back to article Glasgow cammer not thrown in slammer

A 25-year-old man has followed in the footsteps of Harrow pirate Emmanuel Nimley after being convicted of using his phone to illegally record movies in a Glasgow cinema. The conviction is said to be the first of its kind in Scotland, after Christopher Clarke of Keppochhill Road, Sighthill, pleaded guilty on 2 June to a charge …


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  1. DF118

    I'll never understand

    Why people watch cam copies

    1. Random Noise


      Filmed on a phone as well? The quality must have been pish.

    2. Robert E A Harvey

      As I understand it

      It's a underculture thing, 'sticking it to the man' rather than artistic appreciation.

      And, to be fair, much of Hollybore's output is not significantly degraded by second rate re-photoraphy. They started it.

    3. Jim Morrow
      Paris Hilton

      i don't get it either

      what's even harder to understand is why anyone would waste 2 hours of their life watching shit like that robin hood film.

      paris icon because her films are worth watching, even the cam copy knock-offs.

    4. Avalanche

      And I'll never understand

      Why people even watch some of the drivel coming out today (and clearly, I am one of them)...

    5. Paul Crawford Silver badge


      Exactly, and maybe this is the point in his sentencing - it is hardly worse than the guy watching the film then going out and blogging to his mates & the world the plot and saying its crap/good/whatever.

      I don't see how some crappy phone-cammed version with tinny sound supplemented by crisps & farts is really devaluing the film by being released upon t'Internet.

    6. Pete B

      Re: cam copies

      It seems fitting somehow that people want to watch the mostly crap movies coming out now on a crap recording.

    7. 7mark7

      "I'll never understand ...

      ... why people watch cam copies."

      Although losing much of the special effects etc., you do still get the plot and story-line, which is clearly the glory of contemporary Hollywood.


    8. The Fuzzy Wotnot


      I am guessing it's the bragging rights? "Oh look I've seen [lastest Hollywood blockbuster] before you lot! Look how great I am and being able to get this!". Yeah, you and the other 500,000 people in the torrent swarm!

      When you see Mums outisde schools, as they do outside my kid's school, swapping knocked off DVDs of "cams" they've downloaded or bought off the Asian lads in the pub, you start to understand why the media-corps get a little peed off and when they finally catch someone, want to make an example of them.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Paris Hilton

        Mums outisde schools

        Why on earth would they want these chavs in their nice cinemas?

  2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    no specific legislation

    In spite of the fact that every time I go to the cinema, there's a bloody great big sign stating that it *is* illegal...

    1. frank ly

      In which case....

      .. are the cinema owners/management making a fraudulent statement?

      Does any of the Mandybill legislation cover this or was it passed full of holes you could drive a bus through?

      1. Alister Silver badge

        @frank ly

        There has been an existing body of law (The 1988 copright Act) which covers this, however in 2003 it was amended and clarified:

        "The infringement of copyright or performer's rights by making a work available to the public in the course of a business or to an extent which prejudicially affects the copyright owner becomes a criminal offense (reg. 26; new s. 107(2A) of the 1988 Act)"

    2. Marvin the Martian
      Paris Hilton

      And your point is, if any?

      There's no specific law against killing 15-and-a-half year olds, but it's still illegal.

      Maybe you refer to the fact that putting up signs claiming something is illegal has no legal power in itself; the signs may or may not be correct. And in the case of filming /making a copy, they are correct.

      1. jonathanb Silver badge

        Yes there is

        It is either murder if done with intent, causing death by dangerous driving if done with a motor vehicle, or manslaughter in all other cases.

        Copying a film with your phone is copyright infringement which means they can sue for the loss of income caused by people watching the crappy cam copy rather than the original. Those damages are probably negligible. If you sell the copy for money, trading standards can take action for selling counterfeit goods. And from the two cases cited here, they can take criminal action even if you just upload it to The Pirate Bay, though it isn't considered to be a very serious offence, probably because it isn't.

  3. Bumpy Cat

    Filmed in a cinema, on a phone?!

    Um, I'd be surprised if you can even tell what film you're watching. I think I'd rather pay a few quid for the DVD off Amazon.

  4. A J Stiles

    How hard would it be .....

    ..... To project on the screen, along with the movie (obviously in light visible to the human eye), something else in infra-red visible only to camcorders?

