Movie Piracy Hit in Bill Backed by Senate Panel

Legislation increases penalty for pirating pre-release copies of commercial work.

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved legislation to make video taping a movie in a theater a federal offense.

The legislation would increase penalties for distributing copies of a work before the copyright holder has had a chance to get the product to market. Willful posting of a pre-release copy of a commercial work on a public computer network would be a felony punishable by up to three years in prison for a first violation.

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