Woman Sues Movie Theater After Being Arrested For Filming Twilight Scenes

A woman who was arrested last November during a screening of whatever Twilight movie was in theaters at the time has filed suit against the movie chain. She says that she only filmed two short sequences, the opening credits and a moment when her “favorite actor” took off his shirt. Wisely, she does not say in her lawsuit whether she’s Team Beefcake or Team Emo, or my niece would possibly go ballistic.

The lawsuit, which seeks $50,000 in damages, claims the woman did not film with intent to pirate the movie, that instead she was having fun with her friends and family at a birthday party at the Rosemont, Illinois, theater.

She took several photos of her friends before the movie, then shot the two video clips. She says she wasn’t made aware that filming the movie was against the law, but I’m not sure that will hold up in court. She also says, however that both the police and the MPAA advised that she be released, but that the theater’s manager insisted on her arrest “in a bid to win a financial reward.” Or he was on the other team, and offended by her tastes.

“Woman Jailed 2 Days for Filming Movie Screen Sues Theater” [Wired]

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. temporaryscars says:

    It sickens me to see grown ass women going nuts over such bland excrement that is obviously directed at 12-year-old girls.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      You could also say this about Harry Potter, but Harry Potter rocks.

      • TheFinalBoomer says:

        Hellz yeah!

        • Thespian says:

          I never really understood the appeal (for adults) of the Twilight series, or Harry Potter for that matter, but I still say that anything that gets kids to line up at a bookstore is a good thing.

      • Willow01 says:

        Just remember though, it’s ok for the 40+ year old women to be in love with Edward and Jacob even though they are just actors (above the legal age) portraying 17 year olds. Or were if I remember what I’m told. While the 40+ year old men are called pedo’s and sick for loving Hermoine (who’s being portrayed at the same age even with the actress being of legal age)

        Hooray double standards!

        • slappysquirrel says:

          I think part of the issue is that when we first see Hermione, she’s supposed to be eleven.

          Nobody thinks a guy who likes the actress herself is a freak, it’s just that the character is generally thought of as a little girl.

          Comparison “Man, I’m hot for Christina Ricci” is perfectly acceptable, “Man, I’m hot for Wednesday Addams” will get you uncomfortable stares.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          Like slappysquirrel said….the age is a factor in the weirdness. You also have to consider that Taylor Lautner (Jacob) is only 18. In the second movie, he went all buff and all the soccer moms went nuts and it was just downright WEIRD because he was so young in real life AND in the movie. If he was 24 playing 16 it wouldn’t have been as weird to like the actor (Robert Pattison is 24 playing an immortal 16 year old), but the fact that the actor and the character were the same age made it creepy because there was less of a distinction.

          • slappysquirrel says:

            I had missed that he was 18. I thought all the fuss was about the 24-year-old vampire kid.

    • the atomic bombshell says:

      Hey now, I definitely had better taste as a 12 year old girl.

      But then I lusted after Jupiter of the Three Investigators, and Captain Picard, so…maybe I don’t count.

      • Toffeemama is looking for a few good Otters says:

        When I was 12, my two favorite things were pro wrestling, and X-Files. Couldn’t get enough of ‘em. My parents were so good to humor me like that, come to think of it.

    • DanRydell says:

      It sickens me when people add “ass” to the end of an adjective AND forget the hyphen. You talk like a 12 year old boy.

    • NarcolepticGirl says:

      I get excited about seeing ducks in a park.
      And anything LEGO related.
      And japanese stationery characters.

      Some people go nuts over babies, iphones and dogs.

      Who cares?

      • Chris Walters says:

        Lego is opening a store this month at Rockefeller Center. I stumbled into it by accident on the first day it was open. There is an ENTIRE WALL of loose legos you can buy on a per-piece basis. Well, actually, it’s per cup: all you can fit in a cup, two sizes, $8 and $15. I had to be dragged out of the store.

        http://i47.tinypic.com/2udxsex.jpg

        • pantheonoutcast says:

          A Lego Store? As in a store that sells nothing but Legos? Yeah, fuck the recession.

          • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

            We hit the LEGO store at Downtown Disney in Florida just before we left to come home. I’d have to say that it was probably the most crowded store I saw in all of the Disney properties, hands-down. And yes, we did drop serious money there. /sigh

        • HogwartsProfessor says:

          I have a chat friend whom I MUST tell about that. He is a Lego fiend and does all these elaborate models (they’re awesome – I’ve seen pictures) and goes to shows with them and everything. He will freak!

        • BeFrugalNotCheap says:

          Chris….Buying LEGOs in bulk? OH. EM. GEE.
          I must go there….SOON.

        • kujospam says:

          Sigh, I would never leave except to poop in the lego toilet and eat on the lego plates. Sadly the lego plumbing keeps leaking strange odors and my plate always comes a bit melted when I order hot foods.

