The suspect is believed to work for a pirate syndicate in the Johannesburg area who released a ‘fake’ Mad Buddies
on the streets of Johannesburg earlier this week. He will appear in the Commercial Crime Court, Johannesburg for bail on Monday.
This is the second camcording incident of this film since it 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 is fast becoming a reality in South Africa.
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.
Corné Guldenpfennig of SAFACT stated that tight security had been implemented countrywide at all cinemas to apprehend suspects, in an attempt to prevent the film Mad Buddies
to be 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 which, in turn, affects people in the wider community and involves people smuggling, drugs and fraud. She stated that a first time offender faces a fine and/or direct imprisonment of 3 years.
SAFACT encourages 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. Also to report any information that they may have to Crimeline, sms 32211 or directly to SAFACT on 011 403 1104/5 or email SAFACT at email@example.com