Feeds

Google Glass faces UK cinema ban: Heaven forbid someone films you crying in a rom-com

Theater body tackles piracy, privacy fears

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Moviegoers in the UK will be asked to remove their Google Glasses and similar camera-fitted wearable computers over privacy and piracy fears.

The Cinema Exhibitors Association (CEA) – which represents virtually all theaters in Blighty – fears bootleggers will don the devices to record and illegally distribute films. As such, customers will be warned the following:

As a courtesy to your fellow audience members, and to prevent film theft, we ask that customers do not enter any cinema auditorium using any 'wearable technology' capable of recording images. Any customer found wearing such technology will be asked to remove it and may be asked to leave the cinema.

Punters are already told to put away their smartphones in auditoriums, and camcorders are, obviously, a definite no-no. Cinema chains in Blighty – such as Scott Cinemas – have now updated their terms and conditions urging film fans to not use wearable tech in auditoriums.

"The UK cinema industry position on wearable technology capable of recording images is that customers are requested not to wear these into cinema auditorium, regardless of whether the film is playing or not," Phil Clapp, the CEA's chief exec, told The Register today.

"This position is driven by concerns around customer privacy as well as film theft.

"While our position on mobile phones is that we ask people to put these away when the film is playing, with wearable technology – whether Google Glass or otherwise – we believe that it is generally more difficult to detect when they are and are not recording, so our approach is a precautionary one."

The move comes on the heels of the UK launch of Google Glass. The £1,000 headset jumped the Pond last week with the expansion of the Explorer beta program. The Independent on Sunday notes that Glass can only record 45 minutes continuously before the batteries die, but that won't stop someone stitching together footage to sell on – provided the 720p Glass cam works in the darkness.

While Google still considers Glass to be a beta product, the headset has generated controversy in its early trials. Glassholes in the US have been booted from pubs, cited by police and barred from some establishments over concerns that the headset can record others without their knowledge or permission. The issue has grabbed so many headlines that Google published an etiquette guide to help users avoid "creepy" behavior.

"In places where cell phone cameras aren't allowed, the same rules will apply to Glass," the ad giant explained in February. "If you're asked to turn your phone off, turn Glass off as well. Breaking the rules or being rude will not get businesses excited about Glass and will ruin it for other Explorers."

The CEA is not alone in barring the headset.

"It is worth noting that while wearable technology is a comparatively new phenomenon in the UK, in the US – where its use is already more widespread – a range of venues including casinos, bars and restaurants have looked to limit or ban its use," Clapp told us.

Indeed, earlier this month in the US, the Alamo Drafthouse cinema chain banned the devices – citing similar concerns over piracy – and the Motion Picture Ass. of America (MPAA) has gone so far as to call Homeland Security on a man caught wearing the specs during a movie. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
Hungary's internet tax cannot be allowed to set a precedent, says EC
More protests planned against giga-tariff for Tuesday evening
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.