      • Link_Shinigami says:

        My old room mate had a thing for ducks. He even tried to catch them in parks, his girlfriend (Now fiancee) would always yell at him. I told him if he caught one, he could keep it but he had to take care of it. His girlfriend didn’t approve of that but what really scared her is, he was serious about wanting to catch/keep one, and I was serious about if he caught one, he could have free reign as long as he kept good care of it… She kept trying to act like it was a big joke and played it like it was one… My room mate was 25 at the time.

        It’s awesome when people find hilarious joy out of things they shouldn,t haha

    • dolemite says:

      I bet it also bugs you when adult men watch cartoons or read comics?

      Life is short…enjoy what interests you, and leave other people to their interests. Personally, I’m 35 and watch more Nickelodeon than anything else, because reality tv is for brain dead morons.

      • temporaryscars says:

        I have no problem with adults indulging in things that were aimed at children. I only have problems with adults indulging in childish dreck that holds no merit or value.

      • pot_roast says:

        If 35 year old men were lusting after movie characters like that, someone would be calling the police.

  2. ap0 says:

    Story of America: I don’t like the consequences of my actions, so I’ll sue someone to make it seem like I did nothing wrong!

  3. idip says:

    She wasn’t told video taping a movie is illegal?

    Sounds like the idiot drivers who go, “No one told me talking on the cell phone while driving is dangerous”…

    Wake up moron.

    :-/

    • AI says:

      There’s a big difference between filming the movie in its entirety, and filming a 10sec clip of a shirtless guy. If you make a cell phone call at a concert, are you not recording and rebroadcasting a short portion of the music? Yet nobody gets sued over that. Hell, if recording really short clips was illegal, The Captain Picard facepalm would be piracy.

    • slappysquirrel says:

      In DC we have a well-publicized exception to the cellphone laws for handsfree devices. Naturally if you’re using your handsfree device, the cops will ticket you anyway.

    • craptastico says:

      so we’ll have this lady to thank in two months when we have to sit through a “video taping this movie is illegal” screen in addition to the ones to turn off cell phones and the previews.

      • jurupa says:

        They already show such a notice the last time I was at the movie theaters.

        • Conformist138 says:

          It usually plays right before or after the “For the love of christ, turn off your cell phone, you mouth-breathing imbecile”-message. Some people are just too pitifully stupid to be allowed off-leash.

          Granted, actually being ARRESTED is pretty stupid, too. It looks like this woman, entering this theater, and watching Twilight resulted in a high concentration of idiocy and the universe had to forcefully clear the area.

    • obits3 says:

      Have you heard of “de minimis non curat lex” (the law does not care about trivial things)?

      Two small clips are trivial and not enought to constitute infringement; however, arresting someone over two small clips is a big deal. If the theater has no problem detaining someone over something so trivial, then the theater should have no problem paying her for violating her rights (something not so trivial). If you want to use the full force of the law on someone, then don’t be surprised when they use the full force of the law on you!
      “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” – Jesus

      • mac-phisto says:

        stand aside, judge judy – judge jesus is in the hizzie!

      • Randell says:

        The law does not care about trivial things? Are you out of your mind? I know people arrested over less than a joint of marijuana. I could also point out people who are fined $25 for having a meter expired for less than 2 minutes. Failing to pay the fine results in the inability to renew your license or possible forfeiture of your car.Trivial is in the eyes of the beholder. If she is using an affirmative defense, then she is the one required to prove there was no broken law. Saying it is only two scenes is NOT trivial. Lets say she placed those on youtube, and they were important scenes in the movie. Like a character dying. How about, when this stupid twat goes to a movie she follows the law and does not think she is above it

  4. AngryK9 says:

    Today must be the day that the “Frivolous Lawsuit Filers of America” unite in one great big waste of taxpayer money.

    • WiglyWorm must cease and decist says:

      This, as someone who cares about copyright law, is far from frivolous.

      Contrary to what the media associations want you to believe, recording, filming, or taking pictures of a movie, music broadcast, play, or ANYTHING else, is not a crime. In fact, copyright infringement isn’t a criminal offense and is not something you should even be able to be arrested for. It is a civil issue. You can be sued, but nothing more.

      For the record, copyright infringement is the act of DISTRIBUTING copyrighted material. It is not the act of copying it. If that were the case, DVRs, tape recorders, and VCRs would all be banned, when in fact the right to use them has been held up by the supreme court.

      Further, even while distributing it, as long as you are not doing it for profit, but instead for the purposes of comment, critique, analysis, education, research, etc., you are explicitly covered under the “Fair Use” portion of copyright law (article 107 covers fair use).

      • drizzt380 says:

        Contrary to what should be the case in a sane world, recording a movie can be considered a crime. I know of at least one time when it is.

