The Motion Picture Association of America and the National Association of Theatre Owners announced Wednesday that they have issued a zero tolerance policy on all electronic wearable devices with video recording capability inside of movie theaters.
According to PC World, the list of unauthorized items includes GoPros, Google Glass, smart watches, and thousands of other wearable devices. MPAA and NATO, both which represent 32,000 theaters around the country, claim they have always embraced advances in technology. But as concern over piracy grows in the movie industry, they can no longer accommodate such devices. Via the new anti-theft policy:
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.
There are legal ramifications for those who go against protocol. Anyone who refuses to stow away their unauthorized devices will be asked to leave. If a theater manager witnesses illegal activity from a moviegoer, they will report the incident to law enforcement who will decide what action to take.
As per the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act of 2005, anyone caught using recording devices inside of a theater, with or without copyright owner permission, is subject to three years in prison for the first offense, and six years for the second. Perpetrator’s may be fined.
Apparently, this isn’t Google Glass’s first run around with the feds. Business Insider reported in January that an Ohio man was interrogated by Homeland Security after an employee from an AMC movie theater called federal agents in fear that he was recording a film with his smart glasses. AMC confirmed the incident to Business Insider:
Movie theft is something we take very seriously, and our theater managers contact the Motion Picture Association of America anytime it’s suspected that someone may be illegally recording content on screen. While we’re huge fans of technology and innovation, wearing a device that has the capability to record video is not appropriate at the movie theatre. At AMC Easton 30 last weekend, a guest was questioned for possible movie theft after he was identified wearing a recording device during a film. The presence of this recording device prompted an investigation by the MPAA, which was on site. The MPAA then contacted Homeland Security, which oversees movie theft. The investigation determined the guest was not recording content.