Guilty plea in 'M:I 3' piracy case


A woman caught using a camcorder to record "Mission: Impossible III" at the Arclight Theater in Hollywood pleaded guilty Thursday to a federal charge of copyright infringement.

Renee Maltz of Bel-Air faces up to a year in federal prison under terms of a plea agreement, authorities said. A sentencing hearing has been set for Feb. 22 before U.S. District Magistrate Judge Ralph Zarefsky.

The U.S. attorney's office said Maltz was spotted by Arclight employees operating a camcorder on May 6 during an evening showing of the "M:I 3." Police were summoned and the camcorder was seized, with about seven minutes of the movie recorded, authorities said.

MPAA officials applauded news of the plea agreement.

"Today's guilty plea serves as a reminder to movie thieves that film piracy is a serious crime that comes with stiff penalties," said John Malcolm, MPAA executive vp and director of worldwide anti-piracy operations. "Motion picture piracy triggers a harmful domino effect that hurts both the film industry and the U.S. economy, and I want to commend the FBI, LAPD and the U.S. Attorney's Office for pursuing this case with the diligence and energy it deserves."