Man arrested for filming anime in movie theater to "watch at home"

midian182

Posts: 6,921   +62
Staff member
In context: Remember when torrent sites were awash with clips of new movie releases recorded surreptitiously in theaters by people with cameras? The effect is like a grainy replica of the real experience, complete with coughs, rustling popcorn, and moviegoers blocking the screen as they visit the bathroom. The practice has become less popular, especially with so many cinemas worldwide only recently reopening, but it does still happen, and the punishments can be harsh. In Japan, a man was arrested for filming an anime so he could, allegedly, watch it again at home.

MBS News (via Kotaku) reports that the fifty-year-old man was arrested in Osaka for filming Detective Conan: The Scarlet Bullet in a shopping mall movie theater using his smartphone. Other people noticed the man filming the anime, which he later admitted to.

While most movies pirated this way end up being shared online, the perpetrator said, “Because it [the movie] was interesting, I filmed it stealthily so I could watch it at home.”

The man was arrested and charged with violating the Japanese Copyright Act, a crime that can result in a prison sentence of up to ten years and massive fines.

Kotaku notes that public service announcements in Japan warning against filming movies in theaters are a lot more interesting than the static, text-filled screens most of the world sees. The updated version (above) could be better than the movie itself.

This sort of thing does happen in the US, too. Back in 2017, two suspects were arrested on suspicion of recording Fate of the Furious at a Hoyts Movie Theatre in Linthicum, Maryland.

Image credit: True Touch Lifestyle

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Dimitriid

Posts: 721   +1,299
Is it really worth it to arrest somebody over such petty offense?

We're talking about "perpetrator" and "crime" when this is the equivalent of J-Walking: if the theater is super greedy kick him out and get him like a 25 dollar ticket: just slightly above what was paid for the ticket.

We should at least wait until we can confirm the movie was uploaded as a torrent to up his fee to maybe 100 bucks or something.
 

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 357   +545
Years ago - back when the first Lord of the Rings movie came out - I had two roommates and they loved to torrent movies and music. So much so that I never bothered to do much with torrents since they were always finding anything and everything. They had music they didn't even like just because they could. They found any movie that they could. They found expensive software and made copies that they never even used or had any tendency to use....they just downloaded it because they could.

HelI, one of them had several 500 CD storage cases full of movies, music, games and software.

One of them found a pre-release of the first Lord of the Rings movie and every now and then along the bottom of the screen when the movie was playing would pop up a message about how this was a pre-release film, not meant for distribution.

I don't recall if the pre-release version was the same as the theatrical version, but it was fun seeing that movie before it hit theaters. The audio was good and the video was good, only thing that rivaled the torrented movie was actually seeing it in theater.

One of them even came across a unofficial release demo of Doom 3 that we all tried out. Some of the monster 3D models weren't all complete and the demo area was just one small level, but it was still pretty damn cool.
 

Lionvibez

Posts: 2,341   +1,884
Up to 10 years? The movie industry in Japan must be very powerful indeed.

Yup and a complete waste of time and money. The same movie was probably already on a torrent site the day he was recording it. This guy was just an ***** doing what he did. And them trying to throw the book at people for doing this to prevent others from doing it. Doesn't stop the movies from getting on the internet.
 

thelatestmodel

Posts: 203   +144
Copyright law is not fit for the world we live in. And it comes as no surprise that the old-fashioned Japanese authorities are completely blind to that.

If you offer a good experience at a reasonable price, people will pay you for it. I'd much rather go to a theatre and have a comfortable, high quality experience than watch a pirate video someone has taken on their phone.

The impact on the cinema's bottom line from this man's actions must surely be negligible - why doesn't the cinema have to prove that revenue was lost before any legal proceedings take place? No, of course - everything is stacked in favour of the copyright holder, because of good old-fashioned corporate greed.

This is the 21st century. We have Kickstarter, Patreon, Twitch, all of these platforms where creators can be monetized directly by their fans. We don't have to worship at the altar of corporate creators any more, we have more choice over who to give our time, attention and money than ever before.

Media companies are just scared that their world is changing.
 

madboyv1

Posts: 1,697   +613
Is it really worth it to arrest somebody over such petty offense?
Up to 10 years? The movie industry in Japan must be very powerful indeed.
In general Japanese law is extremely strict if not draconian, their judicial system has a 99% conviction rate, extremely common for coerced confessions during initial detainment, and in the case of not receiving a confession the police is known to practice hostage justice where the accused can stay potentially stay in detention anywhere from a month to a year (heaven forbid you're a foreigner visiting, they'll hold you past your visa's expiration to force you out if it's not a "serious" charge). Nothing about this article is surprising to me.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 721   +1,299
In general Japanese law is extremely strict if not draconian, their judicial system has a 99% conviction rate, extremely common for coerced confessions during initial detainment, and in the case of not receiving a confession the police is known to practice hostage justice where the accused can stay potentially stay in detention anywhere from a month to a year (heaven forbid you're a foreigner visiting, they'll hold you past your visa's expiration to force you out if it's not a "serious" charge). Nothing about this article is surprising to me.
I'm sure you're 100% right but its still a waste of time: It feels like Japan does pretty good when it comes to crime so the police are just trying to look busy to justify the paychecks, pretty dystopian if you ask me.
 

yRaz

Posts: 3,724   +3,731
In general Japanese law is extremely strict if not draconian, their judicial system has a 99% conviction rate, extremely common for coerced confessions during initial detainment, and in the case of not receiving a confession the police is known to practice hostage justice where the accused can stay potentially stay in detention anywhere from a month to a year (heaven forbid you're a foreigner visiting, they'll hold you past your visa's expiration to force you out if it's not a "serious" charge). Nothing about this article is surprising to me.
Are you sure you aren't talking about China? I've never heard any such thing about Japan.
 

