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Movies Your Rights Online

UK Copyright Group Tells Cinemas to Ban Laptops 438

Sockatume writes "Cinema chain Cineworld now has a policy banning anyone from carrying a laptop into a theatre, even if it is not used. The management claims that this is an anti-piracy move on the advice of the Federation Against Copyright Theft, the much-mocked source of all kinds of dubious anti-piracy statements. When it was pointed out that the laptop had no camera, the management made a temporary exception. For customers, the message is clear: leave your laptop in the car. For pirates, the message is clear: there is more money to be made slinking around cinema car parks looking for laptop bags."
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UK Copyright Group Tells Cinemas to Ban Laptops

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  • Re:Movies (Score:5, Interesting)

    by selven ( 1556643 ) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @10:12AM (#29756809)

    Good thing we have engineers working hard to remove the smartphone/laptop distinction.

  • by Assmasher ( 456699 ) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @10:13AM (#29756811) Journal

    If you didn't have a trunk (motorcycle rider for example) I could see why, but seriously, this should not be much of an issue for most people.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 15, 2009 @10:15AM (#29756855)

    Why shouldn't I be allowed to take my laptop with me? Especially when recording movies with a 1.3 megapixel webcam that most laptops sport is a rather futile task anyway.

  • Bionic eyes (Score:2, Interesting)

    by davidwr ( 791652 ) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @10:25AM (#29757013) Homepage Journal

    I can't wait until they try to ban the man with the camera in his eye [].

    I'm sure he doesn't welcome his new robotic eyeball's overlords.

  • Re:Movies (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Animaether ( 411575 ) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @10:29AM (#29757079) Journal

    Last time a theater employee even asked if he could check my stuff, there were three things in the bag I was carrying around...

    - A high quality digital still camera also capable of HD video, mounted on a tripod.
    - A smartphone with less-than-worthless 640x480 noise-o-vision video
    - 2 bottles of Aquarius 'Red Blast' ('peach' flavor sport drink).

    ( Quick backstory: I ended up at the theatre because it was raining out. Not so bad in general, but I was making a photo trip on the bike and the weather report said the rainshower should last 2 hours tops. I was in the area of the theatre, so I figured I'd hop in there, catch a movie, and by the time I'd get out I could continue on my shoot. )

    Employee: we can't allow those inside
    Me: oh, I know, but I'm just on a shoot; I can leave the battery with the reception if you want
    Employee: no, no.. the bottles. We can't allow those inside; we don't sell those (they sell regular and whatever the hell flavor the blue-colored Aquarius is)
    Me: ... wait, I can't take the bottles - which I'm only carrying for outside; I just got a Coke Zero at the bar, see? *holds up coe zero* - but the camera is okay?
    Employee: yes.. sorry, policy
    Me: o-kay.
    Employee: Could we put those in storage for you, perhaps?

    I guess they already knew that the movie had been available for download for weeks, as a telesync, probably snatched up in the U.S. with a proper audio feed, and didn't much care about anybody bringing in cameras.

    But the drinks.. oh noes, the drinks!

  • Seriously? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by thisnamestoolong ( 1584383 ) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @10:37AM (#29757215)
    Aside from the obvious absurdity of someone trying to record a movie with their laptop -- how much of a problem are off-screen recordings for the movie industry? I may be naive -- but I really have a hard time imagining someone saying -- "I was gonna go see this movie in the theater, but I have a copy that someone recorded with a video camera in the theater! This is just as good! Now I don't need to go see it!"

    Am I missing something here, or are these anti-piracy groups really that dense?
  • by Peregr1n ( 904456 ) <> on Thursday October 15, 2009 @11:00AM (#29757569) Homepage
    I don't have a car. I commute by bus and ferry. There's a Cineworld on my way home that I frequent, but now cannot as I carry my laptop to work every day (I use it to get in a bit of work/browsing on the 2 x 30 minute ferry crossing daily commute).

    Cineworld Southampton have therefore just lost my business. This is particularly stupid of them, as quite often (even with newly released films) I can count the audience members on my fingers.
  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kimvette ( 919543 ) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @11:15AM (#29757763) Homepage Journal

    How about people who live in the city and walk or use public transportation?
    What about people who own hatchbacks and are not comfortable leaving a laptop bag out in the car?

    The movie industry is only making "pirated" content even more superior to the "genuine" product. They're missing the fact that most of the pre-release torrents are coming from their employees or from DVD replication houses to begin with.

  • Re:Well at this rate (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mornedhel ( 961946 ) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @11:16AM (#29757769)

    Actually, I'd put "popcorn" under Cinema/Cons.

    In my country, it used to be that food was completely prohibited within movie theaters. I never really understood the obsession with eating popcorn while you watch a movie and thought it was purely an American thing, that it'd never take here.

    Then food became allowed (well, food sold within the theater did), and whaddaya know, people did start eating in the theater.

    Oh the horror! The noise of opening bags of crisps! THE INFERNAL CRUNCHING EVERYWHERE!

    Seriously, it was so much better before that. I wouldn't say theaters were completely silent (you get teenagers and generally rude people in every culture), but the quality of the experience certainly got degraded.

  • Re:Movies (Score:3, Interesting)

    by innocent_white_lamb ( 151825 ) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @04:46PM (#29762099)

    I own and operate a theatre in a small town. I keep a close eye out for light from cell phones (it's easy to spot) and come out to tell people to shut their phone off until the end of the show.
    Most of the customers are trained by now, but the few that aren't usually comply without any problem.
    I did have an incident this past Monday night when the there were not too many people at the show, though. A guy was fiddling with his phone while the movie was on; I told him to quit. He started up again 5 minutes later; I again told him to quit. He did it again so I invited him out to the lobby with me and told him the show was over for him. He left...

  • Re:Movies (Score:2, Interesting)

    by innocent_white_lamb ( 151825 ) on Thursday October 15, 2009 @04:51PM (#29762193)

    Businessmen hate losing money. It makes them hide in their office and cry.
    Not in my case.
    I own and operate a movie theatre.
    My theatre. My personal property, in fact. And most importantly, my rules. If you don't like it I'll be happy to see you walking out of the door, preferably with the least possible fuss but I can provide you with a police escort if it's absolutely necessary.
    Most of my customers appreciate the fact that things here are kept under control -- no booze, no loud talking, no cell phones (and that annoying light!), no kids running up and down the aisle unsupervised.
    Those who attempt to create the Animal House atmosphere are welcome to take their money to other theatres; I'm really not that desperate for a sale.

"Well, it don't make the sun shine, but at least it don't deepen the shit." -- Straiter Empy, in _Riddley_Walker_ by Russell Hoban