Feeds

Cinema chain bans laptops, tablets

Maybe mobile phones too, soon

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Reducing security risks from open source software

Cinema chain Vue is deciding whether to ban mobile phones from its venues, having already decided that laptop computers are a no-no.

The Ts&Cs Vue imposes on anyone entering its cinemas - nothing odd there; all entertainment venues have these - forbids punters from taking "sound and video recording equipment" into the auditorium. Vue reserves the right to search visitors to prevent them from sneaking such kit in.

Again, that's not uncommon. It's how cinemas can be seen to be trying to fight piracy, even if they're not terribly effective. But imagine reader Dom Hodgson's surprise when staff at Vue's Leeds Light cinema refused to allow him to take his laptop in.

As Dom subsequently noted in his blog, this notebook phobia did not extend to the phone and the camera he also had in his bag - both of which contain image sensors of considerably higher resolution than the feeble webcam built into his laptop.

His iPad doesn't have a camera, but it can certainly record high-quality audio. Again, he was allowed to take that into the screening room.

Dom contacted Vue, which said that, yes, laptops are verboten, and its staff should have confiscated his iPad and camera too, for the duration of the showing.

"Laptops increasing have recording functionality and therefore this is not uncommon to ask our customers not to take them into the auditoriums and this is certainly not a new policy," the company said.

"There is obviously no excuse why the staff did not address the issue of your camera/iPad, and please be advised that I have addressed this with the General Manager at our venue in Leeds Light where I believe you attended.

"Ultimately, we adhere to this policy to protect our business from the real risk which film piracy threatens to the cinema industry," Vue said. "We try to lessen the impact to our customers by only applying the policy when the risk is high: for example, opening weekends - the bigger the film, the greater the risk - and if the UK have a release in advance of the rest of the world."

Next, the company addressed mobile phones.

"I do fully recognise your comments regarding the recording capability of mobile phones and the apparent disparity in our current policy. Please be advised that this matter is currently under review... I expect the policy to change in early October."

While Vue's concerns about piracy are understandable, it's hard to see how banning laptops - and possibly phones too - will do anything to help. Limiting the ban to certain times doesn't prevent piracy, but extending the ban to every performance will just annoy the punters, especially if they're forced to assume the position, movie style. Almost all of us now carry phones, and many carry laptops too.

Like Dom, we're not sure we trust cinema staff with our kit either. As he says, at this rate it'll soon just be easier to go home and download - which certainly won't help Vue and others cinemas any. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
Report: American tech firms charge Britons a thumping nationality tax
Without representation, too. Time for a Boston (Lincs) Macbook Party?
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.