Police in the UK have arrested a man believed to have recorded newly-released movies in cinemas and then uploaded them to the Internet. The 33-year-old, who was arrested under the Fraud Act following a FACT investigation, is thought to be responsible for leaks of American Ultra and Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials.
Every week movies appear online after being illegally recorded in cinemas using camcorders. Hollywood has blamed the phenomenon for eating into box office revenues and has spent years trying to stamp it out.
Pirates, on the other hand, download the illicit copies in their millions, despite them being of generally poor quality. Today, however, there is one less source for these so-called ‘cams’.
According to the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), a UK-based man in his thirties was arrested before weekend on suspicion of recording Hollywood movies in cinemas and then uploading the copies to the Internet.
The 33-year-old, from Nottingham in the East Midlands, was tracked down following a joint investigation carried out by the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) and the Government Agency Intelligence Network (GAIN).
FACT reports that it supported officers from both the East Midlands GAIN Disruption Team and EMOpSS during the execution of search warrants in the Hinkley area last Friday. Items including laptops were taken away for examination.
A man was arrested on suspicion of recording American Ultra and Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials on the days they were released and then uploading that footage to the Internet. He was questioned and later bailed pending further inquiries.
“Over 90% of counterfeit versions of movies originate initially from a copy recorded in a cinema. Piracy not only costs the film industry millions of pounds but can also affect thousands of jobs, so it is crucial we act upon intelligence we receive about this activity,” says Kieron Sharp, Director General of the Federation Against Copyright Theft.
“With two big releases due to hit the screens in the next few months it is incredibly important we work to combat those behind illegal film recordings. We thank the East Midlands GAIN Disruption team for their support in this investigation.”
Earlier this year a leaked report shone light on FACT’s anti-camming activities in the UK. One of the slides references offenses taking in place in Leicester although its unclear whether they relate to Friday’s arrest.