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Arrest in illegal movie recordings investigation

A man from Nottinghamshire in the UK Midlands has been arrested on suspicion of recording newly-released films at cinemas and posting the footage on the Internet.

The 33-year-old was arrested, questioned and bailed pending further enquiries on Friday 18th September following a joint operation involving the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) and the Government Agency Intelligence Network (GAIN).

Officers from the East Midlands GAIN Disruption Team, supported by a team from the East Midlands Operational Support Service (EMOpSS) and FACT, executed search warrants in the Hucknall area on Friday, recovering items such as laptop computers for examination.

The warrants were obtained for the investigation of offences under the Fraud Act 2006 after FACT received intelligence that the films – American Ultra and Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials – had been recorded at a cinema on the day each was released and then the footage was posted on the Internet.

FACT then referred the matter to the GAIN office within the East Midlands Special Operations Unit, which is a collaborative policing unit created by the Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire police forces to combat serious and organised crime in the region.

According to Kieron Sharp, Director General of the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), over 90 per cent of counterfeit versions of movies originate initially from a copy recorded in a cinema. “Piracy not only costs the film industry millions of pounds but can also affect thousands of jobs, so it is crucial we act upon intelligence we receive about this activity. With two big releases due to hit the screens in the next few months it is incredibly important we work to combat those behind illegal film recordings. We thank the East Midlands GAIN Disruption team for their support in this investigation.”

A spokesperson for the East Midlands GAIN said: “This operation very much exemplifies what GAIN is all about – acting on intelligence gathered through the network and coordinating the enforcement operation in conjunction with the body which regulates the offending activity and local or regional police resources. Clearly, this case is now active following the arrest and execution of the warrant so it would be inappropriate to comment further on this case.”

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