        From the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act:

        “(a) Offense.–Any person who, without the authorization of the
        copyright owner, knowingly uses or attempts to use an audiovisual
        recording device to transmit or make a copy of a motion picture or other
        audiovisual work protected under title 17, or any part thereof, from a
        performance of such work in a motion picture exhibition facility,
        shall–
        “(1) be imprisoned for not more than 3 years, fined under
        this title, or both; or
        “(2) if the offense is a second or subsequent offense, be
        imprisoned for no more than 6 years, fined under this title, or
        both.

        You recorded a movie in a movie theater and didn’t even distribute it, well here you go, possible three years in prison.

        • ARVash says:

          The premise here is she DIDN’T intend to make a copy of the movie in question. She merely wished to take pictures of her daughters birthday party. She’s going to win this.

          • drizzt380 says:

            I thought we were talking about recording movies in general in this section?

            Either way, she admits to recording small segments of the movie specifically(like the shirtless thing), not only just happening to catch some pieces recording other people.

            But, the basic premise of my post still stands, that merely recording a movie in a theater intentionally(with intent to distribute or not) is currently a criminal offense punishable by up to three years in prison.

          • WiglyWorm must cease and decist says:

            Unfortunately, It’s more likely she’s going to settle it. I’d love to see a legal precedent set in court, though.

        • WiglyWorm must cease and decist says:

          Wow… I can honestly say I’ve NEVER heard of that law before, and it frightens the hell out of me.

          Do you have any links to cases of it being tested in court?

          I’d be highly interested, because both copyright and fair use are considered to be natural rights, so I think there’s a case to overturning a law which disallows you from exercising a natural right.

          • drizzt380 says:

            It is scary. I was actually trying to look up any law that might refer to copyright infringement taking place without distribution by recording something in a movie theater. Then I found that.

            Best thing I could find in actual trials was this one http://www.justice.gov/criminal/cybercrime/soaresCharge.htm where a large group was charged with provisions under that act and other things. If you search for family you get:

            September 26, 2005: Curtis Salisbury, 19, of St. Charles, Missouri, pleaded guilty to two charges under the recently enacted “Family Entertainment and Copyright Act of 2005,” including the first convictions in the country under new statutes for using recording equipment to make copies of movies in movie theaters

          • Billy says:

            You imply that your rights can never be taken away from you. Not true. Ask anybody in prison. In short, your rights may be taken away if the government acts within the meaning of due process of the law.

            Of course, in the context of copyright law, the copyright holder has his rights, too. Courts always balance the rights of the copyright holder and the rights of fair use. In the context of decades of copyright law, it would be highly unusual if this was a case that would set some type of precedent that would upset that dynamic.

      • DanRydell says:

        “Further, even while distributing it, as long as you are not doing it for profit, but instead for the purposes of comment, critique, analysis, education, research, etc., you are explicitly covered under the “Fair Use” portion of copyright law (article 107 covers fair use).”

        Leave out the part about profit; the way that reads, you’re fine as long as you don’t distribute for a profit. Really, your use has to fit into one of the specific categories of fair use (one of which is NOT “etc”) for it to not be a copyright violation. You listed the fair use categories, but the way you worded it was slightly confusing/misleading to someone who doesn’t understand copyright law. Many people believe that use defaults to fair use as long a you’re not making any money or making thousands of copies, which obviously is not true.

      • Griking says:

        “Contrary to what the media associations want you to believe, recording, filming, or taking pictures of a movie, music broadcast, play, or ANYTHING else, is not a crime. In fact, copyright infringement isn’t a criminal offense and is not something you should even be able to be arrested for. It is a civil issue. You can be sued, but nothing more.”

        Not only that, it’s annoying to the rest of us trying to watch the movie.

      • Billy says:

        For someone who cares about copyright law so much, you should be aware of the very first right of a copyright holder: the exclusive right to copy:

        US Code TITLE 17, CHAPTER 1 , § 106: Exclusive rights in copyrighted works:

        …the owner of copyright under this title has the exclusive rights to do and to authorize any of the following:

        (1) to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords….

        That means that only the copyright owner gets to do that. Mere copying is an infringement. It’s always meant that. Distribution is ANOTHER type of copyright violation. It may or may not factor in to a violation.

        You may also want to read the Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc. (the Sony Betamax case) to get the real scoop on why DVRs, tape recorders, and VCRs are allowed. The case doesn’t really focus on the distribution issue.

        Furthermore, the Fair Use factors are just that: Factors. The factors are explicitly laid out, but they play out differently in every case as they are balanced against other factors and you are not “explicitly covered”. (see Video-Cinema Films, Inc. v. Lloyd E. Rigler-Lawrence E. Deutsch Found where even a not-for-profit’s use of a minuscule amount of a movie was not fair use because it damaged the copyright holder’s ability to license the work.)

