MPAA And Movie Theaters Issue A Complete Ban On Google Glass, Because They 'Have A Long History Of Welcoming Tech Advances'

from the welcoming?-we-meant-hating dept

There are days when you wonder what life must be like as a PR person for the MPAA. I mean, it must take an extraordinary amount of either cognitive dissonance or will power to avoid bursting out laughing at writing the opening sentence like the following in an announcement about how the MPAA and the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) are colluding to ban technologies like Google Glass:
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.
This is the same MPAA that tried to sue the VCR out of existence. This is the same MPAA has tried to block things like "day and date" releases so that movies might be released to home viewers more conveniently. This is the same MPAA that sued a variety of file sharing properties out of existence. This is the same MPAA that was the main backer of SOPA, a copyright bill that would have significantly hindered security on the internet. This is the same MPAA whose prominent member, Viacom, engaged in a years-long legal fight with YouTube. Yeah, it has a history of "welcoming technological advances"? I don't think so.

This particular policy is not too surprising. After all, the company did summon Homeland Security to interrogate a guy for deciding to wear his Google Glass (while it was turned off) during a movie. For groups so welcoming to new technology, they don't seem to recognize that Google Glass has terrible resolution and battery life and would be a really dumb choice for someone to use to record a movie (not the least of which is because when the video is recording there's a bright LED light shining from the device, making it easy to spot).

Of course, they're coming out with this policy after basically Google Glass has become a dead product. It didn't catch on, and it's not clear that Google is even taking it that seriously any more. There are others attempting similar things, but, really, at this point the MPAA seems to be barring a technology that was never a serious threat in the first place for no good reason. Because it's so "welcoming" of new technologies.

Next time, MPAA PR person, why not just be honest for a change. Here's the announcement translated for accuracy:
The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) have a long history of trying to stop any even remotely innovative new consumer technology that challenges our existing business models. As part of our completely wasteful and pointless effort to stop file sharing of movies, we have a zero-tolerance policy that makes us look clueless and out of date, by doing things like having young people arrested for capturing a few seconds of a movie as part of a birthday celebration. As part of this long standing "screw the customer for no good reason" policy, all devices that might possibly record just seconds of a movie in terrible quality must be shut off. Frankly, if we could, we'd force everyone to dump them in a bin before going into the theater, but even we think you'd probably revolt at that step. Individuals who have basic common sense will be asked to leave and everyone will be reminded that maybe, just maybe, instead of paying $12 for a movie in a crappy theater, they'd be better off at home, futzing around on the internet. But, don't worry, we're looking for ways to make that illegal too.

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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 30 Oct 2014 @ 4:20am

    Here's the announcement translated for accuracy

    Now rats, you stole my funniest comment of the week or maybe a double score with the most insightful too. Well played, sir. So I'm going to steal back and paste it here and vote for myself. And you can't do a thing because your articles are public domain! Take that, I'm getting a mention in the week tops at your expense! *sticks tongue out*

    Ahem.

    The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) have a long history of trying to stop any even remotely innovative new consumer technology that challenges our existing business models. As part of our completely wasteful and pointless effort to stop file sharing of movies, we have a zero-tolerance policy that makes us look clueless and out of date, by doing things like having young people arrested for capturing a few seconds of a movie as part of a birthday celebration. As part of this long standing "screw the customer for no good reason" policy, all devices that might possibly record just seconds of a movie in terrible quality must be shut off. Frankly, if we could, we'd force everyone to dump them in a bin before going into the theater, but even we think you'd probably revolt at that step. Individuals who have basic common sense will be asked to leave and everyone will be reminded that maybe, just maybe, instead of paying $12 for a movie in a crappy theater, they'd be better off at home, futzing around on the internet. But, don't worry, we're looking for ways to make that illegal too.

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  • icon
    Violynne (profile), 30 Oct 2014 @ 5:07am

    It's stupid decisions like this leading to this:
    http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/united-states?page=2&status=closed

    The staggering number of closed vs. open should be a a wake-up call to this industry, but instead, it'll just continue to fall in favor of "closed".

    Not that it matters, since the MPAA found a new audience who'll not waste a second on spending good money for motion shit.

    Wave to China, people. The new revenue stream.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 6:42am

      Re:

      The motion picture "industry" cannot be destroyed quickly enough to suit me. I welcome anything that disrupts their revenue stream, wrecks their products, forces massive layoffs, and terminates the existence of the MPAA, one of the biggest collections of greedy, lying pigs on the planet.

      So with that in mind, I strongly encourage them to continue this approach: by all means, ban phones and watches, harass customers, include even more warnings about recordings, make the theater experience as miserable as possible. (Although that's a high bar to clear: it already sucks, sucks, sucks.) Please, by all means, enforce this decree with fascist precision and ruthless efficiency: spare no expense and don't hesitate for even a moment.

