Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Senate Unanimously Passes Anti-Camcorder Bill

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the guilty-as-charged dept.

Movies 637

jamonterrell writes "The US Senate just unanimously passed a bill allowing the criminal prosecution of recording movies with a camcorder in theatres. Victims of the new bill would face 3 years in prison on first offense (5 if it was done for profit), repeat offenders would get 10 years. As a side note, it will cost taxpayers an additional 5 million dollars per year through 2009 for enforcement." Several states have made recording in theaters a crime, although none of them have penalties nearly as harsh as this Senate bill.

cancel ×

637 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Not only will this make CAM recordings more rare (4, Interesting)

Osmosis_Garett (712648) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535813)

It will make them more elite and thus more sought after by release groups.

Not likely. (1)

Photo_Nut (676334) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535830)

Osmosis_Garett [slashdot.org] wrote: Not only will this make CAM recordings more rare It will make them more elite and thus more sought after by release groups.
Piracy groups always go for quality first. Besides, once someone cracks the DVD the copying game is over.

Re:Not likely. (3, Funny)

Photo_Nut (676334) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535849)

Ok, so I'm replying to myself.

If I wanted to get a shaky-hand-held-recording, I could just take a nice clear rip downloaded from the local pirate server, and record it with a camcorder.

But what's the point. I know... you were joking.

Re:Not likely. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9535863)

Of course no group would release a cam if the DVD was out!

Speed is king though, if nothing else is available a cam will be released. A little later maybe a telesync, a screener and finally months later a nice high quality retail DVD rip.

That's interesting. (5, Funny)

Photo_Nut (676334) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535814)

I don't suppose anyone is going to come up with an argument saying that they are in the theaters with their camcorders excersizing their right to time shift... :)

Re:That's interesting. (4, Funny)

fenix down (206580) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535963)

"Zzzzzzzzzzz..."
"Sir..."
"Zzzzzzzwhazat?"
"Yea h, uh, we're gonna be placing you under arrest..."
"What? Oh, no, It's cool, I was kinda sleepy, so I'm time-shifting this for tomorrow morning."
"Well, all right."
"Yeah, whatever. ZZZZzzzzzzz..."

Re:That's interesting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9536002)

Just say you were recording the couple having sex behind you!

Surely this is a civil, not a criminal matter... (2, Insightful)

Catroaster (176308) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535815)

I would have thought that night-vision equipment and kicking perpetrators out of cinemas would work.

Just Camcorders? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9535816)

If so, then all of us button mashing gamers are ready with our mighty cell phone cameras! I mean, who CAN'T take 30 pictures a second after beating R-Type?

You'd get less time... (5, Insightful)

EvilCabbage (589836) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535822)

... if you beat up a video store clerk and steal some real, actual copies of a film on DVD or VHS.

I'm not standing up for the crime, but isn't the punishment supposed to match it?

Sickening...

What Country are YOU living in? (5, Insightful)

Mark_MF-WN (678030) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535842)

What country are YOU living in? Here in America (by which I mean the USA and Canada), punishment rarely fits the crime. If you steal a billion dollars from investors, you'll be asked to retire and pay a fine. Steal a hundred dollars from a liquour store, and you'll get twenty years in jail.

Pirating films isn't white-collar enough to warrant a light sentence. The only crimes that have stiff sentences are the ones that wealthy people don't commit.

Re:What Country are YOU living in? (0, Troll)

91degrees (207121) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535860)

Here in America (by which I mean the USA and Canada), punishment rarely fits the crime. If you steal a billion dollars from investors, you'll be asked to retire and pay a fine. Steal a hundred dollars from a liquour store, and you'll get twenty years in jail.

Ah yes, but most people who steal from liquor stores have commited many other crimes, and are likely to commit a lot more, whereas white collar criminals tend to only commit one crime.

Re:What Country are YOU living in? (4, Funny)

Mycroft_VIII (572950) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535943)

Well actually it's they tend to only get caught in one (or one related set of) crime(s) then wise up and become a professional crook by running for office.

Mycroft

Re:What Country are YOU living in? (1)

Roger Keith Barrett (712843) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535948)

Are you really this big of an idiot or are you trolling?

Re:What Country are YOU living in? (1)

EvilCabbage (589836) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535954)

A little from column A, a little from column B.

Re:What Country are YOU living in? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535979)

Yup. Guilty as charged. ;)

Re:What Country are YOU living in? (1)

cpghost (719344) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535953)

Some crimes are more effective than others. White collar crimes are generally much more profitable, so you don't need to be a repeat offender if you get it right the first time. Sigh.

Re:What Country are YOU living in? (5, Insightful)

orthogonal (588627) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535958)

Ah yes, but most people who steal from liquor stores have committed many other crimes, and are likely to commit a lot more, whereas white collar criminals tend to only commit one crime.

