Cracking Down On Movie Piracy
The House gave its final approval to legislation that would make it a state crime to record or copy a film showing in a movie theater. Similar laws are on the books in 22 other states and in the federal code. The measure creates a new criminal offense. The first act of film piracy would result in a misdemeanor. A second would lead to a felony. In the past, federal copyright laws have addressed actions of film piracy. The bill was approved unanimously and sent to the Senate for consideration.
A 2003 study by AT&T Laboratories and the University of Pennsylvania estimated that fake VHS and DVD copies of films cost the industry $30 billion a year. Even so, their study, which looked at illegal content available on the Internet, put the blame for most of the activity on disks made during production or prior to release that were stolen from or leaked by industry insiders.