        • WiglyWorm must cease and decist says:

          You quoted article 106, and that’s good. However, you missed 107, and that’s equally important:

          § 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use

          Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include —

          (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

          (2) the nature of the copyrighted work;

          (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

          (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

          The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

          So, in fact, you do very much so have the explicit right to reproduce under the circumstances I laid out. Interestingly, the law says “such as”, this can (and should) be interpreted to mean that there are other, implicit fair use exceptions.

          464 U.S. 417 (Sony vs Universal) says that video recording is legal because there are non-infringing applications for the technology. That non-infringing application is time shifting: the act of recording something to view in private later. This is an example of both an implicit fair use (it is not stated in copyright law), and the fact that recording for later personal consumption is in fact fair use.

          Unless you want to argue that this lady wanted to broadcast her 30 seconds of grainy cell phone video, then your argument doesn’t seem to hold water.

          Your citation of “Video-Cinema Films, Inc. v. Lloyd E. Rigler-Lawrence E. Deutsch” really makes no sense, they ruled that a 5 minute clip (an entire song) of Lily Pons broadcast via OTA satellite was infringement. Again, this hinges on the fact that they distributed the performance and thusly damaged the plaintiff’s ability to sell copies. A personal copy would certainly cause no such damages.

          • Billy says:

            >>>So, in fact, you do very much so have the explicit right to reproduce under the circumstances I laid out.

            It is not as explicit as you make it seem. You ignore the line: “In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the *factors* to be considered shall include —”
            That means that there is no “explicit” allowance for any of those issues. There are factors that a court must take into consideration (see any case where Fair Use is debated). To be more explicit about it, there are cases where copying for education purposes was not considered fair use when balanced against other factors (Basic Books, Inc. v. Kinko’s Graphics Corp., Princeton University Press v. Michigan Document Services, Encyclopaedia Britannica Educational Corp. v. Crooks, American Geophysical Union v. Texaco Inc. OR just see this page for a factor-by-factor analysis: http://copyright.columbia.edu/copyright/fair-use/case-summaries/)

            The bottom line is that merely being “educational” does not give an explicit right to reproduce (which, for some reason, you initially didn’t even believe was a violation).

            >>>Interestingly, the law says “such as”, this can (and should) be interpreted to mean that there are other, implicit fair use exceptions.

            Right, but the law also says “In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered *shall* include —”

            That means that consideration for ALL of the factors must be considered. Merely being “educational” etc, is not enough (see the above court cases (actually, all cases where the defense is alleged) where there is, in fact, a balancing of all factors). To be sure, some of the defenses are codified and are more explicit other places in the Copyright code.

            >>>464 U.S. 417 (Sony vs Universal) says that video recording is legal because there are non-infringing applications for the technology.

            Right. But initially you implied that basis for the legality of VCRs, etc, was that they don’t distribute. What I’m saying is that the SCOTUS opinion doesn’t really touch upon that aspect of the machine. In other words, if the machines DID distribute, that would be a different case. In this case, the issue of distribution of copyrighted works is only mentioned in a footnote. That only makes sense because the issue in this case was COPYING, (not distribution) and whether there was a fair use defense for the copying.

            In the Sony case, the court talked about the ways VCRs could have a non-infringing use (education, for example), and it also created a new type of non-infringing use: time shifting. But, it’s not without some caveats, too.

            >>>This is an example of both an implicit fair use (it is not stated in copyright law), and the fact that recording for later personal consumption is in fact fair use.

            You haven’t read the Sony Betamax case at all. In it, the justices exclusively speak only about in-home recording. The court also deemed it Fair Use because “time-shifting merely enables a viewer to see such a work which he had been invited to witness in its entirety free of charge.” This is obviously not what was going on in the New Moon instance.

            Besides, you are reading too much into the case when you say “the fact that recording for later personal consumption is in fact fair use.” If you read the case, it’s not what they say and such a presumption has not been extended to other types of recording (ex: RIAA v. Diamond Multimedia speaks about “spaceshifting” in the context of the Audio Home Recording Act, but there’s nothing in the holding which allows it.)

            >>>Your citation of “Video-Cinema Films, Inc. v. Lloyd E. Rigler-Lawrence E. Deutsch” really makes no sense, they ruled that a 5 minute clip (an entire song) of Lily Pons broadcast via OTA satellite was infringement. Again, this hinges on the fact that they distributed the performance and thusly damaged the plaintiff’s ability to sell copies.

            I only mention that case because you insist that “even while distributing it, as long as you are not doing it for profit, but instead for the purposes of comment, critique, analysis, education, research, etc., you are explicitly covered under the “Fair Use” portion of copyright law (article 107 covers fair use).”

