19 November 2013
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is urging theater operators to crack down on in-theater camcording with the deployment of night-vision goggles, low-light binoculars and security cameras.
The latest version of the MPAA's “Best Practices to Prevent Film Theft” also suggests old-school surveillance, like “random bag and jacket checks for prohibited items” and to “observe patrons” when entering the theater.
“Look for the unusual, such as someone wearing a long or unseasonably heavy coat in warm weather, odd shapes outlined in pockets or patrons carrying shopping bags. If any of these are observed, please take a closer look,” the 12-page memo advises.
Camcording and industry leaks are the top methods of choice for movies to find their way to file-sharing sites like The Pirate Bay and on unauthorized DVDs. Camcording is a federal felony
carrying a maximum 3 year penalty. The District of Columbia and 41 states also have their own laws against it.
The MPAA guidance urges theater employees, who are eligible for $500 rewards
, to call the police immediately if they think illegal filming is occurring. “Let the proper authorities determine what laws may have been violated and what enforcement action should be taken,” according to the memo. (DHS has created a nation of spies 'If You See Something Say Something' and it's even trademarked! FYI, the MPAA is made up of lawyers.)
The theaters have to have posters, like the one above, on display if they want their employees to get the cash, so expect to see that kind of crap in theaters everywhere. And expect that employees seeking to cash in on that TAKE ACTION! REWARD to be calling the cops all the freaking time
, because some kid raises his iPhone to take a quick picture of his buddies or something cool on screen.
The document also asserts a top rule practiced by all the world’s spy agencies: Trust no one.
“Be aware of ‘friends’ of staff,” the protocol warns. “Does one member of your staff frequently have ‘friends’ joining them at the theater at odd times? Look for non-employees coming or going out of the projectionist’s booth or those arriving at odd hours claiming to be ‘friends’ of an employee or manager.”