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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 knowingly operate a recording device in a motion picture theater for the purpose of recording a theatrical motion picture, while a motion picture is being exhibited, 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)  A theater owner who has reasonable cause to believe that a person has recorded or is attempting to record a film in violation of subsection (b) of this section may detain the person on or in the immediate vicinity of the premises of the motion picture theater, affording the person the opportunity to be detained in a place out of public view, if available, in a reasonable manner which may include the use of reasonable force and for a reasonable length of time for any of the following purposes:

(1)  To request and verify identification;

(2)  To make a reasonable inquiry as to whether the person has in his or her possession a film or any portion of a film that the person recorded in violation of this section.

(3)  To inform a law enforcement officer of the detention of the person and to surrender that person to the custody of a law enforcement officer; and

(4)  In the case of a minor, to inform a law enforcement officer, and, if known or determined, a parent, guardian, or other person having supervision of the minor of his or her detention, and to surrender custody of the minor to the law enforcement officer, parent, guardian, or other person.

(e)  The owner or lessee of a motion picture theater shall post a public notice stating that knowingly recording a film without written permission from the owner or lessee is a criminal act under Vermont state law and may result in a fine or imprisonment, or both.  Notice shall be placed in a prominent and accessible location which can be seen easily by a person entering the theater.  Notice shall be posted on a sign with dimensions of at least 8‑1/2 inches by 11 inches.

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont