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Theater Chain Bans Google Glass 376

Posted by Soulskill
from the still-happy-to-charge-you-$8-for-popcorn-though dept.
mpicpp sends this report from Ars: A cinema chain announced Tuesday that it is now barring patrons from wearing Google Glass at its movie houses across the U.S. in a bid to clamp down on piracy. Alamo Drafthouse, which runs theaters in Colorado, Michigan, Missouri, Texas, Virginia, and soon in California, is among the first U.S. chains to ban Google's computerized eyewear. 'Google Glass is officially banned from @drafthouse auditoriums once lights dim for trailers,' the chain's chief executive, Tim League, tweeted. The decision comes as Google has made the eyewear readily available to the general public, and it follows a slew of incidents in which wearers of Google Glass have had brushes with the law.
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Theater Chain Bans Google Glass

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  • Interesting, but even if we assume that the standard problems with google glasses are ignored/remediated like the GG's battery life when recording*, head movements and such, I could simply wear a button-up shirt with a camera in the pocket. A lot easier to sit still that way and get a good recording. Or better yet set the camera up away from me under an arm rest or something.

    Besides, wasn't it found that most camcorder recordings of movies was coming from projector operators?

    *Couldn't you run a cable to a

    • by bobbied (2522392) on Tuesday June 10, 2014 @06:47PM (#47207173)

      Besides, wasn't it found that most camcorder recordings of movies was coming from projector operators?

      You mean the "projectionists"? They don't have those anymore, I know because I used to be one. These days you get some usher who knows how to load the film into the projector (for those places still using film) and mash the button to start. If you are lucky they focus the film and adjust the volume when the feature starts, but usually they don't come back until it's time to thread the projector again. They don't have time to set up the camera and tape anything.

      The only time you will see somebody who can splice film or knows how to clean the projector is on Thursday when the guy who knows how to get the new prints loaded onto the platters during the day and break down the prints you are sending back after the last show. I used to do this and for an eight screen theater it took from about 4PM to well into Friday morning (about 2 AM or later) to do this. It was pretty hard work because I always cleaned the projector when I threaded it, always focused and set sound levels for the start of the trailers, then came back and did it again when the feature started. It was LOTS of running. The rest of the week, some usher did the threading and button mashing and they never cleaned anything by the looks of what I found on Thursday. This was 20 years ago, so I'm betting things have only gotten worse, and based on the dirty prints and out of focus films I've suffered though as a paying customer, I think I'm right.

      But the "screeners" you are talking about are usually done after the place closes on Thursday. For big films, we used to sometimes let the staff see it on Thursday night before it opened. Mainly for films that we where expecting would be sold out for days. This was a nice fringe benefit for the staff who where going to have to work pretty hard over the next few days, not to mention it let the projectionist to actually SEE the film from a theater seat an not the office chair in the booth. I'm sure there are some managers who don't mind making screeners, as they are not the brightest bunch of people and don't get paid much for the long hours they work.

      • by sixsixtysix (1110135) on Tuesday June 10, 2014 @07:44PM (#47207579)
        "cams" are straight-up, sitting-in-the-theater bootlegs.
        "telesyncs" are shot from the projectionist booth, with a telephoto lens and generally use the equipment's audio out synced with the video.
        "screeners" are are discs sent out, usually before awards season (but before the home video market), for people to screen.

        The more you know....
  • by Thruen (753567) on Tuesday June 10, 2014 @06:24PM (#47206975)
    But don't pretend it'll help prevent piracy. Does anyone really expect someone to hold their head perfectly still and never look away from the screen to pirate a film? Of course not. Google Glass is invasive for a lot of reasons, but pirating movies in theaters is hardly a concern for them. It's easier to drop your cell phone in a cup holder pointed at the screen, and less obvious to boot. Not that I think many people are doing that, I suspect most decent cams come from theater employees.
    • by lgw (121541)

      I think Ars is conflating two stories there. AMC is ejecting people for piracy-related reasons, which makes little sense and I'd be upset if it affected people, but fortunately it only affects glassholes so there's no downside to AMCs irrationality.

      Separately, Alamo Drafthouse is banning them, and I doubt they care at all about the piracy thing - they ban talking and any sort of device use or distracting behavior flat out. People go there to watch the movie, if you want to play with your electronics inste

      • by grnbrg (140964)

        Alamo Drafthouse is banning them, and I doubt they care at all about the piracy thing - they ban talking and any sort of device use or distracting behavior flat out. People go there to watch the movie, if you want to play with your electronics instead, there are plenty of other places to go.

        And from what I've read, if they catch you using your electronics, they'll help you get started finding those other places by escorting you to the parking lot. :)

    • by TeknoHog (164938)

      I suspect most decent cams come from theater employees.

      does not compute

    • by jxander (2605655)

      Fun little story: back when I worked at a theatre, films came on several reels and the projectionist was in charge of assembling them into a complete movie (and splicing porn into that assembly, if you're Tyler Durden) Not sure how things work in today's digital age.

