On this day in 2005, the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act (FECA), was signed into law.
- The law, which amended § 2319 of the federal criminal code, made it illegal to use a camcorder or similar device to record a movie in a movie theater. Under 18 U.S.C. § 2319B, first-time violators may be fined and face up to three years in prison; subsequent offenders may face up to six years in prison.
- The law amended §110 of the Copyright Act and § 1114 of the Trademark Act to allow for movie sanitizing technologies such as the technology used by ClearPlay, which instructs specially-designed DVD players to censor particular parts of a DVD by skipping certain video and audio content.
- The law amended § 408 of the Copyright Act, directing the Copyright Office to issue regulations to establish procedures for the preregistration of particular works being prepared for commercial distribution. The works must be of a type that have a history of being infringed before release.
- The law amended § 506 of the Copyright Act so that it criminalizes distribution over the Internet of a work being prepared for commercial distribution. First-time violators may be fined and face up to three years in prison; subsequent offenders may face up to six years in prison. If the offense was committed for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain, the penalties increase up to five and ten years for first-time and subsequent violators respectively.
- The law amended § 108 of the Copyright Act to allow libraries to make copies of orphan works.
- The law reauthorized the Library of Congress’s film preservation activities.
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