Purloined ‘Passion’?

Churches buying pirate copies to host public screenings

JOHANNESBURG — Some Christians in South Africa are not averse to breaking the law in their quest to spread the message of Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” to as many people as possible.

SAFact, the industry copyright and piracy monitoring body, is probing several cases in which churches have illegally bought pirated versions of the film to host public screenings in their church halls.

SAFact said it became aware of this after tipoffs from the public and has begun legal proceedings to protect the copyright owners’ interests.

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