            Obviously, what you said is not true. The foundation which put together the infringing program was a not-for-profit and its use of the program was deemed educational by the ruling court. It didn’t matter though, when the court considers the other factors going against fair use. Besides, they only used 85 seconds of a 5-minute song which was itself part of a 2-hour movie, not an entire song as you claim. http://williampatry.blogspot.com/2005/11/two-fair-use-cases.html

            If you want other examples of when your “explicit” fair use factors aren’t as clear cut as you suppose, look here: http://fairuse.stanford.edu/Copyright_and_Fair_Use_Overview/chapter9/9-c.html

    • Draygonia says:

      Taxpayer money? I hardly think that a theater and that woman are using taxpayer dollars in this lawsuit. Also, the police that showed up and arrested her were in the right as you cannot film movies…

      • Thyme for an edit button says:

        How is it that you think courts are funded so they can operate? I guarantee it is not all from litigants’ filing fees.

  5. DogiiKurugaa says:

    As much as I want Twilight fans to suffer, if that last statement is true then she does have a case against them. Well, either the truth will come out or they’ll settle.

  6. scoosdad says:

    My favorite part of this story is that once arrested, the officers called the MPAA for advice: The MPAA recommended destroying the footage and releasing her.

    So the police checked with the MPAA for legal guidance instead of their local district attorney. Unbelievable.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Yeah, that’s kinda horrifying.

    • Cameraman says:

      Almost as horrifying as the thought that videotaping in a theater is considered a criminal and not a civil matter?

      • Rectilinear Propagation says:

        I was making my comment further down while you were posting this one. But yeah, the fact that it’s a gorram felony is just…I don’t even know.

      • WiglyWorm must cease and decist says:

        No, it absolutely is a civil matter. There is no law on the books anywhere that allows jail time for this sort of thing.

        In fact, there is no law on the books anywhere that allows anything for taking a picture or short video clip of a movie. You only commit infringement when you DISTRIBUTE something.

        • Cameraman says:

          Unless she was jailed for trespassing? It is possible that the theater owner told her to leave and she refused. I guess. Still stupid that the cops called the MPAA. If you eat a grape at Walmart, do the cops call the farmer to decide whether you should be arrested?

        • drizzt380 says:

          I have to do this again.

          Family Entertainment and Copyright Act:

          “(a) Offense.–Any person who, without the authorization of the
          copyright owner, knowingly uses or attempts to use an audiovisual
          recording device to transmit or make a copy of a motion picture or other
          audiovisual work protected under title 17, or any part thereof, from a
          performance of such work in a motion picture exhibition facility,
          shall–
          “(1) be imprisoned for not more than 3 years, fined under
          this title, or both; or
          “(2) if the offense is a second or subsequent offense, be
          imprisoned for no more than 6 years, fined under this title, or
          both.

          • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

            They need to add the word “Law” to make it work. i.e.
            Family Entertainment and Copyright Act Law

            Why do they have to put the word “family” in the title, it’s not like the
            Guy in the Long Coat and Nothing Else in the Dark Theater Watching XXX Porn Act which makes it illegal to video pornos while pleasuring themselves law.

            • Billy says:

              The term “family” is in there because the FECA incorporates another act called the Family Home Movie Act of 2005. That act allows for the creation and marketing of devices that make “clean” presentations of movies (like ClearPlay).

        • Billy says:

          Only for distribution?

          Wrong:

          US Code TITLE 17, CHAPTER 1 , § 106: Exclusive rights in copyrighted works:

          …the owner of copyright under this title has the exclusive rights to do and to authorize any of the following:

          (1) to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords….

          That means that only the copyright owner gets to do that. Mere copying is an infringement. It’s always meant that.

          • WiglyWorm must cease and decist says:

            Why do you keep citing article 106 without citing 107?

            Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.

            • Billy says:

              Here’s why.

              You said, “You only commit infringement when you DISTRIBUTE something.”

              Absolutely, without a doubt, that is an incorrect statement of law. You commit infringement through various means. Those means are explained in 106. The first one listed is infringement via copying. Copying alone may cause infringement. Distribution is not required. For that matter preparing derivative works based upon the copyrighted work is a violation of copyright even without distribution.

              I would only mention 107 if we were talking about Fair Use, a defense to copyright infringement. Besides, the part of 107 you cite to does not mention distribution at all. The only applicable part of 107 is (4): the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. Distribution would weigh heavily for that factor, but not the others.

    • Commenter24 says:

      What the MPAA told the police should be completely irrelevant. A civil party should have virtually no say in a criminal arrest/prosecution.

      • Billy says:

        Except it was the RIAA’s property that was being infringed. The RIAA would have to participate in the prosecution (someone would need to testify as to ownership and the fact that they did not give permission to film their property). If the RIAA didn’t want to testify, there’s no case.

        This is exactly the same as any other crime against anybody else: no witnesses willing to testify+no other way to prove the case=no case.

    • DanRydell says:

      The local DA would have probably told them that copyright laws are federal laws, so they’d have to call the US attorney. The US attorney probably would have told them not to bug him with such trivial shit.

      • DanRydell says:

        My mistake, looks like there actually is a state law in IL against using a audio/video recording device in a movie theater.

        The DA, if he had any sense, would have told them to let her go.

