In October, Mayor Bloomberg announced legislation to penalize movie piracy. NYC, besides being a capitol of finance, media, and fashion, among other things, is also the capitol of movie piracy, with 43% of all pirated DVDs coming from the Big Apple.

Now the proposal is up for review by the City Council. From the NY Times:

The bill before the Council would make unauthorized recording in a movie theater a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $5,000, as well as a civil penalty up to $5,000.

Currently, under the state penal code, illegally recording a movie is only a violation, punishable by up to 15 days in jail or a fine of up to $250. (However, related crimes, like trademark counterfeiting and failing to disclose the origin of a recording, are felonies under state law.)

The Motion Picture Association of America's Van Stevenson explains that nowadays, someone making an illegal recording has to be doing so in the presence of a police officer to be busted but "If this legislation passes, just like shoplifters in retail stores, movie thieves can be observed and detained by theater employees until police officers arrive to make the arrest."

So the legislation gives more teeth to stopping people taping in movie theaters. It just means more DVDs will be made using movies available online. But we suppose the city has to face counterfeit movie piracy, given that it does want to remind filmmakers it's on their side.