MPAA arrests another movie camcorder in Hong Kong

Mumbai: Alert cinema staff at Hong Kong’s Broadway Palace IFC Cinema who spotted a woman covertly camcording leading to her arrest on suspicion of illegally camcording a movie were today acknowledged and rewarded by the presentation of letters of appreciation and a cash reward.

The woman was arrested by officers from the Hong Kong Customs & Excise Department (HKC&ED) on suspicion of using a mobile phone to illegally camcord Knight and Day on June 27.

The arrested woman is being investigated by HKC&ED officers and faces criminal charges for having in her possession video equipment in a place of public entertainment. The latest arrest is the sixth this year and the ninth since September 2009, as cinemas across Hong Kong maintain a high level of vigilance to prevent illegal camcording.

At an award ceremony held at the Broadway Palace IFC Cinema in Central, letters of appreciation were presented to three members of cinema staff and a reward of $256 given to representatives of the Broadway Palace IFC Cinema.

"Watchful cinema staff is our line of first defense in the fight against illegal camcording across the region and nowhere are they more vigilant than in Hong Kong – and the results speak for themselves," said Motion Picture Association President and Managing Director Asia-Pacific Mike Ellis. "We applaud the effective collaboration between the Hong Kong Theatre Association, distributors, and the Hong Kong Customs in setting the benchmark on how to handle illegal camcording.”

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 (US$6420) and imprisoned for up to three months. Any person convicted of illegally camcording a movie may be imprisoned for up to four years.

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