Huh, that's funny. I'd have sworn Dennis Koslowski [nydailynews.com] is accused not only of looting his own company, but tax evasion in the millions as well -- and various conspiracies to cover up his alleged crimes.

Not to mention the allegations against Ken Lay and the other alleged Enron conspirators : not only are they alleged to have conned their own investors, they are also alleged to have manufactured fake power shortages in order to over-charge California, according to seized tapes: [cbsnews.com]
"They're fucking taking all the money back from you guys?" complains an Enron employee on the tapes. "All the money you guys stole from those poor grandmothers in California?"


"Yeah, grandma Millie, man"

"Yeah, now she wants her fucking money back for all the power you've charged right up, jammed right up her asshole for fucking $250 a megawatt hour."

And the tapes appear to link top Enron officials Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling to schemes that fueled the crisis.

"Government Affairs has to prove how valuable it is to Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling," says one trader.


But even if you were correct in claiming that "white collar criminals tend to only commit one crime", if that single crime nets the criminal millions of dollars, well, those ill-gotten gains will last a lifetime longer than the take from knocking over a liqueur store.

I'm sure that if by robbing a liqueur store you could make millions, the hold up men would be happy to retire afterward -- or be driven out of thievery by competition from greedy MBAs.

But tell me one thing: why are you so willing to be sympathetic to those who steal the investments of pensioners and pension plans in order to live it up yachting on the Riviera, and so unsympathetic to the poor junkie from the projects who just wants to steal enough to get by for one more miserable day?

Why do we allow the wealthy to bend us over and rob us, and then fawn all over them at their parole parties? Why do we beleive that a CEO really "earns" a salary plus benefits in the tens of millions of dollars, while the average worker gets his jib outsourced?

Is it because we respect wealth -- earned or stolen -- so much, or just because we respect ourselves so little?

Is this still the country that Jefferson and the Adamses risked their "lives, fortunes, and scared honors" for, or some European-style feudalism with the thieving rich taking the place of an idle aristocracy?

Re:What Country are YOU living in? (5, Insightful)

edalytical (671270) | more than 10 years ago | (#9536009)

most people who steal from liquor stores have commited many other crimes, and are likely to commit a lot more

I thought you could only be punished for crimes you have been charged for and found guilty of having commit. Not for crimes you may have done or are likely to do.

Re:What Country are YOU living in? (4, Insightful)

EvilCabbage (589836) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535866)

I live in that big brown land of Australia.

We're a bit behind the times down here. I can't think of any recent examples of a local company using it's financial power to put draconian laws into affect. Give us another six months or so to catch up on that one.
Hopefully we'll tear up and burn that Fraud Trade Agreement Bush "offered" us, and we won't have to worry about it any time soon either.

Answer: Mediocre Operating System (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9535883)

"What could make a print job spool at unusually slow rates to the printer?"

In my experience, glacially slow printing times can usually be traced back to a third-rate operating system. As you've no doubt discovered since installing Linux, printer hassles [catb.org] are among the countless inconveniences you must suffer if you insist on using an operating system with no polish, no professionalism and no sense of responsibility to the end user. I would suggest buying a Mac, or, at the very least, switching back to Windows XP.

Good luck.

Re:You'd get less time... (0)

mumblestheclown (569987) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535868)

I'm not standing up for the crime, but isn't the punishment supposed to match it?

Let me guess--you're one of those people who thinks that corporate executives should get many years in prison rather than fines because of the economic damage their misdeeds cause.

Well, movie pirates likewise cause millions in economic damage.

Re:You'd get less time... (5, Insightful)

EvilCabbage (589836) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535893)

"Let me guess--you're one of those people who thinks that corporate executives should get many years in prison rather than fines because of the economic damage their misdeeds cause."
There is real, measurable damage when some clown in a business suit robs someone of their retirement fund. They destroy lives. I'm yet to see a poor starving industry executive begging me for money when I buy my groceries because some kid downloaded a copy of "Crossroads".

"Well, movie pirates likewise cause millions in economic damage."
If I hadn't been able to download a few episodes of The Sopranos, I never would have bought the entire DVD collection. Viewing times just don't suit my work habits unfortunately, and I'm not abou to shell out $100 on something that might just be garbage.

But wait, you're talking about those poor unfortunate people like set builders and painters, the hard workers who make their living supporting the movie industry, and I'm hurting them, right?
If that's the case, they'd have a big complaint to lodge with those behind Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow. The whole movie filmed without a single set being built, everything CG apart from the main actors.
The movie industry is playing catch-up to consumer demands. They either adapt, of their business model dies.
Is it really that hard to grasp?

Re:You'd get less time... (2, Insightful)

mumblestheclown (569987) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535961)

There is real, measurable damage when some clown in a business suit robs someone of their retirement fund

Sigh. Would it be too much to ask you to think for one minute before posting? What the hell do you think 'retirement funds' invest in? That's right - for profit businesses! So when you hurt for-profit companies, you hurt the poor old people with the retirement funds AND ultimately the set painters and whatever other lovable tramp characters you want to put in your menagerie.

