The MPAA is currently on a world tour trying to convince politicians to introduce legislation that criminalizes the recording of movies in cinemas. The MPAA already succeeded in Canada, Japan and Italy, and their next stop is the UK.
Their goal is to make movie camming a criminal instead of a civil offense to clear the way for more severe punishments. New laws often allow punishments up to several years jail time and exorbitant fines.
This week MPAA chairman Dan Glickman is visiting the UK to talk to UK film minister Margaret Hodge, advisors to the UK prime minister Gordon Brown, and representatives from the UK Film Council. Glickman will probably sum up the familiar made-up statistics we read in every MPAA press release to convince the lawmakers that pirates are in fact terrorists.
Crazy or not, unfortunately it seems like their approach is working. Theater owners slowly start to alienate their customers and go as fas as using metal detectors and night-vision goggles to track down movie cammers. Everyone could be a pirate these days and theater employees are trained and rewarded up to $500 for catching pirates.
As a result, a Virgina teenager was busted for recording a few seconds of the movie “Transformers” on her cell-phone. The only thing she wanted to do was show it to her 13 year old brother, however, under a new Zero-Tolerance Policy, police responded to the call from Regal Cinemas who promptly arrested Sejas.
On a sidenote, Hollywood just had its best summer ever. In a response to this great news MPAA chairman Dan Glickman said “As Shakespeare said, ‘The play is the thing.’ As long as we offer good quality stories that people like and a comfortable place to see them, people will go to the movies.” A comfortable place? Right.