Last week we reported the story of a Chicago-area woman,Samantha Tumpach, who was arrested and jailed for taping 3 minutes of New Moon on a video camera. What came to light after her arrest was that she wasn’t so much taping the movie as she was taping the guests at a birthday party that just so happened to be going on at the theater that was, you guessed it, showing New Moon. Now granted she caught New Moon footage and you’re not supposed to do that, but it’s not as if she was surreptitiously taping the whole movie with intent to sell. Throwing her in jail for what seems to be stupidity, naivete, carelessness (or quite possibly all three) does seem rather harsh. Well it looks like, given the alleged specific context of the situation, Chris Weitz agrees.
According to the Chicago Sun Times:
“There is, needless to say, a difference between trying to protect the copyright of a film and making an unfair example of someone who clearly seems not to have any intentions towards video piracy,” Weitz wrote.
He said he had contacted the studio that released the film, Summit Entertainment, to express his concern about her arrest, but he acknowledged there’s probably little he can do to influence the outcome of her case.
“I am not sure what effect I would have on the case,” he wrote, noting “the film is, after all, not my property.”
EDITED: We are currently trying to establish exactly who is pressing the charges here. Public record would seem to indicate that it is the owners of the theater. Ty to Amanda Bell, the Twilight examiner, for finding the apparent complainant.