The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a measure to outlaw movie piracy in Oklahoma. Senator Glenn Coffee is the author of Senate Bill 1234, also known as the “Movie Piracy Act.” Senator Coffee said the bill is aimed at individuals who take hand-held video cameras into theatres and make illegal copies of films.
“It’s already a federal violation, but the problem is so pervasive there’s no way federal agents alone can stop this kind of piracy. Having a state law on the books means local law enforcement can make arrests,” explained Senator Coffee, R-OKC.
The Motion Picture Association of America estimates that the U.S. motion picture industry loses more than $3 billion a year in potential worldwide revenue due to piracy.
SB 1234 would make movie piracy a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to one year in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
“This is an area of law that has never been addressed in Oklahoma before, but the fact of the matter is, movie piracy is theft, plain and simple. This makes it clear,” said Senator Coffee.
SB 1234 now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.