The Sun-Times is reporting that a 22-year-old Chicago woman has been arrested and charged with a felony after taping 4 minutes of “New Moon” during her sister’s surprise 29th birthday party. (Update: the charges have now been dropped.)
Managers saw the woman taping and called the police, who examined the camera (a digital still camera that also takes short video segments) and say they found “two very short segments” that totaled no more than 4 minutes.
The alleged felony movie-taper says she was taking pictures of her family before the film and that nobody warned her.
From the Sun-Times:
“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.
As ads and previews ran on the big screen, she fiddled with the camera — which she got in July and is still learning how to work — and was surprised to see it took clear videos of the screen.
The footage she shot also includes the pre-film commercials, as well as her talking about the camera and the movie.
“You can hear me talking the whole time,” Tumpach said.
She plans to fight in court the felony filed against her because she said she did nothing wrong — and certainly didn’t try to secretly tape the movie.
“It was never my intention to record the movie,” she said.
The theater managers decided to press charges, so the woman spent two nights in jail and faces up to three years in prison.
Woman arrested for trying to record ‘Twilight’ on digital camera [Sun-Times] (Thanks, Thom!)