The "Adapt or your business model dies" argument of yours in this case is bullshit. There is a difference between a real technological shift and new methods of crime. The existence of bricks don't obsolete car windows or cause us to scream about how the car window manufacturers need to come up with new brick-resistant windows or go out of business. Rather, we say "find the idiots who are throwing bricks through windows." Movies have kept up with technological shifts in moviemaking quite well. But piracy is still piracy, even if you try to excuse it as "some kid downloading a copy of crossroads." at the end of the day, IN AGGREGATE, that kid IS hurting your hypothetical retirement fund.

Re:You'd get less time... (2, Interesting)

EvilCabbage (589836) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535973)

So you're saying that somebody distributing film has the same adverse affect on a retirement fund as misreporting of figures and stealing from the shareholders?

Can you come over and do my taxes? You appear to be better with magical numbers than my accountant.

Re:You'd get less time... (4, Insightful)

freejung (624389) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535917)

Well, movie pirates likewise cause millions in economic damage

They do. But this law would give you up to three years in prison even if you don't do it for profit. While many people stealing movies for personal use may collectively cause millions in economic damage, individually you have only cost a few bucks. So the punishment should fit the crime, that is, it should only be worth a few bucks, not millions.

If somebody pirates a movie for profit and makes millions themselves, I can see this argument holding and requiring a stiff sentence. But for individual pirates stealing for personal use, it's just insane.

Re:You'd get less time... (4, Insightful)

Granos (746051) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535898)

... if you beat up a video store clerk and steal some real, actual copies of a film on DVD or VHS.

I'm not standing up for the crime, but isn't the punishment supposed to match it?


Great analogy, except that you're comparing the ACTUAL time you would probably get for a crime to the MAXIMUM time you could get for another crime. The MAXIMUM punishment for felony aggravated assault and felony robbery would probably be about 30+ years, depending on the state. Why do people on slashdot have such trouble comprehending maximum punishment? Go look at some laws. Most crimes have suprisingly high maximum punishents. Most people don't get the maximum. That's why it's called a maximum punishment, not a standard punishemnt.

Re:You'd get less time... (2, Insightful)

EvilCabbage (589836) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535922)

30+ years? Excellent. I'm glad punks that beat up on store clerks can potentially get that kind of punishment, but tell me how often that happens in practice.

Someone steals $500 from a convenience store, they're not going to go down for 30 years. They'll get a few months and then maybe 12 months of probation.

Sitting in a cinema with a camcorder should not be punishable by any prison time. It is not a violent act, it makes nobody rich, it isn't going to fund any drug cartel. It is a simple civil violation, not something comitted by a criminal mastermind or a thug with a weapon.

I stand by my original comment.

Re:You'd get less time... (1)

andykim (620746) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535913)

But you wouldn't beat up a video clerk and steal some million copies of dvds. On the other hand, that camcorder version of the film could get distributed to a million people because the intent is certainly not to have it for a personal library. I don't think the punishment is too harsh for the crime.

Re:You'd get less time... (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535952)

But from that one DVD copy of the film you steal, you can rip it to divx or whatever and still distribute it to millions of people, and at higher quality than a shakey-cam copy.

Re:You'd get less time... (1)

andykim (620746) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535991)

Yes, you are correct. Except that you would obviously have to wait until the DVD is released. The whole point of the cam is to capture the film at the opening day or earlier.

Re:You'd get less time... (1)

EvilCabbage (589836) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535998)

Yeah, I was waiting for that one ;)
Still, I won't sit and watch a dodgy handycam version of anything at my desk. I'd much rather seek out those leaked screeners. Haven't heard of any big 'cracking down' on those lately...

Re:You'd get less time... (2, Insightful)

kanthoney (80093) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535986)

Criminal masterminds with access to a duplication unit capable of running off millions of DVDs do not sit in cinemas with camcorders. They hand that job off to an underling.

Re:You'd get less time... (1)

rk (6314) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535992)

That's exactly what I've said with respect to filesharing for music. The penalties will soon be higher for swapping mp3s than just going into a record store and shoplifting. Which is easier to get away with is an exercise left to the perpetrator.

What about.... (2, Interesting)

SlashdotLemming (640272) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535825)

I was on vacation recently, running around with the camcorder. Almost stopped to see a movie as a break. Glad I didn't....

Re:What about.... (1)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535887)

Hey, if the theater owners/managers are smart, they'll treat customers politely, and either allocate a small room towards storing camcorders for people (like a coat check room), or ask them to leave them in their vehicles.

Most people who are not planning on pirating movies will respond favourably to the above cases. Most movie pirates... well, odds are once a couple of them get busted, the rest will figure it's not really worth the effort to sneak one in.

