NY Penal Law § 275.33: Unauthorized operation of a recording device in a motion picture or live theater in the second degree

by ECL Writer
Conspiracy in the first degree

It is unlawful to attend a movie screening or live theater performance and clandestinely record it without proper authorization. To record such a performance, you must obtain consent from the individual managing the venue. If you fail to secure this consent and proceed to record the event, you may face legal repercussions.

According to New York Penal Law § 275.33, you can be charged with the offense of unauthorized operation of a recording device in a motion picture or live theater in the second degree if you use a recording device within a movie theater or live theater without the operator’s permission under the following circumstances:

  • If your intent is commercial in nature.
  • If you record for a duration of 15 minutes or longer.
  • If you have previously been convicted within the past five years under New York Penal Law § 275.32 for unauthorized operation of a recording device in a motion picture or live theater in the third degree, or under New York Penal Law § 275.34 for unauthorized operation of a recording device in a motion picture or live theater in the first degree.

Sentence

Unauthorized operation of a recording device in the second degree is categorized as a Class A misdemeanor. As a result, a conviction could result in a potential sentence that encompasses a maximum one-year jail term, a probation period of up to three years, a monetary fine, and the requirement to provide restitution.

Defenses

This law does not pertain to situations where you possess the recording solely for personal use, nor does it apply if you have obtained permission from the theater operator to create the recording.

New York Penal Law § 275.33: Unauthorized operation of a recording device in a motion picture or live theater in the second degree

A person is considered to have committed the offense of unauthorized operation of a recording device in a motion picture or live theater in the second degree under the following circumstances, as defined in § 275.32 of this article:

  • When they do so with the intent of financial gain or for commercial purposes.
  • When the recorded material comprises fifteen minutes or more, or a substantial portion, of the motion picture or live theatrical performance.
  • When the individual has a prior conviction within the past five years under § 275.32, 275.34 of this article, or this particular section.

Related Offenses

Hiring a New York Lawyer

When facing charges for unauthorized operation of a recording device in a motion picture or live theater in the second degree in New York, hiring an experienced lawyer is essential. This offense involves surreptitious recording, a serious legal matter in the state. A skilled New York lawyer can navigate the complex legal landscape, build a strong defense, and protect your rights. They’ll leverage their expertise in copyright and intellectual property laws, knowledge of evidentiary rules, and courtroom experience to strive for the best possible outcome. With potential fines and imprisonment, a capable attorney becomes your vital ally in safeguarding your legal interests.

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