U.K. Theaters Ban Google Glass7 Jul, 2014 By: Chris Tribbey
The Cinema Exhibitors’ Association, the trade group behind the United Kingdom’s movie theaters, has officially banned Google Glass and other wearable technology, in a bid to help curb piracy.
The group’s position on mobile phones is similar to that of America’s National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO): put them away once the film starts. But with Google Glass and other wearable technology, it’s a blanket ban.
“The U.K. 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, CEO of the Cinema Exhibitors' Association, told Home Media Magazine. "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.”
Wearable technology is comparably new to the U.K. In the United States, bars, casinos and other businesses beside cinemas have banned the headwear. The Cinema Exhibitors' Association’s public message regarding wearable technology reads: “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.”
Patrick Corcoran, VP and spokesman for NATO, said the Motion Picture Association of America worked with NATO to craft its list of best practices regarding technology in theaters.
“As part of our continued efforts to ensure movies are not recorded in theaters, we maintain a zero-tolerance policy toward using any recording device while movies are being shown,” he said. “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.”