A. It shall be unlawful for any person to operate an audiovisual recording function of a device in a commercial theater, excluding the lobby and other common areas, to record a motion picture or any portion thereof without the consent of the owner or lessee of the theater. Any person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
B. The owner or lessee of a commercial theater where a motion picture is being exhibited, or his authorized agent or employee, who has probable cause to believe that a person has made a recording in violation of subsection A on the premises of the owner or lessee, may detain such person for a period not to exceed one hour pending arrival of a law-enforcement officer. Such owner, lessee, agent or employee shall not be held civilly liable for unlawful detention if such detention does not exceed one hour, slander, malicious prosecution, false imprisonment, false arrest, or assault and battery of the person so arrested or detained, whether such arrest or detention takes place on the premises of the owner or lessee or after close pursuit from such premises, provided that, in causing the arrest or detention of such person, the owner, lessee, agent or employee had at the time of such arrest or detention probable cause to believe the person was making or had made an illegal recording in violation of subsection A.
C. This section shall not apply to any lawfully authorized investigative, law-enforcement, protective, or intelligence gathering activity by an agent or employee of the Commonwealth or the federal government.
D. The term “audiovisual recording function” means that component of an analog or digital photographic or video camera or other device developed with the capability to record or transmit a motion picture or any part thereof.
2004, c. 759.