1 July-2014, The Guardian: Google Glass has been banned in UK cinemas just a week after the first headsets became available in the country.
The Independent reports that the Cinema Exhibitors’ Association, which represents the interests of around 90 per cent of UK cinema operators, said it was introducing a blanket ban. Chief executive Phil Clapp said: “Customers will be requested not to wear these into cinema auditoriums, whether the film is playing or not.” Meanwhile Vue, the UK’s third-largest cinema chain, said it would ask filmgoers to remove the eyewear “as soon as the lights dim”.
The ban follows similar moves in the US, where the independent Drafthouse chain said last month that it was banning Google Glass over piracy fears. Industry bodies The National Association of Theaters Owners (Nato) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) have also introduced rules outlawing all recording devices, including Google Glass. The devices have been available in the US since last year, but filmgoers opting to wear them in cinemas have faced draconian interventions. In January, a wearer was removed from an AMC site in Columbus, Ohio, and taken for questioning by homeland security officials partway through a screening of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.
Google Glass is a new piece of hardware from the technology giant that resembles a pair of glasses, and features an inbuilt camera for recording your surroundings. It can also display information via the internet on a small screen next to the eye.
Google itself has poured scorn on suggestions the wearable devices could be used to record films for redistribution. A spokesman said in a statement: “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.
A Nato spokesman told the Wrap: “As part of our continued efforts to ensure movies are not recorded in theatres, 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. Individuals who fail or refuse to put the recording devices away, may be asked to leave. If theatre 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.”