“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.