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      • icon
        John Fenderson (profile), 30 Oct 2014 @ 7:51am

        Re: Re:

        "Although that's a high bar to clear: it already sucks, sucks, sucks."

        Indeed it does. Which is very strange to me, since there are many small independent theaters that, while they don't show first-run movies, do offer a truly excellent moviegoing experience -- so it clearly can be done.

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  • icon
    RadioactiveSmurf (profile), 30 Oct 2014 @ 5:53am

    Whew, thank goodness they made this announcement. I'm sure cam movies will cease to exist from here on forward.

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    • icon
      Jon Renaut (profile), 30 Oct 2014 @ 6:36am

      Re:

      I know, and now that I know there won't be cam movies, I am totally going to rush right out and see the latest blockbuster prequel to a reboot of a two year old movie "based" on a comic book. I can almost taste the $17 stale popcorn right now!

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 6:15am

    That's ok, I don't go to theaters - haven't for many years.
    They can keep their crappy over priced movies, I'm not interested and I don't want to get shot either.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 8:23am

      Re:

      "They can keep their crappy over priced movies"

      I have been given 6 free cinema tickets with a promotion I signed up to (they expire after a year). Each time my partner and I have thought 'shall we go to the cinema' there has been fuck all on that we actually want to see so I still have 6 tickets remaining.

      They literally cannot give away cinema tickets to me and have me go.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 8:59am

      Re:

      That's ok, I don't go to theaters - haven't for many years.

      I've gone once in the last three years, and twice in the last six. I always went on someone elses dime, and never spent any money on food/drinks. I am not a cheapskate, I spend quite a bit on entertainment.

      My biggest problem with going is something they said in their statement: "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." Absolute bullshit! If they actually enforced this policy, I might go far more often.

      Every movie theater I've gone to in the last 10 years has been exactly the same...you get in and sit down, only to have chatty teenagers on their phones, guys sitting playing with their phones, tablets, and even a couple laptop computers during the show, rude people, ring-tones going off every five minutes, and a general lack of respect for other theater-goers.

      I will happily rent movies (off Netflix) or even occasionally buy a DVD, invite friends over, and watch it on my TV/home stereo (which is often better maintained and displays a much better picture/sound than the theater,) than go to spend $15 bucks to sit in a crowded, noisy, and horribly mismanaged/unmaintained theater.

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  • icon
    PaulT (profile), 30 Oct 2014 @ 6:17am

    You forgot one of the biggest ones today:

    This is the same MPAA who have kept their business model dependant on regional releasing, a tactic that once made sense but has been made obsolete by digital technology.

    To be fair, they *do* have a history of welcoming *some* technological advancements (colour film, sound projection, Dolby sound, digital projection, 3D, etc.), but only when it's convenient to their bottom line. If it's more convenient or valuable for the customer without an increase in their own profits, they fight tooth and nail to try and block it first.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 7:16am

      Re:

      To be fair, they *do* have a history of welcoming *some* technological advancements (colour film, sound projection, Dolby sound, digital projection, 3D, etc.), but only when it's wholly under their control.

      FTFY

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 2:01pm

      Re:

      Taking bets the MPAA said that color film would "kill the industry"..and if they'd been around at the time of silent movies they'd have claimed 'talkies' would ruin the careers of the speech-board writers etc etc etc

      The MPAA are a waste of space bunch of hypocritally useless assholes who serve one purpose and one purpose only: to accept bribes from hollywood execs to go after whatever the hell hollywood has a bee stuck up its ass about this month....

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      • icon
        John Fenderson (profile), 30 Oct 2014 @ 2:54pm

        Re: Re:

        And although I think it predated the MPAA, don't forget that the introduction of sound in movies was extremely controversial, with many studios and actors arguing that it was destroying the movies (and for some of them it was true since it put them out of business).

        From http://www.filmsite.org/20sintro4.html

        [...]film studios were confronted with many problems related to the coming of sound, including restricted markets for English-language talkies. Many Hollywood actors/actresses lacked good voices and stage experience, and their marketability decreased. Technically, camera movements were restricted, and noisy, bulky movie cameras had to be housed in clumsy, huge sound-insulated booths with blimps (sound-proof covers), to avoid picking up camera noise on the soundtrack. Artistically, acting suffered as studios attempted to record live dialogue, because stationary or hidden microphones (in either their costumes or other stage props) impeded the movement of actors. Some of the earliest talkies were primitive, self-conscious, crudely-made productions with an immobile microphone - designed to capitalize on the novelty of sound.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 6:19am

    Is it me or do all American press releases subscribe to the belief that regardless of how blatantly false a statement is, simply stating it makes it true?

