UK cinemas ban Google Glass due to film piracy concerns

By Quinten Plummer, Tech Times | June 30, 3:02 PM

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UK cinemas have been ruled their theaters out of bounds for the use of Google Glass. The bans would help prevent the piracy of films.
(Photo : Leo Hidalgo | Creative Commons)

Google Glass users in the United Kingdom won't get a chance to share first-person views of movies after the UK banned the wearable tech from cinemas.

With the ability to capture video at a resolution of 720p and the absence of an LED to indicate recording is occurring, the move to ban Google Glass from theaters was simply a prudent step to minimize the piracy of films. Google Glass' battery conks out after about 45 minutes of video capture, but splicing chunks of videos is a minor task for free and packaged applications like Windows Live Movie Maker and iMovie.

The Cinema Exhibitors' Association (CEA) released a statement to address the ban of Google Glass in cinemas.

"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," stated the release. "Any customer found wearing such technology will be asked to remove it and may be asked to leave the cinema."

Vue Entertainment, a cinema chain headquartered in the UK, has taken a more lenient approach to Glass in its theaters. Vue stated it will ask Glass wearers to remove the wearable tech before the lights dim ahead of the presentation of a film.

The prohibition of Glass use in theaters follows in the spirit of the ground rules Google has attempted to establish for "Glass Explorers," particularly the guidelines asking users not to expect to be ignored while wearing the devices and reminding them to avoid acting like a "Glasshole."

"In places where cell phone cameras aren't allowed, the same rules will apply to Glass," stated Google in the guidelines. "If you're asked to turn your phone off, turn Glass off as well. Breaking the rules or being rude will not get businesses excited about Glass and will ruin it for other Explorers."

While the ban on Glass in theaters may have needed to be set in stone, venues such as courtrooms and hospitals have strict privacy laws already in place that have no gray areas in their acceptance of devices capable of capturing video.

Google Glass left home and went abroad to the UK and Australia on June 23, after roughly two years of being sold exclusively to beta testers in the United States. At around the same price as the $1,500 U.S. version, the Australian variant of the headset went on sale at AU$1,800 and £1,000 in the UK.

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