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Jail time for a film clip?

Tell your kids not to mess around with digital cameras in movie theaters. A 19-year-old in the Washington, D.C., area went to see Transformers at her local movie theater with her boyfriend. She told the Washington Post she was enjoying the movie so much she thought she’d shoot a 20-second clip to show her 13-year-old brother how good it was. While she was doing so, two police officers order the couple out of the theater confiscated the digital camera, and charged the college sophomore “with a crime: illegally recording a motion picture,” the Washington Post reports. She told the Post that it was her birthday and the two had borrowed the camera from a relative to “make [birthday] memories,” so she happened to have the camera when they went to see the film. She “faces up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500 when she goes to trial this month in the July 17 incident.” The Post adds that copying a movie in a theater “is a felony under the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act of 2005, punishable by up to three years in a federal prison,” and several states have anti-piracy laws in addition to the federal one.

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