    "(MPAA) have a long history of welcoming technological advances" my arse.

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    • icon
      RadioactiveSmurf (profile), 30 Oct 2014 @ 6:24am

      Re:

      What's scary is that they might actually believe their press release is the truth. Sometimes it's hard to see outside the world you have insulated yourself into.

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    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 30 Oct 2014 @ 7:55am

      Re:

      Press releases are marketing tools, and have the same relationship with truth as advertising -- they don't all play fast and loose with the facts (but many do), but they do all put a positive spin on things. I think this is amplified by the fact that so many mainstream news outlets print press releases (sometimes reworded, sometimes not) as news reports.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 2:03pm

      Re:

      If you define "technological advances" as:

      suing a woman that died in the 1960s for file-sharing, actively and openly claiming that CHILDREN should go to prison for copyright infringement and that the money-making ability of billion-dollar faceless/heartless corporations trumps all human and civil rights, then yes..they're in favor of advancement.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David Canton, 30 Oct 2014 @ 6:19am

    welcoming tech

    Typical asymmetrical attitude - welcome tech if I can use it, but its evil if you use it.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 6:24am

    Even with their insane view on copyright, it has always struck me as extremely weird that they go through so much effort to prevent taping in theaters, inconveniencing the few people that are still willing to put up with their inflated prices. I do not know anybody that would ever want to watch a telesync, they are worthless. This has always been the case, and will always stay that way.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Chris-Mouse (profile), 30 Oct 2014 @ 6:26am

    The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) have a long history of welcoming technological advances

    They just forgot to mention that they have a history of welcoming technological advances with torches and pitchforks.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    PacW97, 30 Oct 2014 @ 6:30am

    I think they did the right thing

    I look at it from the perspective of the average theater employee.

    A 17 year kid that simply wants to earn a paycheck doesn't want the hassle of listening to every person coming in describe how their specific technology isn't infringing on others experience or recording the movie. It shouldn't be a call they have to make at all, ever.

    A flat out ban like this make it easy for the kids selling tickets and the other patrons who are there to simply watch a movie.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 6:33am

      Re: I think they did the right thing

      The 17 year old kid doesn't care one way or another what happens as long as it doesn't trouble them. This is a fight between 'adults' that drag that 17 year old indifferent kid into the middle of things.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 30 Oct 2014 @ 7:25am

      Re: I think they did the right thing

      "A 17 year kid that simply wants to earn a paycheck doesn't want the hassle of..."

      Pretty much anything related to his employment, no matter what that happens to be, and especially if the job is fairly menial. However, most companies don't use the teen employees' desires as an excuse for their company practices.

      "A flat out ban like this make it easy for the kids selling tickets"

      It's arguable that a lot of the problems with modern cinemas come from trying to make it "easy" for people at the expense of the paying customer. Replace projectionists with digital projectors? That's easier (until the projection goes wrong and nobody can fix it). Shut ticket booths and make everyone buy their ticket from the concessions stand? Easier (unless you're stuck is a queue behind indecisive people buying popcorn just before your movie starts). Not employing enough people to make sure nobody's disrupting a screening? Easier (until paying customer start demanding refunds because nobody would kick out the asshole talking on his phone). Cutting costs and making things "easier" has actually reduced the quality of the cinematic experience in many ways.

      You know what else would be easy? Not expecting the minimum wage ticket collector to act as a bouncer.

      "the other patrons who are there to simply watch a movie."

      I'm not entirely sure why they'd give a crap one way or another about the device he's wearing, at least not unless the light emitted is particularly disturbing. In which case, that 17 year old kid could ask the guy to stop using it when he's doing his ushering duties, just as he'd tell someone to stop texting, talking or any of the other things that can disturb others - but not expected to pre-emptively address.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 7:59am

      Re: I think they did the right thing

      But instead of making a universal ban, it would probably be better to leave this specific issue up to the individual theater to handle. The problem here is that MPAA have their fingers in far too many parts of the use of their members products. If a theater has a policy of letting people wear prescription strenght google glasses if the functions are turned off or has a policy of letting people use them for searching the web, while the record-function is off...
      Technically these restrictions would uphold the spirit of MPAAs effort without an unflexible and potentially discriminatory ban.

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      • identicon
        beech, 30 Oct 2014 @ 8:18am

        Re: Re: I think they did the right thing

        You can't leave it up to individual theatres because then pirates would all go to the pirate friendly theatres. All it takes is one copy on the internet and there goes trillions of dollars of revenue.

