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Youngster may be jailed for livestreaming in-theater Vietnamese blockbuster on Facebook

Thursday, November 16, 2017, 16:25 GMT+7

A 19-year-old man in southern Vietnam is facing fines of up to US$44,000 and possible jail time for livestreaming a screening of a Vietnamese blockbuster through his Facebook page.

The man, identified as Nguyen V. Tr., was eventually asked by cinema employees n Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province to end the stream before being handed over to police officers for investigation.

According to his written account at the police station, Tr. used an iPhone 7 to film and broadcast the Vietnamese blockbuster ‘Co Ba Sai Gon’ (The Tailor) on his Facebook page using the platform’s ‘livestream’ feature.

Tr. broadcast the stream while on a date with his girlfriend on Monday afternoon.

The livestream attracted thousands of viewers at one point, with many – including the film’s producer and lead actress Ngo Thanh Van – using the comment section to criticize Tr. for his crime.

“You are killing Vietnam’s film industry with your actions,” the female producer writes in her comment after discovering the livestream, which lasted about 30 minutes before an employee escorted Tr. to the cinema’s manager.

He was later handed over to Ba Ria-Vung Tau police officers where he confessed to having livestreamed the movie without permission.

In a Facebook status update posted shortly after the livestream ended, Ngo Thanh Van expressed her disappointment and “powerlessness” by the lack of conscience of young moviegoers.

“I’m crying for the efforts of my crew. I’m truly disheartened. This is like a slap to the face,” Van wrote. “This could be the last film I ever produce. Totally disappointed.”

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‘The Tailor’ hit Vietnamese cinemas last Friday, and tells the story of a pre-1975 tailor in Saigon – the former name of Ho Chi Minh City – specializing in traditional Vietnamese ‘ao dai.'

The film’s production house has filed a formal request to Ba Ria-Vung Tau police officers for the handling of Tr.’s violations in accordance with the law.

According to legal experts, Tr. could face fines of up to VND1 billion ($44,000) and three years behind bars if found guilty of violating copyright laws.

A theatrical poster for ‘Co Ba Sai Gon’ (The Tailor)
A theatrical poster for ‘Co Ba Sai Gon’ (The Tailor)

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