Of course, at the rate technology seems to be going, it shouldn't be too long before someone manages to build a recorder into a pair of glasses and records the movie that way.

Kierthos

Re:What about.... (1)

bdptcob (789266) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535968)

I've never known anyone that carries their camcorder around without a purpose. I've also never known anyone that happened to be on vacation, filming the city or what have you, and then be overcome with the sudden urge to pop in for a movie. But what will they do with their camcorder? Take in to the camcorder check room of course.

Re:What about.... (1)

mcheu (646116) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535997)

Hey, if the theater owners/managers are smart, they'll treat customers politely, and either allocate a small room towards storing camcorders for people (like a coat check room), or ask them to leave them in their vehicles.

The first option isn't likely to happen, and if it is offered, most people wouldn't be stupid enough to do it. A number of stores (some chain stores as well) have a policy where you have to check backpacks and shopping bags at customer service as you enter the store. But... the typical policy is also that if the items wander off, or get damaged, it's not their responsibility. I don't agree with it, but that's how it usually is.

As for asking people to leave their camcorders in their cars, many theatres are located in malls. While suburban malls have acres of parking, inside the city, parking is scarce, so many people just take public transit. If you get to the theatre, then have to go home and drop off your stuff and come back, people will go home, but they won't come back.

Of course, at the rate technology seems to be going, it shouldn't be too long before someone manages to build a recorder into a pair of glasses and records the movie that way.

Spytech already has something similar but I can't see anyone going through through all that cloak and daggar stuff just to scam a movie -- especially since the camera glasses cost as much as a camcorder does ($400 Canadian) with no built-in recording capabilities.

Why should taypayers pay for enforcement? (5, Insightful)

bollow (a) NoLockIn (785367) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535828)

If the movie industry wants regulation of what people can do in music theaters, I tend to think that they should be able to get whatever rules they want, as long as they pay the costs of enforcement. (by contrast, the internet "belongs to us", the world-wide user community, and no movie industry or music industry should be allowed to interfere with how we choose to network or computers together.)

But why on earth should taypayers have to pay for enforcement of these rules?

If preventing camcorders is movie theaters is so important to their business, they should pay for the cost of preventing it. Anything else is a form of subsidy of the music industry. Taypayer money should be spend on protecting the security of people. Subsidies (in any form) are justified only if an industry which is important for providing necessities of life to the population is otherwise likely to suffer significant harm. In this case, there is no justification: The movie industry does not provide any necessities, just luxerious. Also, the movie industry would be quite capable of paying the costs of enforcing the rules they asked for. By paying for enforcement of this rule, Senate intends to rob the poor (taypayers) and giev to the rich (movie industry).

Re:Why should taypayers pay for enforcement? (4, Insightful)

TheFlyingGoat (161967) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535855)

I stand corrected in my other post... I guess people will get worked up over this. So what you're saying is that we shouldn't have to pay for law enforcement to stop people from robbing your local McDonalds as well? If something is wrong, it's wrong, and if there's a law made against it, then officers should be in place to uphold that law. Otherwise our laws mean nothing. If you don't like this law, use your vote to show that. I really don't mind the government spending less than a penny per person on this when they're throwing a lot more money around on REALLY stupid projects.

Re:Why should taypayers pay for enforcement? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9535903)

[Insert standard argument why copying stuff isn't really a crime but stealing (ie. taking physical items from others) is]

And 3 years? wtf?

Re:Why should taypayers pay for enforcement? (1)

bollow (a) NoLockIn (785367) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535964)

So what you're saying is that we shouldn't have to pay for law enforcement to stop people from robbing your local McDonalds as well?

No, that falls under "protecting the security of people", in this case of the people working at McDonalds.

I don't object to using tay money on enforcing laws against robbery. Regardless of whether using a camcording in a cinema is legal or not, it's definately not a form of robbery. It's something else.

Answer: Mediocre Operating System (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9535988)

"What could make a print job spool at unusually slow rates to the printer?"

In my experience, glacially slow printing times can usually be traced back to a third-rate operating system. As you've no doubt discovered since installing Linux, printer hassles [catb.org] are among the countless inconveniences you must suffer if you insist on using an operating system with no polish, no professionalism and no sense of responsibility to the end user. I would suggest buying a Mac, or, at the very least, switching back to Windows XP.

Good luck.

Re:Why should taypayers pay for enforcement? (4, Insightful)

MancDiceman (776332) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535897)

Using the same argument, why should taxpayers pay for the enforcement of the law regarding bank robberies instead of the banks? Or murder? Surely, if I get murdered, it's my responsibility to bequeath enough money to ensure my killer is caught?

$5 million is a tiny, tiny fraction of the amount of tax revenue the entire movie industry (studios, distributors, cinemas, actors, crew, etc.) bring in annually. In short, by paying their taxes, the film industry is in fact paying for the enforcement of these laws. The "why should taxpayers pay?" line is so broken, you really go and do some very, very basic study of economics.

