New Moon director Chris Weitz defends alleged video pirate

While the Cullen family of vamps in Twilight sure seemed to like playing a friendly round of baseball, somebody is playing some seriously nasty hardball with a 22-year-old Chicago woman, who is facing a possible three years in jail for having three minutes of The Twilight Saga: New Moon on her digital recording device. New Moon director Chris Weitz has stepped up and stated that "the case seems to me terribly unfair, and I would like to do what I can to address this."

The Hollywood Reporter's legal blog says that Samantha Tumpach claims she was only recording parts of her sister's birthday party, which was taking place at a Chicago-area theater that is part of the Florida-based Muvico chain. While Weitz has expressed his concerns to Summit, the studio that made New Moon, executives there have been quiet on the subject. The studio is not pressing felony charges against Tumpach for "criminal use of a motion-picture facility," the theater is.

The Chicago Sun-Times further reports that Tumpach has already spent two days in jail while awaiting a bond hearing. Weitz wrote in an e-mail to the Sun-Times that "There is, needless to say, a difference between trying to protect the copyright of a film and making an unfair example of someone who clearly seems not to have any intentions towards video piracy."

Three years for three minutes of material? Given some of the dogs that have been released lately, which producers and directors should be thrown in the slammer for "criminal use of a motion-picture facility" ... specifically, the crime of showing their movies in theaters?

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