MPAA/NATO ban Google Glass in theaters

Faith Merino · October 29, 2014 · Short URL:

Now you'll have to find another way to get a shaky bootleg with bad audio

Welcome to your weekly edition of “This is a Thing People Do?” Today, we talk about the MPAA’s ban on Google Glass—because apparently, this is a thing people do. Like, people just walk into theaters with their Google Glass and they're all "it's so I can look up movie trivia."

The Motion Picture Association of America and the National Association of Theater Owners released a joint statement Wednesday to announce that henceforth, wearables must be powered off and put away at show time, because obvs.

The two organizations claim to “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.”

You best believe that the MPAA and the NATO are not kidding around. Last year, the MPAA encouraged theater operators to rein in piracy through the use of night-vision goggles, low light binoculars, and security cameras. In other words: treat your patrons like they’re going through airport security. I’m sure that in a not too distant future, movie-goers will be told to remove their shoes and belts.

The MPAA has also urged theater owners to perform random bag and jacket checks, which I want to say isn’t actually legal. And of course, the organization encourages theater owners to be on the lookout for “the unusual.” One minute, a kid is pirating a movie. The next, he’s a full blown Satanist. KNOW THE SIGNS.

Interestingly, the statement never actually identifies Google Glass, but the device seems to be the wearable we’re all talking about—since you can’t record a movie with your Fitbit (or can you?). Back in June, just a week after Google introduced Glass to the UK, a trade group for UK theaters urged chains to ban Google Glass.

Google thought a ban was overblown.

"We recommend any cinemas concerned about Glass to treat the device as they treat similar devices like mobile phones: simply ask wearers to turn it off before the film starts," the company said to Ars Technica at the time. "Broadly speaking, we also think it’s best to have direct and first-hand experience with Glass before creating policies around it. The fact that Glass is worn above the eyes and the screen lights up whenever it’s activated makes it a fairly lousy device for recording things secretly.”

The UK policy came at the same time that the U.S. theater chain Alamo Drafthouse announced its plans to ban Google Glass from theaters. 


Image source:

Support VatorNews by Donating

Read more from our "Trends and news" series

More episodes