Prison, fines on table for Japan theater pirates

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The Japanese parliament on Thursday passed a law that makes it a criminal offense to make a video recording of a film in a theater, a decision that the movie industry here has long been seeking (HR 5/25).

At present, anyone found using a camcorder in a cinema can only be asked to leave the premises. But, as of the end of August, the Bill to Prevent the Unauthorized Photographing of Cinematographic Works will mean that anyone caught making a pirate copy could face up to 10 years in prison or a ¥10 million ($85,000) fine.

The legislation, an amendment to Japan's Copyright Law, has been welcomed by the industry and the Japan and International Motion Picture Copyright Assn. — which represents the MPA here.
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