        That being said, I would support the most draconian of device banning up until the film can be found online for free. At that point further enforcement no longer matters, so record whatever you like.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 9:04am

          Re: Re: Re: I think they did the right thing

          Crappy cams do little to box office takings. The losses these idiots whine about seldom exist beyond their tiny imaginations.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 9:13am

          Re: Re: Re: I think they did the right thing

          trillions of dollars of revenue


          Who's dreaming now?

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        • icon
          JP Jones (profile), 30 Oct 2014 @ 1:24pm

          Re: Re: Re: I think they did the right thing

          All it takes is one copy on the internet and there goes trillions of dollars of revenue.

          This statement should win the most funny award. It's so mind numbingly ignorant that it has to be a joke.

          Right?

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    • icon
      techflaws (profile), 30 Oct 2014 @ 8:18am

      Re: I think they did the right thing

      I look at it from the perspective of common sense: if you really think that cam versions are harming your bottom line, you should get your head checked.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 8:37am

      Re: I think they did the right thing

      I was that 17 year old high school student who worked at the movie theater. I couldn't have given a flying fuck if someone wanted to film a movie. I was stoked to be able to see any movie I wanted for free and to have some spending money. My priorities were to avoid smelling like popcorn when I went home (impossible) and to not notice too many spoilers when walking the theaters before I got to see the movies I wanted to see. It was entertaining to see what contraband people would manage to sneak into the theater - giant pizza boxes, whiskey bottles, KFC buckets. No 17 year old kid is going to care about the MPAA's paranoid possessiveness of their precious motion picture "property."

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    • identicon
      PacW97, 30 Oct 2014 @ 9:41am

      Re: I think they did the right thing

      I'm not even looking at the potential of someone wearing a tech device that pirates a movie, a pirate is going to find better avenues than recording something using google glass.

      I stated that I think this is the right thing to do as a universal ban across all theaters a) makes it a consistent experience for employees and movie watchers alike.
      No guesswork by employees, no lawsuits by uptight tech wearers that get different experiences from different theaters as they all will have the same policy. Heck I live in an area of high tech and there's plenty of diners, cafes and stores around here with no-glass policies clearly posted on the front entrances. These businesses aren't concerned with pirates, their concern focuses on the shoppers experience. It's not always about technology being used against some business. For these business owners it's all about customer experience, just like posting no smoking signs, or having a handicapped parking space.

      b) Movie theater employees or the local business employees around my area shouldn't the gatekeepers making calls on what is acceptable and what isn't. They aren't trained to understand the latest gadgets or what is deemed offensive or even criminal. They do a job, they follow the rules written down in the employee handbooks and not allowing google glass in or the smoker to sit down and disrupt other patrons experience is the wholly justified in my view.

      I can't stand the ownership society these groups like the MPAA are trying to make it. I don't agree with the length of copyright or many of the questionable patents out there but my comments aren't about the MPAA, they're focused on the local theater, the employees neither of which works for the MPAA or the studios.

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      • icon
        John Fenderson (profile), 31 Oct 2014 @ 8:18am

        Re: Re: I think they did the right thing

        "I stated that I think this is the right thing to do as a universal ban across all theaters a) makes it a consistent experience for employees and movie watchers alike."

        But why is this a desirable thing? From my point of view, it's nothing but bad.

        1) It removes the ability of theater owners to make their own policy decisions.

        2) It removes the ability of customers to have alternative theaters to go to if they object to the policy.

        3) It totally bypasses the whole (admittedly often overstated) notion of a free market fixing bad behavior.

        "Heck I live in an area of high tech and there's plenty of diners, cafes and stores around here with no-glass policies clearly posted on the front entrances."

        Which is perfectly fine. What would not be perfectly fine would be some sort of mandate that all diners, cafes, and stores must do so.

        "For these business owners it's all about customer experience, just like posting no smoking signs, or having a handicapped parking space."

        These are legal mandates, and business owners do this because they have no other option, not because they're trying to improve customer experience.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 6:31am

    Is the MPAA (and their Recording ilk) even capable of telling the truth?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 6:35am

    So an industry that thinks a blue ray is so much better than a DVD that people will pay money to replace their DVDs with blue rays, also thinks that a cam of a film with enough wobble to cause motions sickness will destroy their sales. Makes perfect sense to me.
    /s

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    • icon
      techflaws (profile), 30 Oct 2014 @ 11:00pm

      Re:

      What do you expect from an industry that makes you pay through the nose for high quality content while at the same time damaging the audio stream with a Cinavia watermark?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 6:36am

    MPAA: Hey I've got a great idea! Let's go after a new technology that almost no one even uses! We've got to keep ourselves looking clueless and technologically inept you know!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 7:03am

    I think everyone who still frequents theaters should load up on devices all on and wait to be asked what they're for , Steam punk folks especially.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 8:14am

      Re:

      oooh, fun.

