Earlier this year Hollywood’s MPAA helped local police catch two camcording pirates at a movie theater in Linthicum, Maryland.
Troy Cornish and Floyd Buchanan were spotted with recording equipment, preparing to target the US premiere of The Fate of the Furious.
According to Anne Arundel County Police, both were caught inside the theater while they were recording. The men reportedly wore camming harnesses under their clothing, which strapped mobile phones against their chests.
The MPAA’s involvement in the case is no surprise. The anti-piracy organization is the go-to outfit when it comes to content security at movie theaters and often keeps a close eye on known suspects.
In fact, at the time, an MPAA investigator told police that Buchanan was already known to the industry group as a movie piracy suspect.
Soon after the first reports of the arrests were released, dozens of news outlets jumped on the story. Rightly so, as ‘camming’ movie pirates are rarely caught. However, when the two were convicted this summer it was awfully quiet. There was no mention in the news at all.
While a few months late, this means we can break the news today. Despite claiming their innocence during trial, both Cornish and Buchanan were found guilty at the Glen Burnie District Court.
The court sentenced the two men to a suspended jail sentence of a year, as well as 18 months probation.
While this is a serious sentence, it’s likely not the result the MPAA and the major Hollywood studios were hoping for. Despite the cammers’ attempt to illegally record one of the biggest blockbusters of the year, they effectively escaped prison.
If both were jailed for a substantial period there would undoubtedly be a press release to celebrate, but nothing of the like happened during the summer.
The above may sound a bit odd, but it’s totally understandable. The sentences in these cases are likely seen as too mild by Hollywood’s standards, so what’s the purpose of highlighting them? Anti-piracy messaging is mostly about scaring people and deterrence, and this case doesn’t fit that picture.
Still, the MPAA’s investigators are not going to stop. If either of the two men are caught again, it will be hard to avoid prison. Perhaps we’ll hear more then.
The MPAA didn’t respond to our request for comment.