Metal detectors and night-vision goggles are turning up in Calgary movie theatres as the film industry attempts to crack down on pirating.
This year, Calgary has become a major sources for pirated films recorded in the theatre using camcorders or cellphones, said Serge Corriveau, vice-president of the Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association, which works with major film studios to protect their copyright in Canada.
Moviegoer Sharanpal Ruprai recently went to an advance screening of the film Becoming Jane where security staff took cellphones and laptop computers from ticket-holders.
"They were really checking, and one guy seemed to have a metal detector," she said. "Halfway through the movie, I looked up and [saw] another security guard had what seemed to be night-vision goggles. He was sort of scanning the audience for cellphones or cameras, that sort of thing."
Each print of a film carries an identifying watermark so pirated films can be traced to the very movie theatre they were filmed in, said Corriveau.
The industry is turning to a combination of high-tech and low-tech procedures to combat the problem, he said: "Having people searching knapsacks and people going up and down the aisles once the movie's started to see if they can spot somebody camcording. You can see also people with night-vision goggles searching through the crowd trying to see if they can find something."
Corriveau said that during special pre-screenings, metal detectors will also be used.
New legislation meant to catch pirates
New legislation meant to crack down on film piracy was introduced by the federal government in June, two days after former action star and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger met with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Currently, under the Copyright Act, a person who commercially distributes a movie they filmed in a theatre can be prosecuted, but Justice Minister and Attorney General Robert Douglas Nicholson said in June there is a gap in the law.
"Sometimes, many times, the individual who is actually doing the camcording is not in the business of commercial redistribution. Afterwards, that individual may be just paid for that particular activity," he said.
A report by a U.S. group trying to combat piracy estimates movie copying costs Hollywood more than $6 billion US a year.
Canada is on a "priority watch list" for countries with high rates of piracy. In May, Warner Brothers announced it would cancel preview screenings in Canada of its summer blockbusters until Canadian law is changed to prohibit taping in theatres.
Edited by - jigz -, 09 August 2007 - 13:21.