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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Chapter 540
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F.S. 540.12
540.12 Unlawful use of a recording device in a motion picture theater.
(1) DEFINITIONS.As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Audiovisual recording function” means the capability of a camera, an audio or video recorder, or any other device to record, transfer sounds or images, or transmit a motion picture or any part thereof by means of any technology now known or later developed.
(b) “Motion picture theater” means a movie theater, screening room, or other venue when used primarily for the exhibition of a motion picture.
(c) “Theater owner” means the owner, operator, or lessee of a motion picture theater and includes an employee or agent of the theater owner.
(2) PROHIBITED ACTS.It is unlawful for a person to knowingly operate the audiovisual recording function of any device in a motion picture theater, in which a motion picture is being exhibited, with the intent of recording the motion picture, if the person knows or should have known that he or she was recording the motion picture without the consent of the theater owner. A person who violates this subsection commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. A second or subsequent violation is a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or by a fine of up to $25,000, or both.
(3) REQUIRED SIGNAGE.A theater owner prohibiting motion pictures from being recorded in a motion picture theater must display a sign giving notice that recording a motion picture without the consent of the theater owner is a criminal violation. The sign must be displayed in a manner that is clearly legible and conspicuous from the entrance of the motion picture theater. This section does not create any liability for a theater owner failing to display a sign required under this subsection.
(4) IMMUNITY.A theater owner may detain, in a reasonable manner and for a reasonable period, any person whom the owner has probable cause to believe has violated or is violating this section. A law enforcement officer shall be called to the scene immediately after the person is detained. The theater owner may not be held liable in any civil or criminal action arising out of measures taken in the course of detaining the person while awaiting the arrival of a law enforcement officer, unless the plaintiff can show by clear and convincing evidence that the measures were manifestly unreasonable or the period of detention was unreasonably long.
(5) LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS.This section does not prevent an employee or agent of an investigative agency, law enforcement agency, protective services agency, or intelligence-gathering agency from operating an audiovisual recording device in a motion picture theater where a motion picture is being exhibited as part of a lawfully authorized investigative, protective, law enforcement, or intelligence-gathering activity.
(6) LIMITATION.This section does not prevent the prosecution of an offense under any other law.
History.s. 1, ch. 2004-369.