  7. Commenter24 says:

    Not knowing that it was illegal isn’t a defense.

  8. ArmitageID says:

    Hmm….not sure I buy the whole “Wasn’t made aware that filming the movie was against the law bit”. Even if that is the case….just because you are not AWARE of a law doesn’t not mean it isn’t applicable to you.

    Officer: I’m arresting you for a DUI/DWI
    Drunkard: I didn’t know it wasn’t alright to get smashed and drive my automobile. I’m gonna sue you for false imprisonment.
    Officer: Tough luck buy now exercise your right to remain silent and get in the back of my car.

    What I do believe IS wrong here are our draconian copyright laws. I don’t see the harm in a couple of few second clips. If she tried to record the entire movie…heck even 5 minutes of it…then yeah slap her with some sort of fine. Jail time…..that is insane.

    Interested in seeing what others think about this.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      The difference here was whether she intentionally filmed the clips for the sole purpose of filming the clips, or if she was taping her friends and family and the movie happened to be playing behind them. If it was the former, then she filmed the movie – whether it was 5 minutes or 50 minutes, she intentionally filmed the movie. If it was the latter, then it’s hard to make a case against her because you can’t make a case that she was trying to pirate the film.

      In the article, it reads that she filmed the scenes in hopes that her favorite actor took his shirt off – well, if it is actually as it was written, it means that she was intentionally filming the scene for the purposes of rewatching or keeping.

  9. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    She’s suing for breaking the law.. ok.

    • DanRydell says:

      No, she’s suing because of this:

      “She also says, however that both the police and the MPAA advised that she be released, but that the theater’s manager insisted on her arrest “in a bid to win a financial reward.””

      She should not have been arrested. Copyright violation is usually not a criminal act.

      • craptastico says:

        since when did the MPAA have any kind of legal authority?

        • jurupa says:

          Ever since the RIAA decide to sue everyone possible

        • consumerfan says:

          Wrong question. The authorities were asking representatives of the copyright holders whether they considered this actionable.

          Let’s say you “damage” someone’s lawn by spraying chemicals on it. If the owner considers the matter trivial, the police won’t press charges.
          Let’s say you “damage” everyone’s lawn by supplying chemicals that have a bad effect under certain conditions. The authorities would ask an expert in the field whether those conditions are likely to exist.

          In this case, the MPAA are recognizing that this is a trivial charge and have advised that the woman be released. It doesn’t stop the actual copyright holder from suing her.
          Arresting her is beyond disproportionate. What were they going to detain her for? If she refused to leave the theater, that would be reason. But for the actual taping, the only consequences should be eviction/ban, fine/possible lawsuit or removal of content.

  10. aja175 says:

    “but your honor, nobody told me I wasn’t allowed to kill the guy from down the street”

  11. Smashville says:

    I would also sue if the world suddenly knew that I was a 22 year old woman watching Twilight.

  12. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    Wait, why is this a felony?

    • Michael Belisle says:

      Because the law (in Illinois) is retarded. It’s not even filming the movie that’s a felony: it’s “operating a recording device” that’s a felony.

  13. smo0 says:

    Someone find me the pic of the “demotivational” picture of the women screaming over jacob/twilight that says – if this there a bunch of middle aged men, someone would be calling the cops…

    yeah… that’s how I feel about this…

  14. Hoss says:

    Felony filming — what a joke. I hope she wins

  15. TehQ says:

    Well her first mistake was watching Twilight. She did something illegal and had to pay the price. So stupid I hope it never makes it to court.

  16. sir_eccles says:

    That’s like saying you only photocopied $20 bills because Andrew Jackson is so dreamy.

  17. ZacharyTF says:

    I’m betting that the lady and her friends were being disruptive before the movie started and when she started recording the movie, someone in the audience snitched on her. I know I would have.

    Also, just because the police department and the MPAA advise that the footage be destroyed and she be released, doesn’t mean that the theater needs to listen to them. If they want to have to prosecuted, they can. She was breaking the rules and the theater felt that she needed to be punished.

    • nbs2 says:

      Actually, as far as holding them is concerned, the police would have control on that point. The theatre, could, on the other hand, expel them from the premises without any problem. Even the civil case that might result would be handled by the MPAA, not the theatre.

      However, I would like to point out the the MPAA that the reason this fuss become one is because of the piracy awards that they tout. Do they not think that people are going to turn others in for the chance to hit the jackpot?

    • Limewater says:

      Agreed. She was shooting clips of the movie on her phone. As far as I’m concerned, that’s enough cause to kick her out of the theater just because that bright phone screen is annoying as hell to those behind her. Not enough detail is given about the police situation, though.

  18. Thyme for an edit button says:

    I don’t really understand the crime she was held for. Does anyone have a link to what that crime is? I thought piracy involved filming whole movies and distributing them. Maybe I am wrong. Clarification?

