We are facing federal charges for the mall video. at DVinfo.net

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Old May 7th, 2003, 10:18 AM   #1
High School Student
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Canton, Ohio, USA
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We are facing federal charges for the mall video.

Dudes, I am pooping my pants right now. My friends dad just came into my school, and he was really pissed, and he told us that they called and said they found the video online and that we are facing federal charges, for copyright laws.

I suspect someone from one of the forums has contacted the mall and told on us. Shame on you.

Wish us luck.
Alex Knappenberger is offline  
Old May 7th, 2003, 10:26 AM   #2
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Who are 'they'? The mall police?
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Old May 7th, 2003, 10:30 AM   #3
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Yes. I don't even know any more details, but i'm sure it was a attorney for the mall or something.

I just want to know how they found the video online.
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Old May 7th, 2003, 10:47 AM   #4
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What mall video? But yeah, you have to have a permit. Did you guys shoot something "bad" or just a regular short movie. But federal charges sounds a little much.
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Old May 7th, 2003, 10:55 AM   #5
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Perhaps you should take the movie offline to not get them even
more worked up about it....

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Old May 7th, 2003, 10:56 AM   #6
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See this thread:


Yes, the video is offline...
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Old May 7th, 2003, 11:14 AM   #7
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How the video was found... Its a large place which you are posting to... DV is great to broadcast/promote/ and get your work seen, good/bad or whatever. You have announced your situation and predicament on several sites, and to think that it couldn't be located is quite naive.

I would recommend shutting this topic, chalk it up as experience, and let it go the way of the Do-Do Bird.

Breathe deep... You'll live
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Old May 7th, 2003, 11:15 AM   #8
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Sorry, just couldn't keep quiet on this one any longer.

Ok Alex, you're surprised? Lets see, first you shoot video without permission on private property, then steal something in the process of fleeing the security guards. You run through the mall and parking lots and streets with the security guards in pursuit(possibly endangering shoppers, drivers, the guards and yourselves), then once apprehended, continue to tape without permission in the security office. They tell you that what you did was wrong but you apparently know better. Soooo, you post the illegally shot video on the web. Hmmm can't understand why they might be pissed!

Stunts like this are what has created the requirements we all have to live by with respect to permission and insurance. Do us all a favor and try to engage the brain a bit more before you hit record.

Ok, I'm done venting now...
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Old May 7th, 2003, 12:28 PM   #9
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Not gonna go off like Rob, and I'm not going to lecture you about your actions, I got my own kids. Anyway, I would advice you on one thing. After being notified that you have broken laws and such, the last thing you shoudl have been doing is posting it a few days or whatever, on two boards. Not only do you have a written confession with your REAL name attached to it, but you also have comments about the defiance of their authority. But hey you are 14 years old, you can rest to be assured that the proverbial book will be thrown no where near you. You may clean up a park or two lose a few weekends, pay some money, parents may get a switch(oh, they don't do that anymore, "Spare the rod, spoil a child.") things like that, but in the end you are 14 years old. The key to all this is of course to learn from it and know the useless shanangans lead to nothing but trouble. IT's all fun and exciting until the cops come. Good luck
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Old May 7th, 2003, 01:23 PM   #10
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Okay, time for a little sanity here.

First things first -- I'm not your lawyer, you're not my client, and this isn't legal advice. I don't give legal advice to non-clients, and I don't give legal advice over the internet. If you want to know your rights and potential liabilities, you need to have your parents retain a lawyer on your behalf immediately.

With that said . . .

1. I don't know what you mean by "federal charges." If you mean criminal charges for copyright infringement, you wouldn't have been contacted by a mall lawyer, you'd have heard from the US Attorney's office. Nothing you've described in your posts suggests any basis for criminal copyright infringement liability. Note, too, that in most jurisdictions, it is against the law to threaten criminal action to gain advantage in a civil suit.

2. I've read both threads and looked at your video. I didn't see anything that remotely approaches copyright infringement. You videotaped a kid on a wall in the mall, and then the floor as you ran out. Even assuming the design of the wall and floor were protectable works of expression (a requirement for copyright protection), I'd be very surprised if the copyright was registered. If it wasn't registered, and the mall were to sue, its recovery would be limited to actual damages, as opposed to statutory damages which can be quite high. In this case, it would seem that actual damages are zero.

3. I'm not aware of any intellectual property rights which were infringed by your actions except, possibility, right of publicity with respect to the mall guard whose likeness appeared in the tape, and the security guards who apprehended you and your friends, and whose voices appear on the tape. It depends on the laws in your state.

4. However, you and your friends appear to have committed an act of petty theft and trespass, both of which probably violate municipal and/or state laws. It was stupid enough to do what you did -- boasting about it on the internet, providing admissions which can be used against you AND making the videotape which documents your deeds available to all and sundry was, to put it euphemistically, a very ill-conceived idea.


It may be the mall is bluffing and doesn't plan to take any action against you. If you're lucky, it will all blow over. Just stay out of the place for six months, as they told you. A mall is private property, permission to be on the premises is subject to license, and they have a right to exclude you for almost any reason (in California the laws are a little different because the First Amendment to the California State constitution's provides more extensive free speech rights than its federal counterpart).

You screwed up. Don't make it worse. Talk to your parents. Let them talk to an attorney.

DON'T DISCUSS ANYTHING ABOUT THIS INCIDENT WITH ANYONE ELSE. Don't even respond to MY post. You need to keep quiet, starting now.
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Old May 7th, 2003, 01:51 PM   #11
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Or, it could be that he is just jerking all of our chains just to see what we will say.

I think we have been trolled.
Jeff Farris
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Old May 7th, 2003, 01:53 PM   #12
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I don't think this thread needs any more comment. Paul's advice is the best. Please follow it.
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