Sunday, December 6, 2009

Taping 'New Moon' May Land 22-Year-Old in Jail

New Moon PosterNews hitting the press today is about 22-year old Samantha Tumpach who taped about 3 minutes of New Moon while on a surprise birthday trip for her sister and it may land her in prison for 3 years.

"The Chicago, Illinois-area woman captured three minutes of the film on her videocamera while taping part of her sister's surprise party at a Muvico theater in Rosemont.

Theater managers contacted police, who arrested Tumpach. She spent two days in jail. Now she faces a felony charge of illegally copying a movie.

'The motion picture industry has encouraged theater owners to adopt a 'zero-tolerance' policy prohibiting the video or audio recording of any portion of a movie,' Muvico Entertainment, which oversees the theater, told HLN's Prime News.

Attempts to reach Tumpach and any representation were unsuccessful.

Piracy has been an ongoing issue for the motion picture industry. The Motion Picture Association of America estimates that illegal piracy costs its business billions of dollars every year. Muvico said the group believes that hidden cameras in theaters are the direct source of more than 90 percent of all pirated movies.

Still, CNN legal analyst Lisa Bloom said three years appears excessive for the incident, if it should be prosecuted at all.

Illinois state law is fairly broad on this subject, she said, and she believes that it's a ridiculous distortion of the law to prosecute this young woman, who recorded only a few minutes of the film as part of a birthday video.'

Experts say the MPAA, and by extension Summit Entertainment, which produced New Moon,walks a fine line with cases like this.

Kelli Gillespie, an entertainment reporter for the CW, says the movie industry is trying to avoid a similar situation to what the music industry faced with illegal downloads and is trying to work with 'ever-changing technology that's available to so many consumers without alienating their fan base.'

What happens now? Muvico Entertainment says it's up to local police to determine Tumpach's future.

However, the MPAA or Summit Entertainment may want to step in to assist a fan, Gillespie says. It's in their best interest, she said, 'to figure out a way where you aren't punishing the consumer.' "

{via CNN}


  1. I think that's a little dumb. I mean, I suppose I get it somewhat, but it was just a few minutes, and it's not as if she was posting it online illegaly (I don't think?). Sorry. But I think this punishment is just a little too... out there.

  2. Oh my god, of all the people who you KNOW taped the whole thing covertly just to pirate it, a girl filming somebody's birthday has to be made an example of. Three years in prison is ridiculous and unjust when she was just a being bit dim on remembering that you don't whip out cameras in movie theaters.

  3. like other people havent already filmed the whole THING!! jeez that's just rediculous

  4. If I remember correctly, the charges were dropped after the direction spoke in the woman's defence.

  5. lol people have recorded the whole damn thing let along just 3 mintues of it

  6. I agree, this is ridiculous. But, question for everyone... (I find this amusing given the page content.) Does anybody else have an ad for a wireless hidden camera at the top of the page? With a hidden microphone? :P

  7. i mean, a couple days would make sence... but YEARS? no way. thats totally out of the question and stupid. poor girl. :[