A suspect, believed to work for a pirate syndicate in the Johannesburg area, will appear in the Commercial Crime Court, Johannesburg following his apprehension during the first show of the Mad Buddies film at Ster-Kinekor, Maponya Mall, Soweto for using a camcorder. The syndicate released a fake copy of the film on the streets of Johannesburg last week.
This is the second incident, since the film was released theatrically. The other suspect spotted at Bedford Centre, fled after being approached by Ster-Kinekor staff.
Stealing films from the big screen, as the first source of copies, is fast becoming a reality in South Africa. It reportedly causes millions of Rands of losses to the producers and distributors of the film and results in the direct loss of income to actors and crew in the industry overall.
Films are 'stolen' off cinema screens by use of any digital recording device, from mobile phones, small handheld camcorders to recorders on tripods. In fact, 90% of all pirated films worldwide are camcorded copies. South Africa is releasing films in cinemas day-and-date with the rest of the world and some even ahead of the worldwide release dates. This makes such film titles vulnerable to pirates to obtain a master of the film, which are used for the first upload on pirate download sites and for counterfeit production of the films on DVD format, for sale on the streets and informal markets.
Say no to piracy
Corne Guldenpfennig of SAFACT stated that tight security had been implemented countrywide at all cinemas to apprehend suspects, in an attempt to prevent the film being stolen prior to the legal release of this film on DVD. She further stated that piracy is a serious crime that generates millions of Rands in illegal income annually. She stated that a first time offender faces a fine and/or direct imprisonment of three years.
SAFACT is encouraging members of the public to say no to piracy and to report any incidents of suspicious activity in a cinema to the cinema manager or staff immediately. They may also report any information to Crimeline, SMS 32211 or directly to SAFACT on tel +27 (0) 11 403 1104 or email .
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