Man convicted of recording film in cinema

A MAN who made a pirate copy of a film before it had received its world premiere has become the first person in Scotland to be convicted of illegally recording in a cinema.

Christopher Clarke, 25, last year filmed director Ridley Scott's Robin Hood movie on his mobile phone before it had been aired at the Cannes Film Festival.

Prosecutors said Clarke "repeatedly pirated films from cinema screenings and uploaded them to the internet for profit".

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He was sentenced to 160 hours of community service at Glasgow Sheriff Court yesterday, the Crown Office in Scotland said.

Clarke, from Glasgow, had pleaded guilty on 2 June to a charge under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

The court heard that investigators from the Federation Against Copyright Theft spotted Clarke entering a press screening of Robin Hood at Glasgow's Cineworld cinema on the morning of 12 May, 2010.

It was the first public screening of the film in the world and the official world premiere at Cannes was due that evening. When Clarke was stopped as he left the cinema, he was caught with a mobile phone in his hand, which was seized. The entire film was found on the phone.

The court heard he had also uploaded five films he had recorded on to the internet.

The Crown Office said the landmark case represents the first time that such conduct has been detected in Scotland.

John Dunn, area procurator fiscal for Glasgow, said: "Piracy is by no means a victimless crime - it undermines legitimate businesses and the arts sector."