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Drive-in 'Scene' Movie Cammer Arrested, Might Be Sentenced for 90 Years

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posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 08:54 PM

Drive-in 'Scene' Movie Cammer Arrested, Might Be Sentenced for 90 Years

Australian officials desperate to reduce film ‘camming’ have arrested and charged a man in Sydney with 18 counts of copyright infringement. Unusually, he wasn’t caught in the act, and the cinema was a drive-in. The man is allegedly a member of the well known scene group PreVail.All things aside, if the man is a member of PreVail (a group that has ‘released’ more than 200 films in the last 3 ½ years) and is convicted, his sentence will not be a light one. With $60,500 AUS ($39,000US or €31,000) and 5 years imprisonment per offense, that can yield a maximum sentence of over a million Aussie dollars and 90 years in prison. In fact, he’s looking at a potential punishment greater than most murderers.
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 08:54 PM

On the plus side though, proving the bluster about financial gain will be hard. It appears to be how lobby groups prod police forces to act, even if the police are active pirates themselves.

Wow, so we're sentencing a man for a petty offense more seriously than man slaughter?

There is something wrong with Australia, it's experimenting for the rest of the world and the results are not good.

Pirating is a petty offense, it's not plagiarism, it's not hurting anyone. Only thing it does is damage corporation which people have grown tired of because of some silicon disks costing over $1000, that's more than enough to feed a family of 4 in China for a year.

Something is wrong here, something is wrong...
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 09:01 PM
Release the terrorists and severely punish those who violate copyrights. I am sure people can sleep much more comfortable knowing that a copy right violator might be sentenced to prison for a long time while the terrorist are running around.

posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 09:07 PM
The sentence is way to harsh.

But with many laws, I can understand there being at least some punishment. He is giving out someone else's work for FREE without their consent. Pretty simple if you ask me.

While I am neutral on the subject of piracy, there are consequences if charged. Simple as that.

Just like playing one round of Russian Roulette with 500,000 people. Who will be that very unlucky person?

Try running away from that crowd...sheesh

posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 09:14 PM
It is a big black market business and it does hurt people along the way. My cousin does advertising for several movie studios, like the ads you see in the newspaper. Piracy does effect his job, because when promotional expenses are looked at compared to revenue it leads to lower promotions for films.

Think of people like Kevin Smith who gambled everything he had to produce the original Clerks. If piracy reduced the low profit margin that the film made at the box office he may not have continued to be the fine comedic film producer that he became. And would only think of Rufus when you think George Carlin as an actor. A travesty indeed when you think of the influence that Smith had on a whole new generation of Carlin fans.

Sure it seems harmless enough but there are repercussions to this "victimless" crime.

[edit on 17-2-2009 by Ahabstar]

posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 09:22 PM
As a beginning actor, grip, person making my living in the film industry...

That is way to harsh of a sentence. A good ass kickin should be sufficient.

posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 09:23 PM
That is one extremely harsh sentence, what is wrong with that country. Here in the states as long as you go along with there shady lawyers you'll almost always have a severely reduced sentence and owe a lot less money. A friend of mine went through the whole process and just paid a few thousand dollars like you would pay a credit card bill.

I understand one side of the argument that yes people's livelihood is lost when one downloads media via bit torrent or other p2p programs but on the other hand it's about greed on part of the record companies and movie industry. Rarely any artist or actor/actress will see any of the money received through convictions regarding copyright infringement. If people were aware that the money mostly goes into pockets of CEOs they wouldn't feel as sympathetic.

If you've followed the MPAA and the RIAA legal wars you'll find something rather surprising. They first have to go to court and convince a judge to release the identity behind your IP, these are commonly called John Doe lawsuits. Once the information is released they quickly attempt to intimidate alleged offender with scary letters and phone calls. Just about anyone will settle because there afraid. The few that stand up and fight against it haven't lost because it is extremely difficult to prove in court, something that they don't want you to know.