Re:Why should taypayers pay for enforcement? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9535906)

You wrote taypayers three times in your post. I must inform you that your keyboard is broken!

Re:Why should taypayers pay for enforcement? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9535916)

It doesn't matter if you think about it, if the movie companies have to foot the bill then they will just pass the costs on to their customers.

Screwed no matter what you do.

Re:Why should taypayers pay for enforcement? (2, Insightful)

msblack (191749) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535927)

Aha, so taxpayers should only pay for occupying countries like Iraq and Afghanistan which may hurt American security but not for protection from people trying to steal property from my home? Or should police only protect property of private homes but not business? What about Bill Gates' home? He's very wealthy and could afford his own army.

There's a strong case for protecting property and it seems Slashdot readers believe intellectual property should be free as it is in places like Thailand or China where enforcement is lax or nonexistent.

There's no instrinsic right to steal the property of others whether it be tangible like grandma's life savings or the intellectual property of powerful media conglomerates. A free market allows selllers to set the price of their merchandise or services. As movies are not a life necessity like food, housing, medicine, or housing, I don't see that media companies can be accused of overcharging for entertainment. This issue has nothing to do with the home taping act or unreasonably long copyright protections. This is plain theft.

Thank God this passed.... (5, Funny)

Iam18grey (732026) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535831)

I'm sick of shaky camcorder job movies I've been downloading on Shareaza. Hopefully this will make the movies shared on P2P networks better quality.

Demand (4, Insightful)

Cinematique (167333) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535832)

There's an obvious demand for movies currently playing in theaters to be offered at home. HBO was originally founded on this notion, IIRC.

Solution: offer movies-on-demand at the same time they play in theaters.

Why miss out on profits from those that download these bootleg movies or buy them off the street? They could offer the movies for $4 a pop and people would buy.

I can't wait for an iTunes for movies.

Re:Demand (1)

.orvp (208389) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535938)

I fail to see where this is insightfull, even if it is just one moderation point. Sure, lets have new movies go to pay-per-view where the viewer can rip the movie all he wants in higher quality than he could have done with a camcorder. I mean, yea, it is a great way to keep the cams out of the movie theaters, it is also a great way to hurt the theater industy, and a great way to make it easier for bootlegers.

I don't necessarily disagree with the intent but.. (3, Insightful)

supersandra (788539) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535835)

I think that this is totally a legitimate thing to get people in trouble for... but I mean, 3 years if you didn't profit from it? 3 years seems harsh even for the people who sell those bad VCDs of movies in theatres.

If I broke out my cell phone video recorder and took a quick clip of a movie, does that warrant 3 years in prison?

Non-profit (1)

XanC (644172) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535901)

It's pretty easy to argue that the l33t h4x0r who grabs the video and then puts it out for Kazaa or torrenting does more damage to the producers than the guy selling CDs for $5 a copy.

Re:I don't necessarily disagree with the intent bu (2, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535919)

I think that this is totally a legitimate thing to get people in trouble for... but I mean, 3 years if you didn't profit from it?

Just wait until they make the logical extension. Filming a movie with a camcorder is no different than copying a CD or video. No different at all.

3 years federal time, buddy.

Distributing it will get you, oh, two more.

Oh, by the way, Federal laws already have redefined "profit" as possession, since you "profited" by not having to buy the item in question, so it's impossible not to profit from it by those laws. They just need to notice that they've already done that elsewhere and move it over.

KFG

Re:I don't necessarily disagree with the intent bu (1)

devnullify (561782) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535944)

Just wait until they make the logical extension. Filming a movie with a camcorder is no different than copying a CD or video. No different at all.

Except that the experience is severely degraded from the source media. Just wait until they make that logical extension. You'll be in jail 25 years for copying a CD.

The only real difference is that in the case of CD (well any phyiscal media), you're paying to actually purchase something tangible. When you go to the theatre, you're paying only for that specific performance.

Re:I don't necessarily disagree with the intent bu (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535970)

The only real difference is that in the case of CD (well any phyiscal media), you're paying to actually purchase something tangible.

Who said anything about buying anything? I got the CD from the library or borrowed it from a friend. Same for the video. Or maybe I rented. Same diff.

Except that the experience is severely degraded from the source media.

Well, but see, there we've got a problem. All these draconian digital copying laws are because, so they tell us, the copies are of such high quality. That's the only reason they've had to be so firm.

So if the camcorder copies really, really suck. . .

KFG

Less Than A Penny (1)

TheFlyingGoat (161967) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535837)

That will end up costing each of us about 1/2 of one cent per year until 2009 then. I don't know... doesn't really matter to me except I'll have to wait for the movies to come out on DVD. I still go to at least 3 movies a month and purchase 2 DVD's per week, so I never felt bad about watching the occassional cam'd movie. Whatever... I'm guessing that even here on Slashdot people won't find anything too exciting about this.