    Anyway, I read the complaint. I think the movie theater will settle with her rather than defend it. I’d be interested in reading the answer, assuming the defendant files one. Not sure about the negligence claim, but the claims for malicious prosecution and defamation might have teeth.

    • greggen says:

      Just because you can, does not make it ok.
      She made an illegal videorecording, was arrested for it.
      Makes no difference that a reward was offered for the arrest of such criminals.
      These pedophiles think they are above the law.

      • slappysquirrel says:

        Erm…Pedophiles?

      • Thyme for an edit button says:

        It makes a difference whether she actually committed a crime. Do you have an answer to my question of what exactly the crime was? Crimes have elements that have to be met including, in most cases, a certain state of mind.

        It absolutely matters if the theater owners purpose was to collect a reward and not to bring a guilty person to justice. Having primary purpose other than bringing a guilty person to justice is component of malicious prosecution.

        • drizzt380 says:

          Well the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act says this:

          “(a) Offense.–Any person who, without the authorization of the
          copyright owner, knowingly uses or attempts to use an audiovisual
          recording device to transmit or make a copy of a motion picture or other
          audiovisual work protected under title 17, or any part thereof, from a
          performance of such work in a motion picture exhibition facility,
          shall–
          “(1) be imprisoned for not more than 3 years, fined under
          this title, or both; or
          “(2) if the offense is a second or subsequent offense, be
          imprisoned for no more than 6 years, fined under this title, or
          both.

          No, it guess it would be up to lawyers to argue whether a short clip constituted recording of a motion picture. But if they had to record the whole thing to be charged with anything that would be stupid.
          “Okay, he’s still recording and the movies almost over. Damn it!! He got up and left before the end of the credits. Didn’t record it all, we’ve got no case.”

          • Thyme for an edit button says:

            It does say “any part thereof” from the motion picture. Sounds like she could have been prosecuted for it. She knew she was using her phone to record a two minute clips. Seems kind of ridiculous that one could get prison time and a felony record for that so I am glad the charges were dropped.

            However, it looks like theater owner could defend himself on it if it is worth the cost. I will be interested to see the answer and if he counter sues for anything… maybe wrongful institution of civil proceedings!

  19. Willow01 says:

    And who wouldn’t want record clips from Sparkley Vampires in Love 3?

  20. Mr. Pottersquash says:

    arent all the actors protraying children? if her stated premise was to get a racy picture of a child to distrubute it for incidious reasons why wasnt she arrested on child porn?

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      The actors are portraying teenagers (vampire or otherwise), not children.

    • Thyme for an edit button says:

      (1) Actors who aren’t children portraying children doesn’t make something child porn.

      (2) Twilight isn’t child porn.

    • slappysquirrel says:

      Not to state the obvious, but following your logic, the movie itself would be child porn.

    • NarcolepticGirl says:

      Well, then half of america would be in jail for posessing any porn where the women are wearing school girl outfits or are in a “classroom” setting.

      Also, anyone posessing any sort of Teen magazine (where the actors are shirtless).

    • pantheonoutcast says:

      Because by comparison, real porn has likable characters, decent acting and a well-written plot.

    • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

      Not having seen any of these movies, I thought the vampires, etc. being portrayed were hundreds of years old.

    • BeFrugalNotCheap says:

      Nice try there, ace.

      -1.

  21. H3ion says:

    Under the SONY Betamax case, taping a tv show for time shifting purposes constitutes fair use and is not illegal. So if the woman was watching a video broadcast of “Twilight” she could tape the actors taking off their shirts, their pants, or anything else she cared about (but not for commercial use). That’s not the same as videotaping a movie playing in a theater. That’s a copyright violation whether she intended to use the tape for commercial use or just to damage her mind through repetitive screenings. I think the movie owner is a jerk for making a criminal case out of this but there is probably little question that she is in violation of the copyright laws. Her criminal charges will likely be dismissed or bargained down to probation, but I don’t think her lawsuit is sustainable.

    • javert says:

      Thank you, thank you, thank you. So many times on this site, as soon as copyright comes up, everyone just yells ‘fair use’ and thinks it is some sort of release from all liability. Thank you for stating it correctly!

      • Billy says:

        Well, to be fair, there are other ways that her use could be determined to be “fair use”. The fair use factors are (17 U.S.C. § 106 and 17 U.S.C. § 106A):

        1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
        2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
        3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
        4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

        Lots of cases clarify what those may mean. In many cases, those factors are completely subjective. In this case, parts 3 and 4 seem to be most relevant here.

        Of course, you don’t get to those Fair Use factors until a copyright violation was proven in the first place.

    • WiglyWorm must cease and decist says:

      You illustrate actually a legal grey area that has yet to be settled, as far as I know.

      A Ford Taurus is copyrighted. I cannot make another car that looks like a Ford Taurus, or Ford could sue me. However if I take a picture of a Ford Taurus, I own the copyright on that picture.

