October 30, 2014
The National Association of Theatre Owners, which currently maintains 32,000 U.S. screens, and the Motion Picture Association of America announced in a joint statement yesterday that their anti-piracy policies would now include powering off wearable devices. “As part of our continued efforts to ensure movies are not recorded in theaters,” the groups explained, “we maintain a zero-tolerance policy toward using any recording device while movies are being shown.”
“Individuals who fail or refuse to put the recording devices away may be asked to leave,” notes the statement. “If theater 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.”
“The announcement should come as no surprise,” suggests Ars Technica. “Last year, the MPAA urged theater operators to crack down on movie piracy with the use of night-vision goggles, security cameras, and low-light binoculars. The MPAA’s ‘Best Practices to Prevent Film Theft’ also urged theater operators to perform ‘random bag and jacket checks’ of patrons and to ‘look for the unusual.’”
The statement did not specifically reference Google Glass, but the computerized eyewear is already being banned in certain theaters. According to Ars Technica, individuals caught illegally recording a movie can face a three-year prison sentence.