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Google Glass Couldn’t Make it to the Theaters : Good or Bad

It’s official. The Google Okay Glass will no longer be considered okay at the theaters.

In an attempt to prevent piracy, The National Association of Theater Owners (NATO), a group of owners of about 32,000 silver screen across the States, along with The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), declared an update to their anti-theft joint policy, banning the device and other camera-enabled wearables altogether at movie halls. It’s a “Zero tolerance” ban, they announced.

“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,” said NATO last Wednesday.

Now, movie piracy has been there, like, forever, the black market being boosted more by the advent of hand held camcorders, smartphones with high-end cameras and other handy video recording devices. Once a movie is released, pirated prints come pouring in. This is illegal and more than that, unethical. So, implementing a ban as such seems like a great way to begin.

But, what’s surprising here is what NATO had to say a few days back about the usage of the device. That was before the ban hold good.

It all started with a man being thrown out of a theater in Ohio. He was watching Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit wearing Google Glass – a prescribed one for him. An hour later, he was pulled out of the theater and forced into a ‘voluntary interview’ for a suspected attempt of recording the movie. After the unwanted breaching into his device details and an ugly harassment done, the officers in charge ‘concluded’ that it was all but a misunderstanding. The man was given free passes to the show again with an official declaration from the MPAA stating this in favor of the device –

“Google Glass is an incredible innovation in the mobile sphere, and we have seen no proof that it is currently a significant threat that could result in content theft. The MPAA works closely with theaters all over the country to curb camcording and theater-originated piracy, and in this particular case, no such activity was discovered.”

A remark from the left field, it was!

So, after the endless tech-praises that it does routinely, what’s got into MPAA all of a sudden? Even when the facts and features about Okay Glass remain so clear and so not-for-the-piracy-purpose? Almost gone are those days when pirated prints of movies worked. It isn’t really the age of low quality videos anymore. Who would want to watch a movie with the viewers’ conversations screaming more over the dialogues? No one.

Fine, Google Glass comes with a superb feature of video recording up to 720p. But, what really is its battery life? With video recording on, it’s a mere 45 minutes to one hour plain. Who would record half of a movie, anyway? And who would buy a device so costly simply for the sake of piracy? Think.

NATO and MPAA issuing the ban to fight back piracy sounds good. But, on seconds thoughts, what’s the logic? And whatever would people like the poor Ohio guy do now? All said and done Google, surprisingly, still has nothing to say about this ban. Some actions go without equal and opposite reactions it seems.


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