      So… can I distribute the picture, or can Ford sue me?

  22. pantheonoutcast says:

    I think she should be beaten for merely having her cell phone out during a movie. It’s time to take a nationwide stand against this practice.

  23. Michael Belisle says:

    You must be reporting that my wish (or something close to it) came true because it’s my birthday today. That’s so sweet of you. Thanks Consumerist!

  24. ktjamm says:

    The true crime here was that she was watching twilight in the first place.

  25. Cyniconvention says:

    “A woman who was arrested last November during a screening of whatever Twilight movie was in theaters at the time has filed suit against the movie chain. She says that she only filmed two short sequences, the opening credits and a moment when her “favorite actor” took off his shirt. Wisely, she does not say in her lawsuit whether she’s Team Beefcake or Team Emo, or my niece would possibly go ballistic.”

    I love the Consumerist.

  26. kc2idf says:

    I rarely blame the OP, however, this woman was being an idiot. You just don’t even bring a camera into a cinema, and it doesn’t matter if your phone has one, you should leave your phone holstered at all times except when you are silencing the ringer before the film.

    Did the cinema over-react? Probably. I would say they did so in bad faith, even, especially given that the MPAA and Police disagreed. I would consider it grounds to just sort of generally avoid that cinema, but that doesn’t relieve the OP of being an idiot.

  27. Tim says:

    As much as I disagree with many copyright laws, especially the CRIMINAL copyright laws, this woman broke the law. She should be talking to her elected leaders, not suing a theatre chain.

  28. yessongs says:

    Yes arrest her! We don’t need bootleg copies of this crap out in public. Shoot a good action movie instead.

  29. Dyscord says:

    If I recall correctly, she was mostly recording the party. It was a pretty harsh punishment

  30. Riroon13 says:

    Selfish idiot. Fail.

    This must be the once-per-year feeling I get when I hope the bigwigs’ pitbull lawyers earn their keep.

  31. Riroon13 says:

    Selfish idiot. Fail.

    This must be the once-per-year feeling I get when I hope the bigwigs’ pitbull lawyers earn their keep.

  32. BeerFox says:

    Wait, this was at the Rosemont Muvico? No wonder they pressed forward ‘in a bid to win a financial reward’. That place looks like a glitzy dump from the outside – from what I hear, they were expecting to be a casino, but lost out at the last minute, and did a desperate change to a theater. The parking lot is cracked and overgrown, and I never see more than a few cars there when I pass.

  33. peebozi says:

    if the movie studios were smart they’d chalk this up to the “free market forces at work”. Copyright law violates the principles of a free market economy. Why do the movie studios and record companies hate America?

  34. jayphat says:

    Apparently she failed to record the most crucial part of the movie, the FBI warning in the beginning.

  35. BeFrugalNotCheap says:

    “Wisely, she does not say in her lawsuit whether she’s Team Beefcake or Team Emo, or my niece would possibly go ballistic.”

    It’s statements like the one above that keep me coming back to this site. BwaHaHahahaha….

  36. PAZ002 says:

    I read the police report and the suit that she filed against the theater company, and all I have to say is I hope she gets nothing. Bullshit that you didn’t know you cannot record a movie in the theater, it plays before every fucking movie you watch in theater…plus on every DVD you buy. You knew it was wrong and just playing dumb won’t help you. Your dumb ass deserves everything you got, and the public humiliation you got when arrested was a plus.

  37. ecvogel says:

    It states on the screening ticket no cameras, camcorders or recording devices allowed. And you may be prosecuted. Some will not let you bring cell phones in and will search you with a metal detector and your carrying vessels. She deserves what she did.

    • benbell says:

      lol, where are you watching movies? The ghetto? wanding you to see a movie? lololol… that theatre would close within weeks around here.

  38. Moosenogger says:

    So wait, she actually did tape some scenes from the movie? Based on the original story, I thought she said her camera was recording without her knowledge and the video she got wasn’t any good because of it.

    If she knowingly recorded the movie, she should be glad she wasn’t charged with a felony. Drop the damn lawsuit and learn a lesson, jeez.

  39. erinpac says:

    How did the theater management make the police arrest her if the police really wanted her released? That seems quite unlikely.

    This just deserved the wait for booking out of sheer stupidity. They dropped the charges, and she doesn’t seem to deny what she did, so she should count that as lucky.

  40. stanfrombrooklyn says:

    I used to live in Indonesia and it was very common to go into big Hollywood movies and have twenty or thirty girls whip out their cameras and take pictures of the screen.I remember the Bodyguard with Kevin Costner. The scene where he pulls out the sword and cuts her scarf was met with about 100 flashbulbs. You probably think this happened twenty years ago or so when the movie came out. No, the movie finally got to Indonesia four years ago.

  41. jimmyhl says:

    Shouldn’t this headline be “Dumbass Woman Sues Movie Theater…..?”