Who watches the watchmen watch movies?
Japan’s recently strengthened anti-piracy laws have foiled yet another dastardly copyright violator and, oh dear, it appears the perp is in fact a policeman. The Fukushima Prefecture police force announced on Thursday that they’ve charged a 38-year-old male expressway police sergeant with violating the Japan Copyright Act by recording a showing of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha the Movie 2nd A’s.
In response to the charges, the police force has reduced the sergeant’s salary by 10% for one month. Oddly enough, according to investigators, the cop actually recorded the film on three separate occasions in separate theaters. Theatre staff reportedly witnessed him setting up his camera and audio recording equipment in his seat at a Fukushima City theater on August 23rd.
As for the film itself; Nanoha is pretty much exactly what you’d expect from a movie with “magical girl” in the title, but you can see the trailer in the above right if bobble-headed teens, random glowing lights and preposterously saccharine Japanese pop music are your thing.
Under a Japanese law enacted in 2007, recording audio or footage from a movie is prohibited for up to eight months after its opening day. New copyright laws introduced this June have made smuggling hidden recording devices into movie showings an offense.
Animated movies have been making a killing in Japan this year, with Evangelion Shin Gekijōban: Q Quickening (Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo as it’s called in the west) and the two Puella Magi Madoka Magica movies being amongst the biggest releases of the year.