The consensus was clear, here, when the story broke that even Chris Weitz, director ofThe Twilight Saga: New Moon, spoke out against the validity and necessity of charges against a young woman for piracy of the film – where the details of that alleged incident involved the woman supposedly taping the events of a birthday party without intention of pirating and selling the movie. Popular opinion cornered with Weitz, and the agreement was that the woman did not deserve to face the penalty of up to three years associated with this “crime.”
According to the Sun Times, Cook County prosecutors agreed and the Chicago woman was released with all but two days of her life (spent in jail as a result of the arrest) and the memory card for her video camera (confiscated and to be withheld by the police) in hand.
Yet, not everything is intact. “She’s traumatized,” and “[t]his is the worst event of her life and she wants to put it behind her,” said the woman’s attorney to the Sun Times.
Although piracy is a serious issue (and with the law, there’s an invisible line that is had to discern in some instances), for most this was a rather no-doubt situation. Too bad she’ll have the sting of an arrest on her criminal record and an attorney’s bill to pay as a consequence of what most people would probably call a “simple mistake.”
UPDATE: Here is film studio Summit Entertainment’s official statement on the matter:
In regards to the situation with Samantha Tumpach, we applaud Muvico for upholding the zero tolerance policy on piracy when the incident occurred at their theater in Rosemont, IL. The pirating of films is a very serious issue and we all need to remain vigilant to protect the art of film and the myriad of businesses that the film industry supports. We believe that the attention that this incident has drawn, has served as a reminder to us all that any form of film piracy, or perceived piracy, will be treated with the utmost seriousness.
Summit is pleased that all charges against Ms. Tumpach have been dropped and appreciate the efforts of the police and the prosecutors in this outcome.