      Alternatively, or additionally, one could dress up as the US of the NSA, i.e. covered in cameras. When asked to remove them or leave, reply with with the question 'do you hate freedom?'.

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      • identicon
        beech, 30 Oct 2014 @ 8:20am

        Re: Re:

        "Hey, theatre owner, if you have nothing to hide than you have nothing to fear. I'm not technically recording this movie until someone watches it. "

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  • identicon
    Pen, 30 Oct 2014 @ 7:07am

    Let's not forget the part where, as part of he his ban, they're encouraging theatres to get the police involved with anyone they suspect of recording, as well as encouraging theatres to implement random bag and jacket checks to ensure compliance.

    Sorry, but the moment some pimply-faced teen popcorn sweeper tells me they want me to open my jacket so they can do a security check is the moment I tell them off and walk out in full drama queen mode. They want to make my, expensive and rare, date night unpleasant. I'll skip the theatre and wait for the movie to come out on for sale. It's not like there aren't plenty of other things to do or vids to watch that don't violate my personal space or privacy rights.

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    • identicon
      RD, 30 Oct 2014 @ 9:11am

      Re:

      "Sorry, but the moment some pimply-faced teen popcorn sweeper tells me they want me to open my jacket so they can do a security check is the moment I tell them off and walk out in full drama queen mode. "

      I PAID to see the movie in a theater, not be groped like they are the TSA and I am trying to board a plane. The moment this happens to me, from ANYONE in that place, even a cop, I demand a refund and proclaim very loudly that I am leaving and PIRATING the movie because of the treatment I received.

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      • icon
        John Fenderson (profile), 31 Oct 2014 @ 8:21am

        Re: Re:

        "I demand a refund and proclaim very loudly that I am leaving and PIRATING the movie because of the treatment I received."

        Even if you are going to pirate, publicly proclaiming this as a protest is counterproductive. It immediately marginalizes you and causes you to lose the high ground and a lot of public sympathy.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 7:07am

    The MPAA has had a long history of welcoming advancements in technology, specifically in DRM develpoment.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    mcinsand, 30 Oct 2014 @ 7:19am

    cam movies

    How many people are actually willing to watch a cam movie? I haven't seen one, but I can't see how the quality would make it worth watching now, as opposed to waiting for the DVD or Netflix.

    My belief is that this is just the MPAA being melodramatic and crying victim.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 7:25am

    Perhaps you can regale us with a list (obviously lengthy given your continuing series of screeds) of all contemporary products that movie producers have spoken out against as problematic. Obviously, products able to surreptitiously record movies while they are being shown raises substantial concerns. Are we to believe, however, that these are a significant portion of movie-related products against which producers are dead set? I hardly think so. Last time I looked advances in audio were warmly embraced. The same with projection devices, image stabilization, image and signal processing, graphics design, etc., etc., etc. Your inclination to obsess over the few to the exclusion of the vast majority just to make snarky points seriously undercuts the validity of what could otherwise be arguments meriting serious discussion.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 7:48am

      Re:

      "Obviously, products able to surreptitiously record movies while they are being shown raises substantial concerns."

      Yes, but only among the stupid, the clueless, the knuckle-dragging mouth-breathing morons. Nobody of quality or value has the slightest concern with these because they know that anyone actually seriously trying to pirate a movie has vastly superior means at their disposal and won't waste their time with this crap.

      Now I know that this is difficult for inferior people like you to grasp, so perhaps you should just run along and not try to tax your tiny little mind with matters far beyond its feeble processing ability.

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    • icon
      Rikuo (profile), 30 Oct 2014 @ 10:36am

      Re:

      "that movie producers have spoken out against as problematic."

      Try the VCR. It was called the movie industry's "Boston Strangler". They campaigned quite heavily to have it banned.
      However, within just a few years of it being declared fully legal, it was making more money for that very same industry than the cinemas were.
      If the MPAA had had their way then, you would have no VCR, no LaserDisc, no CDs, no DVDs, no Blu-rays and probably wouldn't be allowed to write to our own hard drives.
      That or the only such storage devices wouldn't be writable by the end consumer. Read devices only is what I guess would happen.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      JMT (profile), 30 Oct 2014 @ 5:11pm

      Re:

      "Obviously, products able to surreptitiously record movies while they are being shown raises substantial concerns."

