The CEA has joined other film industry leaders in welcoming the sentence of six months’ imprisonment imposed on a persistent film thief at Harrow Crown Court yesterday.

Emmanuel Nimley, 22, received the sentence after pleading guilty to ten charges brought around the illegal copying and distribution of films, having been arrested whilst in the act of illegally recording a film at Vue Harrow earlier this year. His arrest followed close co-operation between the anti film piracy organisation FACT and staff from Vue Entertainment.

The severity of the sentence, reflecting the persistence of Nimley’s behaviour and his acknowledgement of the resulting losses to the cinema industry, has been widely welcomed by the industry.

Sentencing Nimley, Judge John Anderson said:

‘It may be suggested in some quarters – especially among young people – that this is harmless fun and film in the cinema is fair game. It is not. Your action was a deliberate cheat on the film companies and the film industry.’

He went on:

‘Fraudulently making and distributing copies of films for whatever purpose and of whatever quality has the effect of depriving the film industry of revenue. In current society it’s difficult to imagine an audience wider than the internet having access to such illegal material. Your dishonesty strikes at the heart of that industry.’

‘This was deliberately planned and carefully executed offending which I have no doubt would have continued if you had not been caught.’

Commenting on the sentence, CEA Chief Executive Phil Clapp said:

‘For a long time now, the industry has been lobbying Government for a specific camcording offence. At the same time however, we have been working with colleagues in FACT and various Government Departments, to bring film thieves to book under the existing Fraud Act legislation.’

‘The sentence handed down to Emmanuel Nimley, and the judge’s unequivocal condemnation of the impact of film theft, is hugely welcome. I congratulate colleagues at FACT and at Vue Entertainment who worked so had to achieve this result.’