Posted on Thursday, August 2nd, 2007 by Peter Sciretta
A 19 year old girl named Jhannet Sejas was immediately arrested after she recorded a 20 second clip from the movie Transformers that she wanted to show to her little brother. She now faces up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. According to the Washington Post, Sejas was celebrating her 19th birthday with her boyfriend when two police officers arrived:
“I was terrified,” said Sejas, her voice breaking. “I was crying. I’ve never been in trouble before.” She said the assistant manager of the theater saw her holding up the Canon Power Shot and reported it to the general manager, who called police.
Sejas of course had no intention on selling the 20-second clip. I mean, who would even purchase such a thing? And for once, the MPAA are not the ones to blame. Regal Cinemas Ballston Common 12 decided to prosecute the case.
I think that everyone should boycott the Regal Cinemas movie theater chain until they drop the charges. A “zero-tolerance policy at the theater level” is ridiculous, and I encourage /Film readers to stay away from Regal until they decide to change their policy and reverse their decision.
We don’t live in a black and white world. Situations like this should be decided internally on a case by case basis. The is no reason that this 19 year old girl should serve jail time and have a permanent record because of this incident. The police should have never been called. We live in a time when a 19 year old kid can more easily download a film off bit torrent than make a $20+ trip to the local multiplex on opening weekend. The movie theaters should give more respect to those of us who pay for a ticket.
“The movie industry needs to recognize that their audience isn’t the enemy,” said Cindy Cohn, general counsel for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.