    It wouldn't spoil the cinema viewing experience, but it would definitely surprise anyone trying to watch a camcorder copy!

    1. Michael Mokrysz
      Thumb Up


      I have to give you credit, that's actually a really interesting idea.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Not very hard at all ... race you to the patent office!

    3. SharkNose


      >To project on the screen, along with the movie (obviously in light visible to the human eye), something else in infra-red visible only to camcorders?

      Wouldn't I just need to attach some kind of filter to my camera to make this plan a non-starter?

    4. Robert Heffernan


      This is a good idea to stop people with budget camcorders or most camera phones, but anything with a good quality optics system will have an IR filter before the CCD to kill the infra-red signal dead, leaving more signal space in the CCD for visible light.

      It also wouldn't take cammers long to get an IR filter an attach it to their budget gear and this solution is then rendered ineffective.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        IR Filter on Phone cam?

        Somehow I doubt that you could attach a IR Filter to a Phone cam.

        That would stop all the occasional rephotographer who do it just because they just happen to have a chance to do it.

        In the end it might result in less but uch better copies being distributed.

    5. Robert A. Rosenberg

      Already done and Patented

      Apple has a patent on a system where an Infra-Red signal will turn off the camera on iPhones to prevent them from recording anything that a movie theater or concert promoter does not want filmed. It can also be used by the Police to prevent recording of them beating up peaceful protesters or innocent motorists who are the "wrong" color.

    6. The Indomitable Gall

      A different IR

      There's already an IR scheme in use: some cinemas now have IR LEDs beside or above the screen. This serves the double purpose of reducing image clarity and messing with active autofocus.

      IR has the side effect of increasing the temperature of whatever it hits, though, so it degrades the experience for the viewer....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        A diffferent IR

        I wonder if any research has been done into the effects on the human eye of staring at an array of IR LEDS for 2 hours?

        Just because you can;t see it doesn;t mean there is no damage.

    7. Miek

      Well, why not ask apple?

      They are currently patenting just such a technology to work with the iPhone.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Crimes against piracy quality!

    Given the multitude of digital rips which can be obtained via various means (including the local market), why oh why would anyone want to see a mobile phone video recording of a cinema screen.

    That's so 1980s.

    Due to the staggered release dates, we don't actually have to wait that long in the UK. The US DVD comes out only a few weeks/months after the film is released to the UK cinemas. I don't know what they are doing in the intervening weeks/months, certainly not translating!

  6. Andy Scott


    What I don't get was why wasn't he caught sooner as in Cineworld Glasgow(Renfrew Street) the staff use night vision goggles to check if anyone is filming in the cinema.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: Andy Scott

      Erm, I've been going to Cineworld Glasgow (Renfrew Street) since it opened and I've never once seen a member of staff wearing night vision goggles.

      To be honest though, I'm not sure most of the staff in there are qualified to use light switches, let alone night vision goggles (based on the number of films I've seen there where the movie starts off centre with the screen or with the soundtrack not in sync with the picture).

      Luckily, the Braehead Odeon seems a better quality of cinema (and at least the female staff are prettier to look at!)

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Night vision goggles?

      I wish. In my local CineWorld they don't turn the lights down enough to warrant night vision goggles. Sunglasses would be better. A real pain as it ruins any kind of dark film - I saw Alien when it was re-released a while ago, could hardly see what was going on. Seems to be worse when there is a row of steps up the centre of the seating - the lights are left on above it throughout the movie. Very annoying.

      I prefer a movie in the local Odeon instead where they supply proper darkness (with floor level strip lights to show the way out). Pity it's also a bit sticky, cold, has no banked seating and you can hear the buses going past outside.

      Maybe a DVD at home would be better. Waaaay cheaper too of course.

  7. Heff
    IT Angle

    'unable to secure a prison sentence"

    GOOD. leave prison to violent offenders and criminals with a proven intent to do harm. jailing the dude for camming makes as much sense as jailing people for persistant noise complaints or littering.

  8. Anteaus

    Eye not a camera? Brain not a recording device?

    Some researchers reckon they're close to understanding how the brain stores data. If they are at some point able to extract image data from a typical lump of convoluted grey stuff, then from that point on will everyone who looks at the screen in a cinema have to be arrested for piracy?