      Once everything was assembled, you had to watch the movie through once, just to make sure none of the reels were damaged, assembled upside-down or anything. This usually took place around 2 or 3 in the morning, to have enough time to fix any p

    • by Xebikr (591462) on Tuesday June 10, 2014 @07:10PM (#47207331)
      Google Glass is invasive for a lot of reasons

      Like...? Glass technophobes always remind me of the reaction to Kodak cameras in the 1880's [pbs.org]. A few choice quotes:

      One resort felt the trend so heavily that it posted a notice: "PEOPLE ARE FORBIDDEN TO USE THEIR KODAKS ON THE BEACH."

      The "Hartford Courant" sounded the alarm as well, declaring that "the sedate citizen can't indulge in any hilariousness without the risk of being caught in the act and having his photograph passed around among his Sunday School children."

      I really don't get the vitriol. In 120 years people will laugh at the primitives from the early 2000's who reacted with shock and horror to Google glass. My biggest objection is that it's rude to glance at a notification when you're speaking to someone. But that's true of a phone, too.

      • by kamapuaa (555446)

        But of course people in the 1880s had valid concerns, and in the last 120 years a lot of laws and social pressures have developed regulating the use of cameras. Without which, people would still find the use of cameras objectionable. Many of the issues haven't been entirely worked out - a couple week ago there was a story about how Germans needed to get rid of naughty photos of their exes if asked, and many people didn't seem to like the idea.

      • by vux984 (928602)

        But that's true of a phone, too.

        Difference being that a polite users of a phone CAN pretty trivially avoid responding to the notification until a suitable pause in the conversation or until the conversation is over.

        Wearing glass -- it literally flashes in front of your eyes. "Not looking at it" is a lot more effort.

  • by Ralph Wiggam (22354) on Tuesday June 10, 2014 @06:32PM (#47207037) Homepage

    I'm amazed that a head-mounted video camera has been banned from a venue that previously had a ban on video cameras. Same story with casinos.

  • Right... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Patent Lover (779809)
    Yes, can't have people pirating 20 year old movies. (If you've been to a draft house you know what I mean).
  • Its like society at large has no fucking clue that google glass only has 45 minutes of battery life...

    • Society at large sees a futuristic and experimental Star Trek head visor. You can't buy them in the shops, nor online, and their rarity means the majority of people have not personally used one or even had a personal friend demonstrate how it works.

      I have not personally seen any tech specs on the device, as a technologists my previous assumption was that it would be of comparable spec to a high end mobile phone, with some additional constraints imposed by miniaturization.

      A non-techie sees a futuristic devic

  • by geekoid (135745)

    yeah, a shaky loud recording from inside a theater hurts tickets...not.

  • Who in the smeg watches these 'handy-cammed' movies? The quality must be crap. If you have the time to watch this stuff, go get a Golden Retriever and spend the time walking him / her instead. The Golden'll be up for the walk, I guarantee it.
    • by Misagon (1135)

      I think that for many people it is about availability. Movies are released at different dates in different parts of the world, or in some places not at all. A movie may be released in cinemas six months later somewhere, but by then the hype about it on the Internet is already long over.

  • by X!0mbarg (470366) on Tuesday June 10, 2014 @11:22PM (#47208751)

    First, the the Alamo, then there will be others.

    After all, we can't have people wearing active recording devices into an area where they charge money to play copyright protected media to a limited audience, can we?

    Besides, if you were sitting here in a typical theater with a smart phone in a little tripod-thingy recording the movie, you could reasonably expect to get in trouble, if spotted by any staff members, right?

    So, how long before we see anal-retentive stars at ComiCon who charge an arm and a leg for a pic, setting their body-guards on Google Glass-wearing attendees for "stealing" pics/video of them at the Con? Next we'll see Google Glass Banned from such conventions...

    Where does it end?

  • by whistlingtony (691548) on Wednesday June 11, 2014 @09:39AM (#47211603)

    Google Glass (and similiar tech) is here. It's in the world, and it's not going away. Lots of people complain about it, and mostly they feel like it's an invasion of privacy.

    I find that odd. Our privacy is invaded all the time. The US government records every text message and call you make and no one can seem to be outraged. Meanwhile, some guy has a camera on his face (and he's not even necessarily recording) and everyone is bent out of shape. No one bats an eye when someone takes out a phone to take a pic though.

    There is ONE drawback to this tech. You might get recorded.

    There are several HUGE benefits. For one, it turns the surveilance around. It's been shown that cop/citizen violence goes WAY down(I seem to remember a 50% reduction reported) when everyone is recorded. That's a good thing. For two, putting these things everywhere will turn everyone a lot more polite. I know it's a popular meme that an armed society is a polite society. Well, a recorded society might ACTUALLY be more polite. For three, carrying around an alibi might put an end to the practice of rounding up "the usual suspects". No more "He's black, it was probably him." We can all SHOW we weren't there. For four, I'd love to see it mandated that all public servants wear them. It's significantly harder to make backroom shady deals when everything you're doing is being recorded, but that's really just my pipe dream.

    Anyway, people are bitching about glassholes. This is just... eh. Shrug. It's loosed upon the world. It's coming, and nothing you can do is going to stop it. I happen to think the benefits are well worth it. The only real drawback is that someone might record you being an asshole. :D

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