Italy to Criminalize Movie ‘Camming’ in Cinemas

By Vaidyanathan Subramaniam / September 8, 2018

Italy is considering criminalizing recording movies being screened in cinemas. Commonly referred to as 'camming', it is often considered to be one of the first channels for circulating pirated content online. Generally, new movie releases are exclusive for cinema screening for a few weeks before they are out on DVD or streaming. However, there are people who prefer watching a movie in the comfort of their homes and can't wait for the latest release on disc. Camming caters to these people by recording the movie as it is being screened in the theater. The quality, of course, leaves a lot to be desired but apparently, people are able to adjust just fine.

Piracy laws vary from country to country. In the US, camming is a felony and can lead to jail time. In India, many digital cinemas are equipped with anti-piracy measures that help investigators in nabbing the offenders. In other places though, it is not viewed as a serious threat to copyright and the law is rarely ever implemented. Italy want's to change this.

While Italian law does prohibit camming, it never imposed jail time for the offenders. However, with the new law proposed by the Forza Italia party, all that could change. The proposal, which would transform camming from a 'mere administrative wrongdoing' to a 'criminal offense punishable like other illegal acts of piracy', was signed by MP Marzia Ferraioli.

Italian Anti-piracy group FAPAV welcomed this development and said that camming targets the first few days of a film's release in cinemas creating significant economic damage to everyone associated with the making of the film. FAPAV observed that piracy in Italy has decreased by about 0.2% and targeting illegal camming activity was one of their most important goals.

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