Myflag

Posts: 11   +17
Is it really worth it to arrest somebody over such petty offense?

We're talking about "perpetrator" and "crime" when this is the equivalent of J-Walking: if the theater is super greedy kick him out and get him like a 25 dollar ticket: just slightly above what was paid for the ticket.

We should at least wait until we can confirm the movie was uploaded as a torrent to up his fee to maybe 100 bucks or something.
I don't understand why this crime would carry jail time. He was not a violent offender and posed no danger to other people. I have no problem with there being a significant financial penalty against him, or banning him from all movies theaters for x number years, or even jail time if he is caught doing it repeatedly. However, I don't think jail time makes sense for a first time offense for a victimless crime. Wow.
 

Vanderkaum037

Posts: 21   +22
In general Japanese law is extremely strict if not draconian, their judicial system has a 99% conviction rate, extremely common for coerced confessions during initial detainment, and in the case of not receiving a confession the police is known to practice hostage justice where the accused can stay potentially stay in detention anywhere from a month to a year (heaven forbid you're a foreigner visiting, they'll hold you past your visa's expiration to force you out if it's not a "serious" charge). Nothing about this article is surprising to me.
In general Japanese law is extremely strict if not draconian, their judicial system has a 99% conviction rate, extremely common for coerced confessions during initial detainment, and in the case of not receiving a confession the police is known to practice hostage justice where the accused can stay potentially stay in detention anywhere from a month to a year (heaven forbid you're a foreigner visiting, they'll hold you past your visa's expiration to force you out if it's not a "serious" charge). Nothing about this article is surprising to me.
Keep in mind that's a "conviction rate," not a "charged" rate. The reason the rate is so high is due to timid prosecutors who don't prosecute unless they think it's a slam dunk.
 

duckofdeath

Posts: 428   +579
Wow Thank god they got that Criminal off the streets think of the children.
Not sure what that comparison achieves? Should we scrap all criminal punishment that isn't child murder?
A crime is a crime. He knew the penalty for stealing IP.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 6,132   +4,401
Copyright law is not fit for the world we live in. And it comes as no surprise that the old-fashioned Japanese authorities are completely blind to that.
Do you live in the US? Maybe we don't hear about it as often, but I bet this goes on in the US, too. And the consequences may end up being just as dire.
If you offer a good experience at a reasonable price, people will pay you for it. I'd much rather go to a theatre and have a comfortable, high quality experience than watch a pirate video someone has taken on their phone.

The impact on the cinema's bottom line from this man's actions must surely be negligible - why doesn't the cinema have to prove that revenue was lost before any legal proceedings take place? No, of course - everything is stacked in favour of the copyright holder, because of good old-fashioned corporate greed.

This is the 21st century. We have Kickstarter, Patreon, Twitch, all of these platforms where creators can be monetized directly by their fans. We don't have to worship at the altar of corporate creators any more, we have more choice over who to give our time, attention and money than ever before.

Media companies are just scared that their world is changing.
I avoid movie theaters because of the poor experience. If there is anything that I want to see, I wait until our local library system gets it and then borrow it.
 

thelatestmodel

Posts: 203   +144
Do you live in the US? Maybe we don't hear about it as often, but I bet this goes on in the US, too. And the consequences may end up being just as dire.
No, I do not. I'm honestly not sure what point you're trying to make here, yes it does go on in the US, but I've not heard of anyone getting 10 years for it.

The point isn't about whether it goes on elsewhere. Of course it does. Point is the law is not fit for purpose any more, the democratization of digital media has seen to that.
 

amghwk

Posts: 1,055   +969
Is it really worth it to arrest somebody over such petty offense?

We're talking about "perpetrator" and "crime" when this is the equivalent of J-Walking: if the theater is super greedy kick him out and get him like a 25 dollar ticket: just slightly above what was paid for the ticket.

We should at least wait until we can confirm the movie was uploaded as a torrent to up his fee to maybe 100 bucks or something.
It is the huge showbiz corporates and their hand-in-hand copyright, anti-piracy, trigger-happy agency that are behind these overboard punishments. Showbiz and software businesses are mega money making corporates that keep these copyright anti-piracy bodies well-fed too with their cuts.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 6,132   +4,401
No, I do not. I'm honestly not sure what point you're trying to make here, yes it does go on in the US, but I've not heard of anyone getting 10 years for it.

The point isn't about whether it goes on elsewhere. Of course it does. Point is the law is not fit for purpose any more, the democratization of digital media has seen to that.
People have been using that argument for years and the industry lobbies are just not having any of it. They would rather castrate themselves than let honest users do things like play UHD Blu-ray disks legally on PCs without having to go to strict hardware requirements - such as Intel's fault-riddled SGX https://www.cyberlink.com/products/powerdvd-ultra/spec_en_US.html
 

captaincranky

Posts: 16,979   +5,753
Are you sure you aren't talking about China? I've never heard any such thing about Japan.
My Prince, you'd be very surprised just how misogynistic, traditional, (nay verily backward), Japanese culture actually is.

You actually have to suffer one of their "erotic art masterpieces", to see it in action.

First, they take their sweet old time, (Runtime usually touches about the hour mark)., and their "foreplay", is a combination of shaming and humiliation. The women are "not allowed" (?) to pretend they are enjoying it. until about the 50 minute mark. Before that, woman is supposed to "look afraid,naive, and ashamed".

She's supposed to give of a, "I guess I can't wear white to mt wedding now", vibe. Basically, they're mimicking a "geisha behind the scenes", (or a westerner's concept of one).

To the upside, "men of all sizes", are allowed to compete for her affections