    1. nyelvmark
      Thumb Down

      Some researchers reckon they're close to understanding how the brain stores data.

      Citation needed.

      1. Anteaus

        Citation given:

        Nyelvmark, you are required to present yourself (or your legal representative) for cross-eaxamination at the Central Court on the Twenty Third Day of September, Two Thousand and Eleven, where you shall explain your actions in photographing a cinema screen with your eyes, and subsequently on the following night during sleep, of making a permanent copy of the recoreded images in your cerebral cortex, thereby commiting a copyright infringement.

        As an alternative you have the option of making a $500 on-the-spot payment, which will clear you of any further charges in relation to this matter.

        1. nyelvmark
          Thumb Up


          ...Not quite the type of citation I had in mind. I note that that type is (unsurprisingly) not forthcoming.

    2. Brian 6



  9. mark l 2 Silver badge

    DVD rips

    It makes me laugh than the police and CPS went to the effort of even prosecuting for this when a police caution was probably enough. I have recently got back from Bali where they have full scale shops in malls selling dodgy DVD, CDs and software for under a £1 each and they come with full colour screen printed silver DVDs (so factory produced not DVD-R) and they appear to be operating legally or at least the police have been paid off to turn a blind eye to it.

    I expect some customers will think the DVDs are original but when they have transformers 3 on sale it kind of give it away they aren't.

    1. SweeneyBoy

      No Caution

      @mark l 2 There's no such thing as a caution in Scottish law

  10. Anonymous Coward


    He might have just been recording the dust in the air, that floated in front of his phone.

  11. Gareth Perch

    Double standards

    They're quick enough to stop someone using a mobile phone to record the film, but if anyone's messing with their phone (talking loudly, texting with big bright screens, not even watching the film, spoiling it for others) there's not an official to be seen.

  12. robert 15


    surely and iphone battery doesn't last long enough to record an entire movie?

  13. Ben 54

    Cam vids are rubbish anyway

    I dont get why people want to watch these cam vids anyway. And they actually pay for it! In Asia they sell these knock-offs in malls, and one i saw had a poster behind him asking people to report piracy!

    But on FACT, their abbreviation doesnt even make sense. How can you steal a copyright? Seems they bastardized the english language just to make a word out of their abbreviation.

    1. Vic

      Re: Cam vids are rubbish anyway

      > How can you steal a copyright?

      You can't.

      But they are trying hard to conflate copyright infringement with theft so as to have a greater impact - even though it is entirely misleading.

      That propaganda bit at the beginning of DVDs really winds me up. They make a big fuss about "you wouldn't steal a car" (etc.), and that's true - but copying a film is not theft as described in the Theft Act 1968, so the statement is irrelevant. They make a big deal about "piracy is a crime" - and that, too, is true. Piracy is a crime of violence on the high seas, but it has nothnig whatsoever to do with copyright infringement.

      Breaching copyright is an offence, but it is not theft, nor is it piracy. It is only a crime if committed in a commercial context. But FACT et al. find it necessary to mix these ideas up into something that seems to imply - but never actually states - that copyright infringement is some sort of uber-crime that funds terrorism and leads inexorably to Class A drug abuse. The cocks.


      1. Anonymous Coward


        Hey Vic.

        I don't know about the Class A drug abuse, but I can tell you that round these parts (Glasgow, where this unfortunate was caught), the people selling dodgy dvds are definitely not the kind of people you would want to fuck around with.

        Whilst not quite terrorists, they are definitely organised and *most* definitely criminal. In fact, it would not be surprising to learn that, in a roundabout way, dodgy DVDs are implicated in drug abuse too, helping to fund the supply side.



        1. Anonymous Coward

          "helping to fund the supply side"

          Um, isn't the point of supplying drugs that generally there is plenty of profit to be made from the activity?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            It's all about risk....

            I'm guessing the sale of dodgy DVDs is seen by the criminal fraternity as the 'low risk' side of business. Like most of the bankers in the country have attempted (badly at times), a mix of high and low risk is a decent strategy....not that I'd ever put bankers in the same boat as your average criminal :P

  14. J. R. Hartley

    Jail for recording a film?

    Isn't that fucking sick. Steal 6 months of a guy's life just because some prick in America is down a few quid.

