Monday, February 02, 2004

Unauthorized Movie Recording Gets Tougher Punishment in California

February 2, 2004

In this newsletter:

Congratulations to “Mango Kiss”

Client Sascha Rice’s film “Mango Kiss” has been bestowed a bevy of praise and awards in recent weeks. The film won the gold award at the Park City Film Festival, was the Opening Night Film at Seattle’s Sex on Screen Film Festival and Park City Film Music Festival, and is slated to be the closing night film for the Durango Film Festival, which will be held March 6-14, 2004.
Congratulations Sascha!

Unauthorized Movie Recording Gets Tougher Punishment in California

This new California law is designed to stop illegal recording of movies. It was necessary to enact this new law because it’s become increasingly easy to record movies in theaters illegally. With the shrinking size of video and digital recorders, anyone can smuggle them into theaters without being noticed.

California has already had a law that made it a misdemeanor to refuse to stop operating a recording device in a movie theater “upon the request of the theaterowner.” However, the legislature had to take tougher measures in order to protect the movie industry and curb piracy. The new statute supplements the existing law by adding a section to the California Penal Code, Section 653z. This section makes it a “public offense” to operate a recording device in a movie theater while a movie is being shown. Unless the person recording the movie has a written authorization from the movie theater’s owner, the act is punishable by imprisonment for as long as one year in county jail and a fine of as much as $2,500.

This tougher law will make it more difficult and risky for anyone to record movies illegally and will help decrease movie piracy.

Mark in Moviemaker, FFT, Will Speak at Miami Film Festival Feb. 7 Mark’s article, “Soft Money in Hard Times,” has been published in the current issue of Moviemaker magazine. Moviemaker can be found online at

Mark was also mentioned as one of “The Top 25 Indie Players” in Film Festival Today. FFT was distributed during the Sundance Film Festival and can be found online at

On Feb. 7, Mark will deliver his “Self-defense for Writers and Filmmakers” seminar at the Miami Film Festival. He’ll cover typical compensation and terms of studio contracts, merchandising deals, creative approvals, and negotiating tactics and strategies. To register, call 305.237.1696. Visit the Miami International Film Festival website at