MPAA Wants Theaters To Call Cops On People Who Dare Take A Photo During A Movie

Call us skeptical, but we have a hunch this MPAA poster will do nothing to curb rude texters, obnoxious talkers, or illegal recorders.

Call us skeptical, but we have a hunch this MPAA poster will do nothing to curb rude texters, obnoxious talkers, or illegal recorders.

The Motion Picture Association of America has released new best practices guidelines for movie theater operators who want to crack down on that worst of crimes — the shaky-cam pirated movie. To that end, the MPAA is suggesting a zero-tolerance policy, not just for people caught trying to record a motion picture, but for anyone who dares to take out their cellphone to take a photo during a screening.

“Many laws enacted to prevent the recording of a movie being shown on a theater screen also prohibit the taking of still pictures and the recording of audio,” writes the MPAA. “Theater managers should immediately alert law enforcement authorities whenever they suspect prohibited activity is taking place. Do not assume that a cell phone or digital camera is being used to take still photographs and not a full-length video recording. Let the proper authorities determine what laws may have been violated and what enforcement action should be taken.”

That’s right. Theater owners should just assume that anyone who pulls out a phone during a movie is a thief looking to deprive Ben Affleck’s children of their next meal. And rather than simply remove that suspected copyright terrorist from the theater — like Alamo Drafthouse does with people who text during movies — the MPAA says theater owners need to alert the authorities.

TorrentFreak points out that the MPAA guidelines still want theater owners to be especially wary of employees’ friends and third-party security staffers.

“Does one member of your staff frequently have ‘friends’ joining them at the theater at odd times?” asks the best practices document. “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.”

Because those people are obviously not there to hang out with their bored theater-employee friends. No, they are obviously there to make billions of dollars by recording a copy of Blue Is the Warmest Color to be sold on the streets. Or maybe they’re just anarchists who want to share it for free online!?

You can read a PDF of the full best practices document for free here.

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  1. wsuschmitt says:

    It is unfortunate, but the MPAA wants to treat us all as if we’re criminals and let the justice system sort it out. It seems that they are doing everything they can to criminalize the watching of movies not only here in the US, but around the world with their input in the TPP.

    • KevinBlah says:

      The MPAA are probably working, right now, on figuring out a way of forcing movie theatres to charge you for the air you breathe while in the same building as their movies.

      • SingleMaltGeek says:

        “Sorry, the license you paid for is per-eyeball. If you watched with both eyes, that would be another $5,000 for violating your viewing license. Plus, we saw that you went to the bathroom and then asked your friend what happened when you got back. You both owe us $10,000 each for time-shifting and unauthorized derivatives of our content!”