[edit on 17-2-2009 by oconnection]

posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 09:26 PM
Ya I have to agree that the sentance is way too harsh. Its not like the guy got a direct digital copy of the movies in question, he was using a camera zoomed in on a screen and taking the sound from the crappy speakers that hang on the window!

Not exactly Blu-Ray or even VCD quality!!

But something that always seemed senseless to me was that why would people want such crappy versions of movies when they all come out on DVD shortly after their release and are not expensive at all? Plus you get top notch quality and all the extras.

Guess I will never understand low grade piracy.


posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 09:27 PM
Is it that this particular sentence doesn't fit the crime or should other crimes be more severely punished?
We, as a society, need to figure out the answers. The politicians will pander to the worst common denominator, as in, who amongst hasn't sinned?
We all know what they do, the question begs, what do we do that gives us this compassion towards the worst of us?
Look yourself in the mirror and judge.
For me, somedays I can, somedays I cannot.

posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 09:35 PM
well he is allegedly a member of a group that has pirated over 200 movies in the last 3 and a half years. Im willing to bet that most of these were high budget flicks that had plenty of promotion.

However, 200 movies is quite a bit and if they are selling them than that is wrong. Despite different people's opinions on corporations, the law is the law.

If he is actually found guilty to be a member of this group, Im sure the rest of the group will go down too, and Im sure the sentences will be reduced.

The law is the law, but at the same time I feel as if circumstances should always be taken into account by an uncorrupt/able observer, who would even observe and wiretap the judge in cases where big money vs. proletariat, ESPECIALLY in copyright cases.

I have a feeling that the E.U. and Australia are like testing grounds for the coming world government and that we will soon see a copyright czar here in the US.

posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 09:41 PM
reply to post by iiinvision

I dont condone piracy of any kind, heck I pay quarterly usage rights to copyrighted material for my radio stations to the sum of 650 bucks each for a total of 1,200.00 every 3 months. I dont need to be paying more due to continued copyright infringement crooks who make those of us who are honest pay for their lack of spending 12 bucks for a DVD or 9 bucks for a music CD.

But this 1 guy shouldnt be punished for the whole organization's dealings or for it existing for 3 years. He should be tagged for what he has done and proper punishement given.

90 years...thats a bit over the edge for just the one guy when there are still numerous members of that organization still out there.


posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 09:42 PM
reply to post by RFBurns

Because the movies which are put on to DVD sell for anywhere between $1-$5. You can enjoy them in the privacy of your own home and in the US, they are largely sold to truck driver's in truck stops that do not have the freedom to go watch a movie in a theater nor go to a store and buy a DVD when they do come out.

Oddly enough, truck drivers usually will swap titles with other drivers like kids trading baseball cards. Sometimes they are the pirate copies other times the legitimate thing. Or so many pirated films for a legitimate DVD.

Many people make a living or spare cash doing this. Some even gain a reputation for the quality of their recordings and drivers learn to insist on dealing only with them when there is competition in the area. A good pirate recording of a popular film can fetch upwards of $10,000 per title before the legitimate DVD is released. And that is just one pirate working out of a few truck stops in say West Memphis, AR or Indianapolis, IN or Effinigham, IL.

And here is the thing, advertising is done in the open on the CB, just like prostitution and drug sales.

posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 09:51 PM
I dont think he was selling them as ive seen prevail listed on torrent site that are non charging. The unfortunate thing is he will be made an example of as they are not having much success going for the torrent sites themselves.
What we will probably see is the sentence for one of those offences being given as they will have difficulty pinning 200 on him when he was only caught filming one film. Still 5 yrs is a long time for a victimless crime, although i cannot see how this is in reallity a crime, technically maybe but this makes him no more a criminal than millions of internet users around the world imo.

posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 09:54 PM
He will get off.
He just has to say he was video taping his night out as a memorable moment.
Unless he has thousands of copy's in his house with intent to distribute them for money.
He will get a slap on the wrist.
Seriously when the Judge see's the quality of a cam, with out of sync audio and all grainy and misty.
They will realize it was just for his own personal enjoyment.
This is not to mention the movies they have obtained as evidence, have never been released by Prevail.
So that evidence is useless.

posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 10:57 PM
of course. give the guy 90 years for filming some movies. but let bernie madoff live in his multi million dollar apartment on bail for stealing 50 billion and not sending him to a guillotine.. this world is such a messed up place.