Telesync (1)

Nermal6693 (622898) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535838)

Just out of interest, how does a telesync work? Does it still use a camcorder? They certainly look a lot better than the typical "cam" releases.

Re:Telesync (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9535856)

For the record telesync is when audio is captured directly off the reel and a high quality camcorder is setup in an empty theather to capture the film on theater as best as possible. telecine captures everything directly of the reel and is usually as good as vhs/dvd.

Re:Telesync (1)

Artega VH (739847) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535888)

Why not try to google for it? [google.com.au]

The 2nd result [divx-digest.com] seems to answer your question...

How many... (2, Insightful)

NEOtaku17 (679902) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535841)

How many years would I get if I physically broke into the theatre and started attacking the manager with a baseball bat? Less then 10 years I assure you.

It's just the beginning (2, Interesting)

OMG (669971) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535843)

Welcome to the free world ... free for whom?

Considering (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9535845)

Considering most good quality pirated movies are captured in empty theaters with the help of theater employee's I'm wondering how it will be enforced? I'm sure it's easy to bust some guy with a camcorder in a crowded theater but what about the people that record telecine copies?

Re:Considering (1)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535899)

True. I know from experience that theater employees will play the movies a day or two before the release date, if for no other reason then to make sure there are no obvious defects on their copy. It would be relatively simple for a trusted employee or a theater manager to make dupes, especially when they are the only one in the theater.

Kierthos

Re:Considering (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9535929)

Considering most hot-ticket summer blockbusters are developing their DVD content before the film is even in theaters, I don't see why camcorders are even necessary. Post houses like Deluxe [bydeluxe.com] or Ascent [ascentmedia.com] are just overflowing with digital content that won't hit the streets for months. Any lower quality is a waste of time. If you're going to steal, might as well get it from the source...

WHAT?!?! (2, Interesting)

mboverload (657893) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535847)

Since when did the MPAA buy every senator? 3 YEARS for RECORDING light reflecting off a viynl backdrop? Total bull.

oh well (2, Insightful)

grahagre (459342) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535848)

as phone camera recording devices get more compact and small, the less this bill would have an effect on the general public that goes out to see movies. hell, i've even taken my sony clie ux-50 to a movie to record part of it just for the hell of doing it. it's not going to change much for the most part ;-P

Victims (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9535852)

Think about the victims... of rape laws, murder laws, theft laws, laws against blowing up buildings, laws against screwing your neighbors goat...

These victims serve time when convicted. Don't forget the victims.

Augh what the HELL?! (1)

Ikari Gendou (93109) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535853)

Christ they haven't KILLED ANYONE. Three years in a Federal "POUND-ME-IN-THE-ASS" prison. Does that sound pretty messed up to anyone else?
The criminal justice system makes less and less sense as the years go by.

Re:Augh what the HELL?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9535874)

Sure it makes sense. America is a police state dictatorship. Welcome to the future.

Re:Augh what the HELL?! (4, Insightful)

halowolf (692775) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535911)

It is the US Senate that made this bill into law. I suggest that you first start with fixing the way that your government is seemingly bought off at every turn by political "donations". It is so easy to see what is happening I don't understand why it is tolerated. I mean its corruption isn't it? Just corruption that is deemed acceptable.

Of course a counter argument is that we can play that game as well by paying off senators to help us instead of big business, but I'm sure big business has deeper pockets from which to give. Deep pockets that we as consumers give them. I'm sure there are controls on the size of "donations" but it creates an inherent conflict of interest that, in my opinion, shouldn't be tolerated.

Now label me as a troll and move along.

Re:Augh what the HELL?! (2, Informative)

Mycroft_VIII (572950) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535982)

Actually the senate HAS NOT made this a law, they only passed it, it still has to pass the house. Then the President has to sign it. considering it was Unanimous, these seem fairly likely though.
In fact since the house hasn't passed it(unless I missed that in the article), they could quite easily drop it, or change it 1 year / 2 years or 10/50 years or whatever they feel like. Of course if they change it the senate has to re-pass the changed version and so on till they both agree and then Bush still has to sign it.

Mycroft

Phht (3, Interesting)

Mark_MF-WN (678030) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535854)

When they started playing ads in theatres, they lost their right to complain about piracy. So I say screw 'em.

I personally pledge to download and share one movie for every commercial that I see in a movie theater.

Re:Phht (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9535914)

This really confuses me.
In the UK we've always had averts before the movie - as far back as i've been going to the cinema.
i'm 35 btw.
It's ad's/trailers/movie.
Usually the best quality tv ad's (fx wise) have been shown in cinemas first.

Re:Phht (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9535959)

Indeed, I recall seeing an ad before Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom in a UK theater... the ad was for a bank, and it featured Vyvyan from "The Young Ones" trying to open an account. Brilliant stuff.

