erikred: (stalking_bird)
[personal profile] erikred
Slashdot is reporting that the Pres. has signed into law S.167 ("Family Entertainment and Copyright Act of 2005"). This law makes it a crime to sneak a camera into a theater or release on a "computer network" a movie currently being prepared for commercial distribution. To be fair, it specifically says that the copyright infringement in question has to be "for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain," leaving the question of 'backing up' movies for personal use for other laws to handle.

This bill frightens me, however, because I worked for a movie theater in college, and I know the yahoos who work in movie theaters. This law gives them an incredible power:

    `(d) Immunity for Theaters- With reasonable cause, the owner or lessee of a motion picture exhibition facility where a motion picture or other audiovisual work is being exhibited, the authorized agent or employee of such owner or lessee, the licensor of the motion picture or other audiovisual work being exhibited, or the agent or employee of such licensor--

      `(1) may detain, in a reasonable manner and for a reasonable time, any person suspected of a violation of this section with respect to that motion picture or audiovisual work for the purpose of questioning or summoning a law enforcement officer; and

      `(2) shall not be held liable in any civil or criminal action arising out of a detention under paragraph (1).


In other words, Joe Theater Employee, making minimum wage and getting high up in the booth before each show, now has the authority to detain you if he thinks you have a camera on you. Sure, sure, there's that nifty "reasonable manner" part to somehow short-circuit abuse, but that last part pretty much voids all rationality; you can't sue Joe if he happens to grab your arm (assault) during the course of detaining you on suspicion of having a camera on you. You better hope Joe didn't notice the camera on your cell phone.

What brave new world is this that has such people in it.

Date: 2005-04-28 04:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mkb-cbr.livejournal.com
Times have changed. Based on the theater employees I have dealt with over the last couple of years, you are no longer an appropriate candidate for such a position. Even the theater managers are unfit to be your toady.

Rebecca (bless her) went to bat against the Metreon folk over their disability policy after a bad experience while I was gimpy. The staff was less than impressive.

I have to disagree.

Date: 2005-04-28 08:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] palecur.livejournal.com
Having met Erik, I must say he's perfectly suited for such a job. Especially the parts of it that involve suddenly shooting up through the floorboards and looming ominously over the person who neglected to turn off his cell phone.

Date: 2005-04-28 08:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] palecur.livejournal.com
Why is this the job of the FedGov, dammit? I mean, I'm down with intellectual property protection in general, yes, but that's more suitably achieved by suing Comic Book Guy after he releases Zoolander_2_Zoo_Harder.avi onto KaZaa, not by empowering little Katie Zitface, age 16, to effectively arrest CBG. That's more of a municipal-level decision, to me. Maybe state level, if you must.

But, yeah, there's a lot of bending over to big IP-holders (and, more or less by necessary corollary, screwing over of small-time IP-holders) that's been going on over the last, oh, 30 years or so.

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Erik, the BFG

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