[edit on 17-2-2009 by Swatman]

posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 03:09 AM
Sure the sentence is insanely punitive. Are we sure it isn't the maximum as opposed to what he got? It will be appealed and reduced almost certainly.

Though it won't come out in the news, extreme sentences are usually imposed on chronic repeat offenders.

There's more to the story for sure.

Mike F

posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 03:24 AM
Far too severe for a number of reasons.

The issue of piracy here - as always - is a difficult issue. Digital piracy isn't adequately covered by pre-digital (internet, technologies &c.) terms and concepts. Theft is generally about the taking and the removal of an article. When files are copied and distributed this isn't actually happening as the original is still there.

This leads on to whether the problem as to whether or not a 'copy = lost sale'. Whilst the lists of the RIAA, the MPAA et al would love this to believed to be true, it's actually a nonsense. People with moderate or large collections of pirated material generally wouldn't have been able to buy all that material in the first place. For example, a teenager getting his hands on say 3 or 4 films a week as well as a similar amount of CDs adds up to somewhere along the lines of £60 to a £100 a week on entertainment media alone. I don't know many adults with that kind of disposable income to devote to just films and music. If that money isn't there in the first place it can never amount to a 'genuine lost sale' - no matter how much the RIAA and the MPAA huff and puff about the issue.

Regarding the actual camming and 'screener' DVDs, this is a very small area of piracy. As far as I'm concerned, screeners are pro-longed trailers. Very, very few people accept screeners as substitutes for anything - not even an actual pirated disk. When disks are being sold and exchanged, far more often than not they're actual copies/rips of films from disks and not screeners. What Hollywood doesn't like to admit is that more pre-release pirate copies actually come from review disks or from within the industry itself - screeners aren't the real issue in this respect.

That's not to say that piracy doesn't damage industries, as I'm sure that to an extent it does. However, I'd say that old, out-dated business models were as much if not more of an issue as well as the consumer being overloaded with options and alternatives for what disposable income they actually do have. For example, the record industry can't whine about the glory days of the record sales of the 1970s without taking into account of computer games, consoles, DVDs and so on.

The real issue in this story is the issue of copyright infringement. This is unavoidable. No one camming, ripping and distributing any kind of material isn't even vaguely aware that there's copyright infringement issues here. However, 90 years worth? Not a chance. Is copyright infringement - particularly in a case like this - really worse than murder or rape? In fact, in the current economic climate, that someone could get 90 years for this when fat cat thieves and liars have been pocketing billions in insulting for everybody - even those who claim to work in the film industry and are said to be more directly affected by the issue of piracy.

Also, it's worth pointing out but when 'examples' are made of people, that's never actually justice per se. That goes beyond the concept of punishing someone for what they, as the accused individual, has actually done. When you punish someone as a deterrent to others, you're actually punishing someone not just for crimes they might have done, but also for crimes that other people haven't actually even done yet. That's not justice by any real definition.

posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 03:41 AM
According to what I read that's only a potential sentence not an actual sentence.

I don't know how things work in Australia, but in the U.S. they'd probably give him a concurrent sentence - meaning they can all be served at the same time.

I think 5 years & a fine that exceeds the estimated proceeds that this group took in would be appropriate.

As far as comparing this to Madoff, well I think Madoff should be crucified with his skin peeled off and while he dies his family's seed within three generations should be extinguished, so they can't benefit any longer.

[edit on 18-2-2009 by verylowfrequency]

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