Have you ever filmed a few seconds of a movie while you're watching it in the cinema and posted it on Instagram thinking, "Nah, no way a major movie studio in the US is gonna bother coming after a small fry like me"?
A Malaysian woman recently learned her lesson the hard way when Instagram blocked her account for three days after receiving a copyright infringement report from The Walt Disney Company. Yep, that Disney.
In a now-deleted Facebook post lamenting her fate, the woman revealed that she had posted an Instagram Story of Toy Story 4, which she had filmed while watching it in the cinema
In her caption, she wrote, "My Instagram account got blocked by Instagram. I'd like to take this opportunity to warn everyone not to follow what I did, filming an Insta Story while watching a movie in the cinema.
Or else your account will get blocked. I'm also taken aback because I only filmed a few seconds (of Toy Story 4) but I received an email the next morning saying that I had infringed upon Disney's copyright. I want to bang my head on the wall."
Instagram had sent two emails to the woman, one highlighting that her post had breached Disney's copyright under the US' Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
The woman's post was shared over 5,000 times before it was deleted, with netizens thanking and applauding Instagram for its quick action
Some chided her for ignoring most cinemas' house rules, which explicitly forbids and reminds moviegoers that it's illegal to film in the theatre
Most amusingly, a number of people actually tagged and called out their friends for doing the exact same thing
In case you're wondering, it is a criminal offence in Malaysia to record a movie in cinemas regardless of its length under Section 43a of Copyright Act
The Act states that "any person who operates an audiovisual recording device in a screening room to record any film in whole or in part" may be liable to a fine of RM10,000 to RM100,000 and/or up to five years of jail time.
Any attempts to record a movie is also punishable with a fine of RM5,000 to RM50,000 and/or imprisonment for up to one year.
Toy Story 4 is now playing in cinemas nationwide. Just remember to keep your phone in your pockets or bags and enjoy the movie, okay?
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