Re:Phht (5, Informative)

karstux (681641) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535951)

Of course it sucks when you have to watch ads just after having had to pay a good deal of cash for the right to watch a movie. But I don't think the cinemas would survive without the ads - since most of the ticket price goes directly to the distributor.

Here at least (germany), the cinemas live on the ads, popcorn and cola - not on the movies. It's a neccessary evil, and completely unrelated to the copyright issue.

Victims Prosecuted! (2, Funny)

TheOtherKiwi (743507) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535857)

"Victims of the new bill would face 3 years in prison on first offense" -

Whoa! Victims are prosecuted now? Sheesh, where I come from, its perps that get it...to each their own it guess.

What happens (1)

mocm (141920) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535861)

if a reporter tapes a part of a movie shown by some criminal (or even terrorist) organization, or maybe just as part of investigating a sekt?
Now, the reporter can be thrown in jail for that.
You would probably not even be able to film audience reaction to a movie. Of course, people will say that those are exceptions and the main purpose of a camera in a movie theater is to commit a copyright violation, which the mere filming would not be, because copyright is about distribution.

"New" law? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9535862)

In Soviet Russia,
Camcorder reports on YOU!

Bad joke, I know

Seriously though, how is this any different from what we have now? Movie theaters already try to prevent this kind of piracy; is it merely the penalty that has changed, or are the cops going to be expected to enforce it? (not that they have anything better to do :P)

RsG

People who secretly videotape movies (4, Funny)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535871)

People who secretly videotape movies when they are shown in theaters could go to prison for up to three years under a bill approved unanimously by the U.S. Senate on Friday. ---TFA


This is good! It looks like if you blatently go in a theater and tape you are free in clear. Fuck this secret business, I want my cam download to look like MST3k with heckling. Oh, and the shadows of heads holding camcorders is a bonus for those of us who want that black space filled with something when we view in letterbox format.

telesync and telecine (5, Informative)

Depris (612363) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535876)

For the record telesync is when audio is captured directly off the reel and a high quality camcorder is setup in an empty theather to capture the film on as best as possible. telecine captures everything directly off the reel and is usually as good as vhs/dvd. both methods usually accomplished with help of theater employee's.

One word. (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535878)

Plutocracy.

Re:One word. (1)

cpghost (719344) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535989)

Pluto or Goofy?

Re:One word. (1)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | more than 10 years ago | (#9536003)

You are in America dude.

Step right up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9535886)

This is the most straightforward case of bought-and-paid-for legislation that you are likely to see in your lifetimes! Pay attention! Now is the time for all good corporations to come to the aid of their companies! Take heed! The system works! Please have your ticket ready.

Re:Step right up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9535892)

Yeah, fight the power! Two legs good, four legs better! Oranges and lemons say the bells of St. Sazerac! Bitter is the truth.

New Moderation Bylaws (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9535889)

I propose that Malda ratifiy new bylaws for moderation. Moderators must qualify on all the following points to be moderators.

1. Moderators must be at least 13 years of age.
2. Moderators must get laid regularly.
3. Moderators must have a halfway decent education.
4. Moderators must have less than seventy-five zits.
5. Moderators must not be social outcasts.
6. Moderators must know how to spell and type.
7. Moderators must demonstrate impartiality.

It is my sincere belief that if there be any moderation system at Slashdot, then certain norms must be followed - foremost by the moderators. Today the posters are not the issue - the moderators are. Mod points are grafted to friends who can continue to 'astro-turf' the discussions.

The common way for these 'regular moderators' whose points never run out is to up anything they agree with and down anything they don't agree with.

But free speech and debate do not work that way. The purpose of free speech and discussion is to arrive at truth.

The moderators at Slashdot today are brown shirts.

(And brown noses.)

Touch of bias in the article (2, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535895)

Copies of hit movies frequently show up on the Internet while they're still in theaters, allowing skinflint fans to see new releases like "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" without coughing up the price of a ticket.

There are other reasons. In some countries, it hasn't even been released yet! And when it is released it's going to be dubbed. I don't think it's too tightfisted to not want to buy an airline ticket to another country just to see the film in the correct language.

And why is this suddenly a problem? You've been able to get pirate videos since the 1980's. Exactly the same thing - recorded on a camcorder. The only difference is that the distribution method has changed. Changed to one that doesn't actually make the copiers any money!

Re:Touch of bias in the article (1)

swiftstream (782211) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535926)

"And when it is released it's going to be dubbed."

Hehe. I line in Ukraine, and it's showing in theaters here. I haven't been to see it, but apparently They've dubbed Ron's voice with a girl...

It's another superfluous law. (1)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535904)

Legislators don't resepct economy and efficiency like our crowd does.

Optimally, the theaters should throw those people out and ban them from the premises. This won't deter anybody but the stupid and the naive.

