Recording movies or live theater performances without the explicit consent of the venue operator is a violation of the law. To capture such events, one must obtain permission from the person responsible for the theater. Failure to secure this authorization and proceeding to record the performance could lead to criminal charges. Under New York Penal Law § 275.32, you may be found in violation of the third-degree offense of operating a recording device without permission in a movie theater or live theater.
Engaging in unauthorized operation of a recording device in the second degree constitutes a misdemeanor. A conviction in such a case may result in a potential jail sentence of up to 15 days and a fine may also be imposed.
This statute is not applicable if you possess explicit consent from the theater operator for recording. Furthermore, the statute exclusively pertains to recordings created within the confines of a “motion picture theater” or a “live theater.” Although these definitions are comprehensively defined in accordance with New York Penal Law § 275.32(2), if the location where the recording was made does not fall under the categories of a motion picture theater or a live theater, you may potentially have a valid defense against the charges.
New York Penal Law § 275.32: Unauthorized operation of a recording device in a motion picture or live theater in the third degree
- A person is guilty of unlawful operation of a recording device in a motion picture or live theater in the third degree when without authority or written permission from the operator of a motion picture theater or live theater, the person operates a recording device in such theater.
- As used in this § (a) “recording device” means a photographic or video camera, or any audiovisual recording function of any device used for recording the sound or picture of a motion picture; (b) “operator” means the owner or lessee of a motion picture theater or live theater or the authorized agent or employee of such owner or lessee; (c) “motion picture theater” means a theater, screening room, auditorium or other venue that is being utilized primarily for the exhibition of a motion picture at the time of the offense; and (d) “live theater” means a concert hall, recital hall, theater, or auditorium in which a presentation is rendered, consisting in whole or in part of a musical, dramatic, dance, or other stage rendition by one or more professional performers who appear in person in the immediate presence of their audiences, and admission to which is limited by its operator to persons holding an admission ticket or who have other authority or written permission to enter. Live theater shall not mean or include a musical, dramatic, dance, or other stage rendition that is performed by students enrolled in a school or college or as a part of a children’s camp or similar program.
- Unauthorized operation of a recording device in a motion picture or live theater in the second degree: New York Penal Law § 275.33
- Unauthorized operation of a recording device in a motion picture or live theater in the first degree: New York Penal Law § 275.34
Hiring a New York Lawyer
In New York, engaging a lawyer for a case involving the unauthorized operation of a recording device in a motion picture or live theater in the third degree is crucial. This offense, a class A misdemeanor, demands legal expertise to navigate the complexities of state law. A skilled attorney will assess evidence, examine the circumstances, and build a strong defense. They’ll strive to protect your rights and minimize potential consequences, such as fines and imprisonment. With a New York lawyer’s guidance, you’ll have the best chance of a favorable outcome, ensuring your legal rights are upheld in this serious legal matter.