November 19, 2013
The Motion Picture Association of America offers theater employees a $500 reward for catching moviegoers illegally recording films on the big screen. The Association recently updated its anti-piracy guidelines, which outline tips for spotting illegal recording activity. The new guidelines urge theaters to enforce a strict zero-tolerance policy regarding any video, audio, or photographic documentation that may lead to piracy.
According to TorrentFreak, many pre-release screenings and premieres of films require moviegoers hand over their phones to prevent any filming of the screen, and often, theater employees are even given night-vision goggles to monitor audiences.
“The best practices now also clarify that when a suspect individual is spotted, theater employees should take immediate action,” TorrentFreak says. “Even when in doubt, the local police should be notified as soon as possible.”
Methods of movie piracy have gotten even trickier, according to the MPAA — some movie pirates conceal cameras with cup holders or hats. Others, however, take it even further with devices specially designed for piracy, like “a small camera built into eyeglass frames or a camera built into the lid of a beverage container.”
A list of best practices for theater owners and employees include notifying the police department prior to any screenings to make them aware of potential complaints against thieves, posting signs outside the theater indicating that violators of no-filming rules will be prosecuted, and conducting bag searches upon entrance to the theater.