MUMBAI: Prompt action by alert frontline cinema staff in Hong Kong has resulted in the arrest and conviction of a man for illegally camcording Toy Story 3. The man was arrested by officers from the Hong Kong Customs & Excise Department (HKC&ED) on suspicion of using a digital camera to illegally camcord the movie at the UA Times Square Cinema.
The arrested man was convicted of possessing video recording equipment in a place of public entertainment and was fined $256. The arrest is the seventh this year and the tenth since September 2009, as cinemas across Hong Kong maintain a high level of vigilance to prevent illegal camcording.
The alertness of the frontline staff of the cinema was acknowledged and rewarded at an award ceremony held today at the UA Times Square Cinema in Causeway Bay. Letters of appreciation were presented to four staff members and a reward of $256 given to representatives of the UA Times Square Cinema.
The presentation was made by Sam Ho, Executive Director and General Manager of the International Federation Against Copyright Theft – Greater China (IFACT-GC) and witnessed by representatives from the movie distribution industry, including Karen Lam, Executive Committee of the Hong Kong Theatres Association (HKTA), the Walt Disney Company (Shanghai) Limited’s Executive Director of Studio Marketing, Greater China Kerwin Lo, Intercontinental Film Distributors (HK) Limited’s General Manager of Film Distribution Wing Ng and Senior Booking Manager Christine Tam.
“I am proud of the way in which our front line cinema staff are keeping illegal camcorders out of our theatres. Our members have made great efforts in training and supporting staff but at the end of the day success depends on the vigilance of our cinema staff. And they’re doing a great job,“ said the HKTA’s Executive Committee Karen Lam.
“As the source of most infringing DVDs and downloads, illegal camcords do great creative and financial harm to the movie industry and threaten the livelihoods of everyone involved in making and distributing movies. Supported by the Hong Kong Government and Hong Kong Customs, the HKTA is doing a fantastic job in protecting movies in Hong Kong theatres,” said IFACT-GC’s Sam Ho.
Forensic matching confirmed that nine movies were stolen from Hong Kong cinemas in 2008 and used to produce pirated DVDs and / or used in infringing downloads. As a result of the joint efforts of the HKTA, the HKC&ED and the IFACT-GC, no pirated movies found in hard goods or online since 2009 were camcorded from Hong Kong cinemas.
Under Hong Kong law, a person commits an offence if they have in their possession (without lawful authority or reasonable excuse) any video recording equipment in a place of public entertainment. Anyone breaking this law may be fined up to HK$50,000 and imprisoned for up to three months. Any person convicted of illegally camcording a movie may be imprisoned for up to four years.