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Introduced by Senator Campbell of Windsor District and Senator Sears of Bennington District

Referred to Committee on


Subject:  Crimes; larceny and embezzlement; film piracy

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to criminalize the act of operating a recording device for the purpose of recording a theatrical motion picture without the consent of the motion picture theater.


It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  13 V.S.A. § 2580 is added to read:

§ 2580.  FILM PIRACY

(a)  As used in this section:

(1)  “Motion picture theater” means a movie theater, screening room, or other venue that is being used primarily for the exhibition of a motion picture at the time of the offense.

(2)  “Recording device” means a photographic, digital, or video camera, or other audio or video recording device capable of recording the sounds and images of a motion picture or any portion of a motion picture.

(b)  No person shall operate a recording device in a motion picture theater while a motion picture is being exhibited for the purpose of recording a theatrical motion picture without the express written authority of the owner of the motion picture theater.

(c)  A person who violates subsection (b) of this section shall be imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both.

(d)  The owner or lessee of a motion picture theater, or the authorized agent or employee of such owner or lessee, who alerts law enforcement authorities of an alleged violation of this section and subsequently detains a person that the owner, lessee, agent, or employee in good faith believes to have violated this section shall not be held civilly liable for measures taken while awaiting the arrival of law enforcement authorities, unless the plaintiff can show by clear and convincing evidence that such measures were unreasonable or the period of detention was unreasonably long.

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont