- The Washington Times - Friday, June 3, 2016

A college student was caught bootlegging a motion picture from India inside of a Chicago-area cinema Wednesday after an anti-piracy team on the other side of the world learned the moviegoer was streaming the film live on Facebook. 

BlueSky Cinemas, an international distribution company, said in a press release Thursday that a Valparaiso University student was arrested while recording and streaming “A Aa,” a romantic comedy from India that premiered in the United States this week. 

In a press release, the distributor claimed an anti-piracy team more than 8,000 miles away in Hyderabad, India learned about the unauthorized recording as it was unfolding inside the Muvico Rosemont cinema, and notified theater management who in turn called the cops. 

The student “was caught red-handed with content” and promptly arrested, BlueSky Cinemas said in a statement

Contrary to the distribution company’s claim, however, an incident report obtained by The Washington Times reveals the moviegoer wasn’t arrested, but was actually allowed to stay and watch the rest of the film. 

According to the incident report by local police, the distributor did in fact notify the theater Wednesday evening after learning that the film was being streamed live on Facebook. 

“When our manager entered the theater, he saw the individual recording and asked him to stop recording immediately or leave the theater. He complied with this and deleted any images he contained on the phone for the movie, [and] we allowed the individual to stay for the remainder of the phone,” an unnamed cinema employee told Rosemont Public Safety Police. 

Rood Chanduy of BlueSky Cinemas told the theater that the moviegoer had been streaming the film online for over 30 minutes by the time management was aware, but it was not clear if the distributor would pursue the matter further, the employee said in the incident report. 

“I am not willing to prosecute,” the theater employee said.

A theater manager referred The Washington Times to corporate headquarters when reached Friday, but subsequent requests for comment were not immediately successful. 

As reported first on the website Torrent Freak, the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act of 2005 makes it a criminal offense to knowingly “transmit or make a copy of a motion picture” without authorization, and violators risk penalties ranging up to three years in prison. 

“Recording and sharing unauthorized video in social media is also a part of cybercrime,” the BlueSky Cinemas said in a statement. “We request especially students in USA not to involve these kind of issues and get into trouble yourself. Anti-Piracy team is actively working on it trace any kind of illegal activities.”

“Please watch on big screens and stay away from piracy. Satisfaction is guaranteed.”

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