.

Civil matter (5, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30329994)

This should be a civil matter, no one should have to spend any nights in jail for even the worst cases of copyright infringement.

$500 Reward for Catching People Filming in Theater (3, Interesting)

JumperCable (673155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30330000)

This sounds to me like the downside providing cash incentives to employees for catching those who record movies.

http://www.fightfilmtheft.org/en/todo.asp [fightfilmtheft.org]

Some employee thinks they are in line for a $500 bonus.

She went to jail? (2)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#30330004)

What the fuck kind of crooked cop would put somebody in a cell for this?

Wouldn't it be annoying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30330018)

Really, wouldn't it be annoying for the other 170 people the in theater if they were singing Happy Birthday during the movie, or more likely the filming of the party, and other non movie events in the building is COMPLETELY independent of the camera being on and pointed at the screen in the actual screen room. Why the HELL would you be in a screen room at a theater with a camcorder turned on while the movie is playing, honestly think about that for just a second. This is why we have the courts.. One look at what she filmed in the SCREENING ROOM can determine her intents, rather then the media in its anti everything not big government temper tantrum.

She only filmed 3 or 4 minutes, was this before the managers dragged her ass out and had her arrested?

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