      Even if that were a valid concern (and it really isn't), are you seriously claiming that a movie recorded on Google Glass is an actual threat to movie revenues? I don't think you have a clue about what the result would actually look like. If fact I doubt you even understand why anti-camming efforts are so widely ridiculed.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 9:14pm

        Re: Re:

        Having worked with companies involved in video recording technologies and products spanning the 70's to date, I have a fair understanding of the types of devices that can be problematic. Of course, if one simply wants to rail against video production companies it is all too easy, as is typically the case here, to simply dismiss out of hand any concerns those who work in the industries may express. Perhaps if persons with such dismissive opinions actually worked extensively within the relevant industries they would be more measured in their opinions because things are not as easy as they seem to believe and want others to believe.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 10:17pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          So are you going to explain how shaky, jittery footage of blurry images and people standing up to go to the toilet poses a substantial threat to revenue, such as to eye every possible device that may have such capability with your level of zero-tolerance suspicion?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2014 @ 3:05am

        Re: Re:

        "Obviously, products able to surreptitiously record movies while they are being shown raises substantial concerns."

        The more steps they take to prevent recording, the more the kudos in certain circles for succeeding in filming a copy of a film. The successful camer displays the scalp by putting it online.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 5:47pm

      Re:

      Ah, average_joe's fanboy, back to thinking he's worth taking seriously.

      You can bet your back teeth that if the MPAA thought that projection devices, image stabilization, image and signal processing and graphics design could pose a threat to their bottom line they'd be all for killing them with fire, too.

      Seriously, there are a ton of recording devices out there that don't even remotely look like cameras unless inspected extremely closely. What're you going to do? Ban all pens?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 9:19pm

        Re: Re:

        When the individual of whom you speak makes substantive comments he tends to present facts and opinions that have a substantial degree of merit. The same, sadly, is far too often not true of what is presented by his detractors...of whom you appear to be one.

        Just a suggestion, but snarky, personal put downs, while eschewing substantive discussion, does nothing to encourage others to take your musings seriously.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 10:15pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          And yet when average_joe spends nothing on his posts but constant insults, you're down there in the bleachers screaming like a lovesick schoolgirl. The bias is telling.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 31 Oct 2014 @ 1:03am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Someone's very proud of getting "The Junior Pedant's First Thesaurus" for his birthday.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 31 Oct 2014 @ 3:38am

      Re:

      "Perhaps you can regale us with a list (obviously lengthy given your continuing series of screeds)"

      Funny. If you've read all of these "screeds", you've also read numerous articles on all the specific instances that have been talked about. Each article will have directly referenced the technology being addressed. Were you perhaps too busy trying to defend the studios to keep track of what was actually being criticised?

      "Obviously, products able to surreptitiously record movies while they are being shown raises substantial concerns."

      Not least of which is the idea that the experience they're trying to offer is so poor that thousands will prefer sitting at home watching a recorded view from someone's head to buying a ticket themselves. I know I'd be substantially concerned if my audience thought those two things were equal in value, especially if I'd geared my business model against allowing them to obtain a good quality legal copy for home viewing if that's what my customers prefer.

      "Last time I looked advances in audio were warmly embraced. The same with projection devices, image stabilization, image and signal processing, graphics design, etc., etc., etc."

      Yes, the studios do tend to like those technologies that make their lives easier or improve their bottom line. Nobody questions that.

      But, that's not the class of technology that they have been attacking for decades- the class that benefits their consumer and allows them to enjoy movies in ways no prescribed by the studios for maximum profit. they have a century's worth of history of freaking out and attacking those technologies until such time as they get them banned or are forced to deal with them.

      Strangely, you seem to have completely ignored those technologies, despite things like the Sony/Betamax case, DRM, digital distribution, global distribution other directly relevant things being the fundamental basis of the majority of stories you're criticising. I wonder why you ignore the truthful basis of the articles you're attacking?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 7:41am

    Google Now Record

    Kind of makes we want to say Google Now Record after the previews, even if I don't have a recording device.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), 30 Oct 2014 @ 7:44am

    I've played with Google Glass (I can even link a review video if anyone cares), there's a reason it's a non-starter. It's camera outright sucks (and don't get me started on the audio), my phone has better recording ability.

    Google Glass is a fight the MPAA and NATO won long before they ever fought it. Not because they were right, not because it's the right thing, but because Google Glass would just suck for that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      MadAsASnake (profile), 30 Oct 2014 @ 9:07am

      Re:

      The same reason the army doesn't mount cannon on bicycles, then?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 31 Oct 2014 @ 4:19am

      Re:

      "I've played with Google Glass (I can even link a review video if anyone cares), there's a reason it's a non-starter. It's camera outright sucks (and don't get me started on the audio)"

      That's a really, really bad reason to reject the first generation of a device. Put it this way - those are the same reasons why most photographers rejected digital cameras and filmmakers rejected digital movie cameras when they first came out. Look at the first versions of anything from the MP3 player to the Kindle, and the first versions to hit the market were almost always underpowered and relatively bad. it's after they overcame any mass production issues and proved the market for the devices that they really started to be up to scratch.

