back to article Google Glass faces UK cinema ban: Heaven forbid someone films you crying in a rom-com

Moviegoers in the UK will be asked to remove their Google Glasses and similar camera-fitted wearable computers over privacy and piracy fears. The Cinema Exhibitors Association (CEA) – which represents virtually all theaters in Blighty – fears bootleggers will don the devices to record and illegally distribute films. As such, …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    wearable technology

    implants are still fine, I presume?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: wearable technology

      implants are still fine, I presume?

      In the case of Google Glass, only rectal ones. Otherwise yes.

    2. BrettTheBrat

      Re: wearable technology

      With 2 gigs of wearable storage, the top video it can record is 720p and with 12 gigs of useable memory horking a movie wouldn't be that hard. But, and this is a big but, it's low level light capture is very pathetic. So recording in a theater is very questionable if not impossible.

      1. JoshOvki

        Re: wearable technology

        Think of the camera shake too! You don't sit perfectly still through a film, every little movement will be picked up resulting in the feeling of sea sickness by the time you finished watching the film back.

  2. Test Man

    There doesn't need to be a separate statement referring to Google Glass and similar - they already use the "ban on recording equipment" statement that covers everything past and present.

    1. veti Silver badge

      So, it's not enough to turn my cellphone off during the movie - now I need to leave it outside when I go in?

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Not entirely. With some devices they won't let you in at all even if you don't use it (camcorders) but with others they reserve the right to throw you out if they find you using it (mobiles). They were clarifying which one Glass falls under.

  3. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

    Slow on the uptake

    Okay, I finally get it. If this kind of device becomes common*, we'll have to rethink whole aspects of society and the rules by which society operates. Business models may crumble.

    Next step: direct taps on the optic nerve.

    * Don't blame me. If it were up to me the web would be text only and nobody would have a mobile phone. But it will be the great unwashed who decide whether or not to adopt HUD-tech.

    1. Steven Roper

      Re: Slow on the uptake

      "Next step: direct taps on the optic nerve."

      Communal response: "We don't serve their kind in here. Your 'droids - they'll have to wait outside!" will extend to "cybers" as well...

      1. Robert Baker

        Re: Slow on the uptake

        "We don't serve their kind in here. Your 'droids - they'll have to wait outside!"

        You mean "blanks" surely? :-)

    2. Lionel Baden

      Re: Slow on the uptake

      If it were up to me the web would be text only

      Ascii Pr0n !!

    3. LucreLout

      Re: Slow on the uptake

      <i>If it were up to me the web would be text only and nobody would have a mobile phone</i>

      Ahh the halcyon days of Gopher.

  4. PleebSmash

    Glass Eye of the Pirate: Cams on the High Seas

    What's better than an HDcam? A 720p cam recorded from somebody's wobbling head, complete with breathing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Glass Eye of the Pirate: Cams on the High Seas

      Yes, but cam rips don't need to be high quality. Their only purpose (for me anyway) is to see if a movie is worth shelling out the $50+ it'll cost me (once I've paid for petrol, parking, snacks and ticket) to go to the cinema to see it, or if it would be better to just wait for the DVD, or just not to bother at all.

      The official trailers don't tell you squat about whether a movie is good or not, since they're designed to dupe you into going to see it, and I've been burned by great trailers for shit movies too often to rely on them for that judgement. A quick scan through of a cam rip is a much more accurate decider of whether I should give up another two hours of my life to Hollywood.

      1. Jim 48

        Re: Glass Eye of the Pirate: Cams on the High Seas

        There's these things, you may have heard of them, called re-views where somebody, stay with me here, who has ALREADY SEEN THE FILM writes down their opinion of said film in a medium you can access, such as a website or magazine. Now, I know precisely what you are going to say here; "How do I know that the re-view-er" (for that is what these self-less individuals are called) "thinks the same as me?", well, I'm glad you asked, what you can do is view their previous re-views for films that you have also viewed and see if their view matches your view! I know, right, it's mind-blowing! And get this, you can even read/watch multiple re-views for the same film from different people to get different views!

        You're welcome.

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Glass Eye of the Pirate: Cams on the High Seas

        You're right, only true film lovers need know what the film is like when it's out of focus, at an angle of 15 degrees, with a silhouette of the back of someone's head cut out the middle, and the dialogue obscured by coughing and talking.

