Woman accused of piracy for accidentally filming New Moon

A woman was jailed for accidentally filming New Moon!! OMG!!
The 22-year old woman brought her camera to the theater, because that's where she set up her sister's surprise birthday party. During the celebration, she took photos and recorded video with her digital camera, capturing a few minutes of family members singing "Happy Birthday" and a few accidental shots of the screen that was playing "New Moon."
She was grabbed by a theater worker, who saw her shooting video during the movie. Managers contacted police, who examined the camera, finding that the woman had taped "two very short segments."
The theater managers insisted on pressing charges, which resulted in the woman being arrested and spending two nights in jail before being released. She plans to fight the felony charges in court because she says she did nothing wrong — and certainly didn't try to secretly tape the movie. "It was never my intention to record the movie," she said.
Guess who jumped to her defense... Chris Weitz!
Veteran director Chris Weitz told the Sun-Times he’s dismayed about Samantha Tumpach’s arrest Nov. 28 at a Rosemont movie theater on a felony charge of illegally copying his new hit film, and he’s contacted the film’s studio about his concerns. “Needless to say, the case seems to me terribly unfair and I would like to do what I can to address this,” Weitz wrote in an e-mail.
Weitz questioned whether her arrest was justified.
“There is, needless to say, a difference between trying to protect the copyright of a film and making an unfair example of someone who clearly seems not to have any intentions towards video piracy,” Weitz wrote.
He said he had contacted the studio that released the film, Summit Entertainment, to express his concern about her arrest, but he acknowledged there’s probably little he can do to influence the outcome of her case.
“I am not sure what effect I would have on the case,” he wrote, noting “the film is, after all, not my property.”
**UPDATE** Summit has released an official statement on this issue.
“In regards to the situation with Samantha Tumpach, we applaud Muvico for upholding the zero tolerance policy on piracy when the incident occurred at their theater in Rosemont, IL. The pirating of films is a very serious issue and we all need to remain vigilant to protect the art of film and the myriad of businesses that the film industry supports. We believe that the attention that this incident has drawn, has served as a reminder to us all that any form of film piracy, or perceived piracy, will be treated with the utmost seriousness. Summit is pleased that all charges against Ms. Tumpach have been dropped and appreciate the efforts of the police and the prosecutors in this outcome.”


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