For those that are employed in the entertainment industry, one of the most concerning risks is piracy. Similar to other areas of the country, the New York City penal code has implemented a variety of rules and laws that prevent certain kinds of piracy. One of the laws in New York that is designed to prevent and reduce piracy is unauthorized operation of a recording device in a motion picture or live theater in the third degree is not a major crime.
This crime would occur if someone was to enter a motion picture or live theater and was to take a recording of a film. Generally speaking, there is no minimum or maximum of potential damage related to this crime specifically. In some more sever cases, this crime is charged in addition to more serious piracy charges, including selling bootlegged various of a movie or film
Examples of the Crime
The crime of unauthorized operation of a recording device in a motion picture or live theater in the third degree does occur regularly. A simple example of this would be if you were to attend a movie or live theater event and then try to record the event. Whether you intend to show the film to others, sell a bootlegged version, or do anything else, the simple act of recording is a crime.
Defense of the Crime
If you are charged with unauthorized operation of a recording device in a motion picture of live theater in the third degree, it would be wise to contact an attorney immediately. While the crime is not a major charge, it could still end up on your permanent record. Furthermore, this crime is often added on to more serious charges pertaining to your intent to sell bootlegged material.
When working with a NYC criminal lawyer to defend your case, the main form of defense will be to try and prove that you were permitted in a way to record the event. Furthermore, the crime technically only pertains to live action theaters and motion picture theaters. This is a broad term, which could be construed as vague. Depending on where the incident took place, you could have the charges dropped altogether.
Penalties for the Crime
In general, if you are charged with unauthorized operation of a recording device in a motion picture of live theater in the third degree, the penalty will not be too severe if you are convicted. In most cases, the judge will provide you with a modest penalty. However, if you have been charged with the crime in the past, the judge does have the right to sentence you up to 15 days in prison.
If you were later caught trying to sell the bootlegged material, or even give it away for free, the penalties could be more significant. These piracy laws have max punishments with jail times in excess of 6 months and much larger monetary fines.
In conclusion, unauthorized operation of a recording device in a motion picture or live theater in the third degree, but it should not be taken lightly. If you were charged with this crime, it would be a good idea to contact your NYC criminal lawyer immediately. The lawyer will be able to work with the prosecutor and legal system in an attempt to have the charges dropped entirely.
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