Movie theaters ban Google Glass, other wearables

31 Oct 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »

MPAA Cracks Down on Wearables in Theaters.

The National Association of Theater Owners and the Motion Picture Association of America jointly banned Google Glass and other wearable tech devices in movie theaters this week. According to an updated anti-theft policy from the organizations, they support a “zero-tolerance policy toward using any recording device while movies are being shown.” All cell phones must be silenced, and any recording devices—a category that now includes wearables—must be turned off and put away at show time. Last year, the MPAA said that it had “no proof” that Google Glass is “a significant threat that could result in content theft,” according to TorrentFreak. The update “was made to fully integrate wearable tech into the rules following a joint meeting of NATO and MPAA theatrical anti-piracy teams,” the lobbying organisation said.

Individuals who fail or refuse to put the recording devices away may be asked to leave.” Despite the voluntary nature of the ban, NATO — yes, the theater owners group calls itself NATO — expects most of its 32,000 theaters will adopt the policy. The fear of these is unwarranted.” Trade group spokesman Patrick Corcoran claims the ban is a measure to prohibit piracy as wearable tech becomes more sophisticated in the future. While the Apple Watch will not have a built-in camera, plenty of smart watches already do—though theatergoers will look pretty conspicuous holding a watch up for two hours in a movie theater. The MPAA’s Google Glass statement came after a January incident in Ohio, where a man wearing prescription Glass while watching Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit was pulled from an AMC theater by Homeland Security agents. The MPAA’s previous zero-tolerance policy specifically warned against recording on cell phones and some antiquated devices like PDAs, so an update in language certainly seemed necessary.

For the moment, though, this change will likely only affect a small number of those attending movie theaters, as Google Glass still costs $1,500—or about 185 movie tickets in 2014’s third quarter. British movie houses, meanwhile, took the same approach: The Cinema Exhibitors’ Association (CEA) in June asked that, “as a courtesy to your fellow audience members, and to prevent film them,” customers do not enter any theater auditorium using wearable technology capable of recording images.

If theatre managers have indications that illegal recording activity is taking place, they will alert law enforcement authorities when appropriate, who will determine what further action should be taken.” VARIETY.COM/REUTERS

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