US Senate wisdom... (1)

cpghost (719344) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535934)

From the people who brought you CAN SPAM!

Corporate Coruption (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9535962)

Can anyone tell me the last bill that was presented by the people of america and not a corporation that was pased and made into law.. All these bills take rights away so corporations can profit. I just saw fahrenheit 9/11. As a canadian i think EVERY US citizen should see this movie.. I swear things are sooo fucked in your country the only thing that can save it is your consitution.. use all those guns you own and use your right to take up arms and take this evil regime out of power.. peace..

Re:Corporate Coruption (5, Funny)

Jarnis (266190) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535981)

Farenheit 9/11? Got any links to a .torrent of good telecine/telesync of it? :p

(ooops)

Irrelevant legislation (5, Informative)

Jarnis (266190) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535965)

Nobody bothers with cam copies anymore anyway. You can find good telecines/telesyncs within a few days of release already.

Telesync = empty theater, cam on a tripod, sound from the theater sound panels. So theater employees are helping or doing it. Studio's own fault for not securely handling the prints/theaters. Ah but the theaters want to get by with just one guy running multiple showings being paid just bit over minimum wage while working long hours. And you wonder why these guys 'leak' stuff?

Telecine = print of the movie, telecine machine, basically an unauthorized film-to-digital transfer. Requires complete access to the print at a location with a telecine machine. DEFINITELY means that studios don't handle the security of the prints as they should. Nobody should be able to walk out of a theater with the print to telecine it. Meaning some prints end up in wrong hands - either out of the theaters or from the studios themselves.

And since law is apparently only vs. cammers, getting the print telecined is still apparently just a copyright infringement.

Of course buying a law against teleciners would make the studios admit that their prints are not handled securely and that the movie theater employees are leaking like hell. If pirates commonly can get the whole print in their hands and run it thru a telecine machine at their leisure, that would possibly wake up the lawmakers that this law is beyond stupid and does nothing to curb piracy.

"I need to get out of here" (5, Interesting)

boijames (641781) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535967)

A friend of mine who is over here for a year on training (he's from Germany) had the best reply to this one: "This country is just going nuts.. I dont .. I really dont even know what to say. ... I just need to.. heh, get out of here as soon as possible.."

It's a sad day when you realize youre no longer internally proud of your own country.. that it's abandoned its own values and is becoming a de facto police state.

What happened, guys??

Man!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9535971)

Man I wish I were In the USA!
You get three - ten years of guarenteed food and
acommodation

--
George U(nder) Bush

Another example of corrupt politicians (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9535972)

This kind of law is another example of legislation that could only ever be passed in a corporate dictatorship. This law fits the definition of political corruption - an obviously bought law. If there were similar penalties for price fixing or anti-competitive behaviour, perhaps that would go some way to deterring music company executives from their criminal behaviour. A prison sentence of any type is obviously absurd for something as benign as filming a cinema screen. Systems like region coding (which tramps all over free trade laws), and digital rights management (which makes it impossible for consumers to excercise their right to make copies on alternative media, or backups) are the problem for those greedy companies. They are angering consumers, already tired of their dismal formulaic offerings, and not able to purchase movies/music in the way the want to (again because of outdated distribtion systems of greedy record companies), then blaming the consumers for a decline in record sales. Music is overpriced, films are overpriced. Record and movie prices probably belong at about 25% of the present level. Maybe when they reach this point, and the quality improves, i would buy CDs or movies again.

Need something to compare this to (1)

broothal (186066) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535975)

Any locals that can post some comparison punishments? I think 3-5 years in prison is way out of line, but then again - it has to match the rest of the court system. So - how does this compare to other crimes?

makes Ralph Nader more attractive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9535977)

Do either of the so-called "mainstream" political parties have a clue? NO. When it comes to tech issues, Ralph Nader [votenader.com] is the only major politician who stands up against the techno-fascists. He is one of the few with a clue.

Don't expect any real change until you start voting for real change.

More wasted tax money? (1)

thogard (43403) | more than 10 years ago | (#9535987)

If you don't like this, call up your local senators' offices and ask they how they voted on this. If they voted (they most likly didn't vote at all), then ask why they think they can get away with spending another 5 million dollars of your money to protect a 5 billion dollar industry which already does this its self? If they get enough calls, then they might just wake up but at this point they just listen to the people who scream the most.

Has anyone here ever seen a camcorder recorded movie? I'm guessing they have no negitive impact on good movies and not enough people see them to help kill the crud off faster.

The idiots in the house seem to think they have an endless supply to cash to buy friends who will help their contributions at the next election. maybe they would get a clue if more people let them know they weren't happy with the way they voted.

And? (2, Funny)

cyberzephyr (705742) | more than 10 years ago | (#9536008)

"As a side note, it will cost taxpayers an additional 5 million dollars per year through 2009 for enforcement."

And Popcorn and hotdogs costs how much?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>