If you work at a UK movie theater, there’s never been a better time to go pirate hunting. Until June 30th, UK cinema employees can receive up to 1000 British pounds, or 1500 US dollars, for catching would-be bootleggers in the act.

Movie theaters often find themselves a front line in the fight against pre-release film piracy. Recently, UK film distributors and the Hollywood-backed Federation Against Copyright Theft program have been stepping up their efforts to stamp out “cammers” by offering cash rewards to cinema employees who report illegal filming to the police. Now, for a limited time, FACT is upping the ante even further, by increasing the maximum cammer-bagging reward to 1000 pounds—which is no small bonus for a low-wage worker.

Punishments for recording and distributing bootlegged movies can be severe, and clearly, FACT has a vested interest in publicizing the ill fate that befalls cammers. But sometimes, in their enthusiasm to be well paid good samaritans, employees can be a bit quick to cry criminal activity. In December 2014, a UK cinema worker dialed the police after spotting a group of 12 year old girls with iPhones and iPads out at a showing of The Hunger Games. The girls, who were pulled out of the movie, reportedly went home in tears after the police search turned up nothing.

Handsome cash rewards may help bag a few additional bootleggers, but it’ll also be interesting to see whether the new effort impacts the average citizen’s movie-going experience. Sure, you’re not supposed to use your phone at the movies anyway, but I don’t think anybody’s going to be too happy when the police are called over a little texting. [Torrent Freak]

Top image via Kenneth Lu / Flickr

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