It’s remarkable to think that at one point in our moviegoing culture the notion of bringing a handheld camera into a theater was considered taboo. Now, mobile phones are essentially pocket-sized movie cameras. Times certainly have changed, and compared to what is happening today with the advent of smart phone technology, the act of old-fashioned piracy is starting to seem downright innocuous. And it appears—in a rare instance of this particular organization being ahead of the curve— that the Motion Picture Association of America has decided to take action.
Variety reports that the MPAA has, as of just a few days ago, issued a “zero-tolerance” policy, banning use of Google Glass and all other similarly designed techware for use in movie theaters across the nation. This should come as no surprise to anyone who is even remotely familiar for the potential for privacy breaches inherent in the design of something like Google Glass, and there has already been concern. Earlier this year of an Ohio moviegoer found himself talking with Homeland Security after bringing his Google Glasses to a screening of “Jack Reacher.”
Below is the official statement from the MPAA:
“The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) have a long history of welcoming technological advances and recognize the strong consumer interest in smart phones and wearable “intelligent” devices. As part of our continued efforts to ensure movies are not recorded in theaters, however, we maintain a zero-tolerance policy toward using any recording device while movies are being shown. As has been our long-standing policy, all phones must be silenced and other recording devices, including wearable devices, must be turned off and put away at show time. Individuals who fail or refuse to put the recording devices away may be asked to leave. 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.”
So there you have it. On one hand, it makes sense. Google Glass does have an incredible facility for capturing and recording video, and they are a step up from the older analog technology in just about every way. On the other hand, technology is changing, and sooner or later, the industry will have to come up with ways to deal with the shifting tide other than a blanket ban, which we reckon they will have trouble enforcing in any real way. Meanwhile, it has also been argued that the battery life on a typical pair of Google Glass is too low to sufficiently record an entire feature film (though that too will probably change), and that Google Glass is still, in many ways, a coterie item—unlike, say, cell phones with recording capabilities—and that they are not yet culturally ubiquitous enough to pose a real threat to the industry. In any case, you can expect a spirited debate on the topic to ensue in the coming weeks—it’s already begun to surface in various corners of the web.
But for now, sorry, nerds of the world. Looks like you’re gonna have to leave your cool new Google Glass at home. [via The Dissolve]