    What kind of society is this?

  15. Bill Cumming

    @Ben 45 Heard of "R5 (bootleg)" disks

    From Wikipedia: In an effort to compete with movie piracy in these areas, the movie industry chose to create a new format for DVD releases that could be produced more quickly and less expensively than traditional DVD releases. R5 releases differ from normal releases in that they often lack both the image post-processing and special features that are common on DVD releases. This allows the film to be released for sale at the same time that DVD screeners are released. Since these screeners are the chief source of high-quality pre-DVD release pirated movies (in comparison to cam or telesync, mostly), this allows the movie studios to beat the pirates to market."

    They were probably selling the R5 disks legally

  16. Winkypop Silver badge

    What are these 'cinemas' you all speak of?

    Really, todays people want to know.

  17. John Tserkezis

    No, no, no, you don't get it.

    The difference between watching it on a huge screen in high resolution, with huge speakers, and watching a PhoneCam version on your 14" monitor and pissy PC speakers is: Eighteen bucks Australian (or whatever your current rate and currency is in your town).

    That's it. They only care if they don't get their cash if you watch it at home.

    Once you're in the cinema, there's no backsies.

    They don't care about the boofhead hairstyle of the person sitting in front is blocking your view.

    You've already paid.

    They don't care the moron behind you is continually comentating on the film.

    You've already paid.

    They don't care the idiot out the front has their cellphone going off, and answers the urgent call that one of their idiot friends bought a shocking green dress, and they need to hold an intervention for her.

    Because you've already paid.

    They don't care you've wasted an hour and a half of your life you're NEVER getting back.

    You've already paid.

    Good thing they can't stop you from telling your mates not to bother seeing it (*).

    (*) Said mates will instead wait for the DVD rip and watch that. They'll still wonder if they'll ever get that hour and a half of their lives back, but let's hope their $18 in their pocket at least makes them feel a little better...

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Cinema editions are great

    I would miss the sound of crisp packets, crunching popcorn and people coughing. Worst of all I would miss Captain Silhouette who makes guest appearances.

    I would miss these if people stopped recording them

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    It's the economy silly!

    Hmmm, let's see

    6 months = 26 weeks in the nick time.

    Say £2,000 a week for shared room and board at HMP (Her Majesty's Prisons)

    Makes for £52,0000 on rough estimates.

    Add in a bit of benefits for on the dole time after nick-time and there might even be a bit of rent to pay while person is in the nick. Alternatively there may be a bit of homelessness after release from nick.

    Comparing, say, 200 hours of unpaid community work bearing in mind there will be a structure to manage it (national director, regional director, local director, couple of managers, some frontline staffers, there will have to be a quality observation/social audit in place I suppose).

    So, you see, crime does pay?

    It certainly seems to keep a lot of people employed plus legal teams and courts.

    Yes, these two people are keeping a lot of people in work

  20. Mr Common Sense

    The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

    "In October of last year, then 22-year-old Lincoln Road, Harrow-based Nimley, who had been thrown in jail for six months for fraudulently filming Hollywood films at a Vue cinema, saw his sentence successfully quashed on appeal to a 12-month community order."

    How is one meant to fraudulently film something?

  21. Daniel Johnson
    Paris Hilton

    Dragon's Den

    A few years ago, I remember someone demonstrating an invention on Dragon's Den that prevented filming cinema screens. They didn't get an investment from the "Dragons" -- if I remember correctly they couldn't see a use for it. I thought at the time the inventors should try approaching the Hollywood studios for a licensing deal.

    Paris, because she knows all about filming in the dark.

  22. Piro

    So NOW we know who to blame for bad camjobs..

    Using a phone? Christ!

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is a text description also illegal?

    If someone posted (for free) a full, text-only, detailed account of a film - not just a synopsis, but basically a hastily written novelization, would that also be illegal? I'm guessing it is as it's unauthorised.

    Lots of reviews give away the basic plot, so where is the line drawn between a synopsis of a film and a copyright infringing unofficial novel that spoils the whole movie while it is still in cinemas?

    Should be worried?

  24. Lamont Cranston

    There really is no good reason for a custodial sentence

    for this sort of crime. Gosh, does this mean that the justice system is working properly?

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