      If history has taught us anything, it's that the quality will increase, and increase both quickly and exponentially. Whether there's a real market for the use cases or if it's ultimately seen as anything most than a novelty remains to be seen.

      But, saying it'll never work just because the first generation hardware isn't up to scratch is foolhardy at best.

      "my phone has better recording ability."

      I'll bet the first mobile phone you owned had a far worse camera, if it even had a camera at all. Would that mean you'd reject the idea of phones being used as recording devices by a lot of people?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 7:50am

    There IS one technology the MPAA would welcome!

    Imagine there was a technology which could selectively erase memories - or at least have memories bound to an expiration date.

    They could sell the experience of watching a movie for the first time over and over again! But, of course, if you don't want that sort of benefit you can opt out - by paying a slightly increased ticket...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 8:31am

      Re: There IS one technology the MPAA would welcome!

      "Imagine there was a technology which could selectively erase memories - or at least have memories bound to an expiration date."

      There is! Been around for centuries.

      It's called beer. Cheap and readily available!

      I hear there are some other similar products.

      Of course, can't they can't promote that because children. And there are many films I wouldn't go to even if the 'cinema experience' was free as in beer.

      Now I think about it, I've been to the cinema once in 15 years, can't say I've missed it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Michael, 30 Oct 2014 @ 8:50am

      Re: There IS one technology the MPAA would welcome!

      This technology exists and is in use already.

      Don't you remember?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 9:04am

      Re: There IS one technology the MPAA would welcome!

      They could sell the experience of watching a movie for the first time over and over again!

      Would they consider it piracy to keep a note of movies not worth seeing, so that when the memory fades you do not repeat the mistake of watching them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 7:55am

    You forgot comparing the VHS tape to the Night Stalker while 2 years later claiming that VHS the format single-handedly saved the home box office.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 7:56am

    I say to you that the Google Glass is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    beech, 30 Oct 2014 @ 8:10am

    "The mpaa and NATO have a long history of embracing technological advances after all methods of trying to kill them off fail. "

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    leehb9 (profile), 30 Oct 2014 @ 8:13am

    Hah. I love watching the MPAA Freakshow! Always good for a laugh; it's great to watch these guys continually shoot themselves in the foot.

    One of these days, if we're lucky, some of them might just wake up and realize that there are too damn many lawyers on-board, and that it might be time to ship some of them off to the 'farm'...then again...

    sigh....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    got_runs? (profile), 30 Oct 2014 @ 8:13am

    If you remember a movie you're breaking the law.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Just Another Anonymous Troll, 30 Oct 2014 @ 8:18am

    Check the definition, Mike.

    "have a long history of welcoming technological advances"
    It's funny how you make fun of this. They do welcome advances. Clearly you need to check the dictionary definition of 'welcome'.
    From the MPAA Abridged Dictionary:
    Welcome: Try to sabotage as best as one can, but then grudgingly go along with it once you realize you can't kill it and then actually make money off it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 8:36am

    the only people who want wake up calls of what Hollywood and the entertainment industries are doing both to deter their own customers from getting so pissed, they dont bother to visit the cinema at all and those who are trying to launch new businesses that could employ people and increase the taxes paid (remember the industries use 'Hollywood Accounting', so pay next to zilch!), are those in Congress who have been encouraged more to support the industries and are more concerned with doing that than helping the Nation!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 9:03am

    Who cares?

    People who wear AR glasses are living in the future. People who want to watch movies in a movie theater are living in the past. There shouldn't be any overlap in that Venn diagram.

    Actually, this is a good thing. The few smart people who still go to movie theaters will quickly figure out how to get a better experience for less money.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Insurgence (profile), 30 Oct 2014 @ 9:20am

    I am suprised at the number of people being overly critical of this. Even the news article is. It is like people just love to jump on the "Bash the MPAA/RIAA" bandwagon and will do it just for kicks.

    Personally this move is pretty freaking worthless. The market for this sort of thing is small. If they decide to ban a minor consumer market, that may become a major consumer market, then so be it. It is not like this is going to kill the technology. People aren't going to show up to a theater wearing google glass, get denied entry and go "Oh no, the MPAA and NATO banned google glass, I purchased dead tech." Then proceed to go into hysterics at the idea of wasting money.

    More likely all they are going to do two things. Turn people away from a theater going experience, and provide some incentive for others to come up with more discrete technology (this is probably very unlikely). If they decide they want to take the risk of losing a customer base then so be it. That is there right.