  5. Khaptain Silver badge

    Pas en France

    >Punters are already told to put away their smartphones in auditoriums

    I wish they would do that here in France, every bloody time that I go there are at least a half dozen twunts tweeting, smsing during the whole damned film..

    Personally I don't care about someone being a Glasshole in the cinema, they are no where near aas annoying as the texters/smsers...

    As for the film industry, well that' a discussion between Google and the MPAA Mafia....

    1. SteveK

      Re: Pas en France

      "I wish they would do that here in France, every bloody time that I go there are at least a half dozen twunts tweeting, smsing during the whole damned film.."

      Oh, there still are similar numbers in cinemas here too, telling them doesn't make blindest difference to that.

      Worst case though was in the cinema once with a row of kids behind (pretty sure they weren't being obnoxious because they were teens, they genuinely didn't seem to notice). Mobile rings, girl answers it and starts saying 'Oh, I'm in the cinema watching <whatever>, just getting to the bit where X is going to happen'... Another of them was reading out every set of subtitles, either because they couldn't read silently or for the benefit of another one who couldn't read at all...

      And they wonder why people don't like going to the cinema any more - that and the fact that a film costs pretty close to the same as buying the DVD just to see. 2 or more people, it's cheaper by a good margin to just buy the film. I know the experience isn't the same, but as 'the experience' seems to include having the constant rustling of sweet wrappers; people who have just downed the 2 litre 'child-size' Coke squeezing past to go to the toilet every 10 minutes; being dazzled by mobile screens sending texts and so on, I'm happy to skip that!

  6. Philip Storry

    So are they planning on making some films that would be worth pirating then?

    Something that's not a sequel or a prequel or a remake? Or a comic book adaptation or a young adult book series adaptation?

    Something... new?

    Something people might actually want to pay them money for, rather than just pirate so that they can at least be disappointed for free?

    I think they have bigger problems than Google Glass. And the problem is on the supply side, not the customer side.

  7. Tom 35

    film theft

    You wouldn't steal a car...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: film theft

      You wouldn't steal a Glass .. hey, wait a minute..


    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: film theft

      No, but if I could download one I'd be tempted. The original owner still has their car, after all...

    3. BongoJoe

      Re: film theft

      Why not?

    4. dotdavid

      Re: film theft

      You wouldn't film a car!


    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: film theft

      Can't remember who it was, but I remember a stand up comedian, in relation to these piracy ads, saying "I'm about to watch 'Hostel 2', a film in which a variety of young women are viciously murdered...... how do you know what I wouldn't do?"

      1. Don Dumb

        Re: film theft

        @AC - I believe the comedian was Ed Byrne

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I see

    "This position is driven by concerns around customer privacy"

    How very noble of you. No, seriously, thanks for blazing a trail for hard done by film goers, you of all people, forging ahead with a vision, a mission, a purpose - no more shall we be covertly recorded by people wearing silly glasses, no more shall our bodies be defiled on Instagram, our faces shall remain free from Flickr, no more of you on Youtube. OUR PHOTONS SHALL BE FREE!!!

    "as well as film theft."

    Oh, it'll be that actually.

    1. Steven Roper

      Re: I see

      When I was a kid, an adult friend of the family once told me, "Everyone always has two reasons for doing anything: a good reason, and the real reason... So before you say yes to anyone, make sure you know what the real reason is."

      Your post is a perfect illustration of that early life lesson!

    2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: I see

      "as well as film theft."

      Aha! I've just figured out how Google Glass could really help with film theft.

      While the cinema and the finest rent-a-lump security staff are pointing at and laughing at the Google Glass wearer, an accomplice can sneak up the stairs, break into the projection room and steal the can of film that is about to be shown. That is theft. A fine plan only only slightly hampered by the fact that modern cinemas use digital projectors and don't have cans of films.

  9. Nathan 13

    So behind the times

    Anyone intent on pirating a film will find it in HD quality all over the internet.

    Do you really think they would PAY!! and record the film in poor quality with laughable audio, and then watch it again smugly eating his Lidl popcorn.

