Cinema staff help arrest people camcording in Hong Kong

MUMBAI: Cinema staff  in Hong Kong cinemas have been instrumental in the arrest of two women for illegal cam cording. The staff were acknowledged and rewarded by the presentation of letters of appreciation and cash rewards.

One woman was arrested after illegally cam cording 2012 at the UA Langham Place Cinema on 24 November  and the other for recording Ninja Assassin at the UA Citygate Cinema on 28 November .  The latter suspect was convicted of possessing video recording equipment in a place of public entertainment and was sentenced to a fine of HK$2,000 (US$256).  The mobile phone used to camcord the movie was forfeited.

Letters of appreciation for seven members of staff and a reward of HK$2,000 (HK$256) each to the representatives of the UA Langham Place Cinema and the UA Citygate Cinema were presented by International Federation Against Copyright Theft – Greater China (IFACT-GC) executive director and general manager Sam Ho, along with Sony Blu-ray disc player and Blu-ray discs, courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE).

The ceremony was witnessed by representatives from the movie distribution industry, including Hong Kong Theatres Association (HKTA) chairman, SPHE vice president China Tim Meade, Edko Films Limited international sales manager Amy Ip,  Asia Distribution senior vice president Erlina Suharjono and Warner Bros. Pictures International sales manager Avenant Tang.

"Members of the Hong Kong Theatres Association have invested heavily in training their staff on preventing and detecting cam cording in our theatres," said Wong. "We ask all our patrons who love the cinema experience to tell our staff if they see anyone filming movies from our screens. In doing so, they will be helping stop the piracy that threatens the movie industry and the cinemas that bring the movies to Hong Kong."

"The threat from cam cording should not be underestimated," said Sam Ho. "I appeal to all movie fans to help protect the releases during the Christmas and Chinese New Year period; don’t camcord movies and report anyone you see doing it to cinema staff. Help protect the movies we love and the jobs they create in Hong Kong."

So far this year three people have been arrested in three separate cases for illegally cam cording movies in 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 the law may be fined up to HK$50,000 and imprisoned for up to three months. Any person convicted of illegally cam cording a movie may be imprisoned for up to four years.