    As for those who use prescription google glass, I feel sorry for you. Not because you got turned away, but because you don't keep a non-google glass spare around. One day it may be entirely or mostly socially acceptable to wear them everywhere, but right now there are a lot of people who don't like you. As long as your not recording me, I don't care, but I have met many people who doing like them and have bad impressions of the people who wear them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      DogBreath, 30 Oct 2014 @ 10:31am

      Re:

      I am suprised at the number of people being overly critical of this. Even the news article is. It is like people just love to jump on the "Bash the MPAA/RIAA" bandwagon and will do it just for kicks.


      I'm not surprised in the least, based on all the lies that have come down the pike directly from the MPAA/RIAA over the years.


      All I can think of when discussing the MPAA/RIAA situation is the following lines from the M*A*S*H* tv series:

      (Note: replace "Frank Burns" with "MPAA/RIAA", and "Hawkeye" with "everyday common citizen"

      Frank Burns: I don’t have to take this kind of abuse!

      Hawkeye: Oh yes you do, Frank. You invite abuse. It would be impolite not to accept it. (“George,” Season 2, Episode 46)


      and

      Frank: I’m here to relieve you.

      Hawkeye: You do resemble an enema. (“Dear Dad,” Season 1, Episode 12)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Chronno S. Trigger (profile), 30 Oct 2014 @ 12:29pm

      Re:

      You talk about the "Bash the MPAA/RIAA" bandwagon then jump right on the "Bash Google Glass" bandwagon right along side the MPAA. Good move.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    AnonCow, 30 Oct 2014 @ 9:24am

    The only "technology" that the MPAA would fully support is for everyone to be legally required to wear a DRM helmet that stops everyone from viewing or hearing unauthorized content.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 11:58am

      Re:

      I disagree... I think they'd be perfectly happy with a system that automatically performs micropayments against your bank account whenever a work managed by one of their corporate members shows up in your thought processes.

      What they'd like even better is a system that outright prevents you from experiencing/thinking about any properties that may compete with those owned by their members.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        beltorak (profile), 31 Oct 2014 @ 1:45pm

        Re: Re:

        that sounds like too much work. how about a system that automatically deducts micropayments from your account whenever you see, hear, or remember anything? it'll go straight to the collection agency, and we'll figure out who to deliver the collected money to later.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    me, 30 Oct 2014 @ 9:31am

    the mpaa or riaa are NOT the law

    a gentle reminder

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Insurgence (profile), 30 Oct 2014 @ 9:36am

      Re: the mpaa or riaa are NOT the law

      They may not be the law, but their arrangement with the National Association of Theater Owners can still prevent people from seeing movies at their local theater. The law does not say that they have to let you in.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Doctor Poopscoop, 30 Oct 2014 @ 10:14am

    I remember the good old days when they blamed people texting their friends from the cinema saying the movie was shit for movies that flopped..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 11:53am

    MPAA DOES have a history of welcoming technological advances....

    Yeah, it has a history of "welcoming technological advances"?

    Yup... some of the advances they've welcomed:
    1) Audio
    2) Color
    3) Telesync
    4) Stereo
    5) 3D (with glasses)
    6) Surround Sound
    7) Digital Telesync
    8) Digital projection
    9) Region coding
    10) Divx (the discs, not the codec) as well as various other DRM attempts (maybe not advances, OK....)
    11) 3D (with different glasses)

    Did I miss any?

    Of course, it must be noted that the first one actually predates the MPAA itself, and was also resisted heavily for quite some time and touted as the death of the cinema.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 12:43pm

      Re: MPAA DOES have a history of welcoming technological advances....

      They all originated as expensive technologies that only a corporation could afford to use to create films or increased their control over copies. Any technology that allowed individuals to record, create and/or distribute content outside their control has been attacked by them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 1:05pm

    I would expect no less from the MAFIAA.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2014 @ 2:05pm

    The best thing in a cinema I've ever seen was when the MPAA warning appeared.

    An image of an empty theatre, seats covered in cobwebs and the message "piracy is killing the movie industry", then some drivel about poor quality cams etc....

    Result? One older (about 70) woman next to me turned to her husband and said "you can just download films from the internet? I didn't know that"...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John85851 (profile), 30 Oct 2014 @ 3:39pm

    Or another translation

    Or translated another way:
    From the MPAA: "Okay, studios, we know you're losing money on every movie you put out [due to funny accounting], but I guess it's time we did something to earn the dues you pay us. Normally we'd ask you to raise the quality of your product so people would be willing to pay for it, but since you're unwilling to do that, we'll make a press release about how bad Google Glass and camcording is. Oh, these aren't issues that the public cares about? No bother- we'll keep repeating these things until they do care."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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