Section 13A-8-90

Violations; penalties.

(a) For purposes of this section, the following words have the following meanings:

(1) AUDIOVISUAL IMAGE. A series of related images which are intended to impart an impression of motion when shown in succession by means of a machine or device.

(2) AUDIOVISUAL RECORDING FUNCTION. The capability of a device to record or transmit a motion picture or any part thereof.

(3) MOTION PICTURE THEATER. A movie theater, screening room, or other venue that is being utilized primarily for the exhibition of a motion picture at the time of the offense.

(4) COMMERCIALLY DISTRIBUTE. To sell, lease, rent, or distribute for pecuniary gain.

(b) Any person who knowingly operates the audiovisual recording function of any device in a motion picture theater for the purpose of recording a motion picture with the intent to violate the property rights of the owner of the motion picture commits the crime of unlawful operation of a recording device. For purposes of this subsection, to record or transmit one or more audiovisual images from the on-screen exhibition of a motion picture, or to transmit the audio sounds accompanying the motion picture, is presumptive proof of intent to violate the property rights of the owner of the motion picture.

(c) Unlawful operation of a recording device in violation of subsection (b) is a Class A misdemeanor on the first offense. Any subsequent conviction of unlawful operation of a recording device in violation of subsection (b) is a Class C felony.

(d) Unlawful operation of a recording device in violation of subsection (b) with intent to commercially distribute the recording is a Class C felony.

(e) The owner or lessee of a motion picture theater, or the authorized agent or employee of the owner or lessee, who in good faith notifies a law enforcement agency of an alleged violation of this section shall not be liable, absent negligence or willfulness and wantonness, in any civil action arising out of measures taken by the owner, lessee, agent, or employee in the course of subsequently detaining a person that the owner, lessee, agent, or employee in good faith believed to have violated this section while awaiting the arrival of law enforcement authorities.

(f) This section does not prevent any lawfully authorized investigative, law enforcement, protective, or intelligence gathering employee or agent of local, state, or federal government from operating any audiovisual recording device in a motion picture theater as part of any lawfully authorized investigative, protective, law enforcement, or intelligence gathering activities.

(g) This section does not prevent prosecution for any acts violating this section under any other provision of law providing for a greater penalty.

(Act 2008-272, p. 397, §1.)