    How out of touch are these companies, it is genuinely scary!! (Saying that a dont want to see a flashing red led light when I next go to the cinema in 2076)

  10. Studley

    Cinema (n.)

    An auditorium where you can watch a blu-ray with hundreds of other people, at an inconvenient time, for the same price as buying the blu-ray six months later.

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: Cinema (n.)

      You forgot to mention "projected slightly out of focus and with the volume turned up too high to drown out the sound of the horror movie being shown next door, which can still be felt as subsonic rumbles through the popcorn-encrusted floor."

      OK, I get the rest of it. But is it really asking too much of cinema owners nowadays to focus the fscking projector, at least once per movie?

    2. Don Dumb

      Re: Cinema (n.)

      @Studley - "An auditorium where you can watch a blu-ray with hundreds of other people, at an inconvenient time, for the same price as buying the blu-ray six months later.

      And all that on uncomfortable seats, without a pause button (even though the film may be several hours long), with loads of adverts and spoilers (some call them 'trailers') for other films you might want to see but won't need to after the spoiler has given everything away. And even better there's lots of films available at your cinema only in 3D - which is more expensive, comes with shitty glasses, looks worse and yet does not hide the lack of any decent storytelling.

      I'm just not a fan of the cinema experience. I do occasionally go to my local arthouse cinema which actually is quite good, there are sofas, pauses during long films and wine & beer in the shop. It just annoys me that you do not get value for money (if you ever did) at the cinema these days. Even more galling is that you pay and still get adverts.

  11. TheProf


    The last* 'pirated' film I watched was The King's Speech and it had a notice that appeared at the bottom of the screen at regular intervals informing me that it was the property of XYZ film company©®.

    The image and sound were excellent. Obviously the copy had been made from a digital source before the film hit the cinemas. I doubt a ban on wobbly head-mounted cameras will do much to stem the tide of hooky dvds.

    *Out of two in total. The King's Speech was good but I wouldn't have paid to see it. Not my kind of film. The first was Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes. I paid nothing to watch it but still felt cheated!

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Yar!

      Even now, a huge number of copies are of "screeners" - i.e. copies of the movie before it's general release. Often leaked by employees of the distribution company.

      And that is still not theft.

  12. RegGuy1 Silver badge

    "Motion Picture Ass. of America"

    Haha, I see what you did there -- good one El Reg.

  13. pullenuk

    what about the deaf?

    There is successful research going where Google Glass is providing subtitles when watching a cinema film. So banning Glass when the cinema isnt providing subtitles for deaf people is going to cause some issues. Glass makes it easiler for subtitles as only the persob wearing them can use the subtitles and not the whole cinema.

    They will have to either allow them in thay basis or provide their own version of Glass to use.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: what about the deaf?

      Glass without storage could be used. That's not going to happen however. The pathetic press have destroyed glass before it had a chance to show it's true worth, not just in cinemas but elsewhere in daily life, transcribing spoken word to the hud display

      Hard of hearing people everywhere are the biggest losers as a result of the media obsession in destroying glass.

  14. Craig 2
    Thumb Up

    The MPAA need to keep cracking down on illegal recording when new devices appear, because it's been working great so far!

  15. Andy Roid McUser

    banning these devices in cinema's is a bad idea

    So we cant say..

    "Ok Google, show me nudie picks of that actress/actor" ( delete as appropriate )

    1. Jonathon Green

      Re: banning these devices in cinema's is a bad idea

      That shows a certain lack of ambition. Given a few years development I'd imagine you might be able to do something along the lines of...

      "Google, download a computer generated digital model of what that actress/actor is likely to look like nude and overlay it over their character in real time..."

      ...with the result that you'd be able to have any/all of the characters in a film appear naked kn every scene rightbthe way through. Obviously, depending on the movie and cast this may or may not have sufficient entertainment value to leave on for an entire movie :-)

  16. Ascylto

    Cinema going - not!

    Like the person above, I have stopped going to the cinema, sadly. I was fed up with those for whom it was a chance to text, talk or sms and for those who hadn't eaten for an hour and were therefore in need of over-priced hotdogs, popcorn and cola. I now have a collection of about 900 DVDs all priced at less than the cost of going to the Cinema. I reckon the Cinema industry has missed out on at least £6000 (10,250 US$) of my money.

  17. