When South Barrington police accused a man of recording a film at the AMC 30 movie theater last April, they thought it was a fairly routine, straightforward case. They soon learned he's suspected of being one of the top three members of the world's largest movie piracy operation.
At the time of the man's arrest, the MPAA already had the South Barrington theater under surveillance. That's because movie prints have digital watermarks that can be found by analyzing images from a pirated film, thus tracking them to the theater of origin, Kaltman said. A significant number of pirated copies had been traced to South Barrington.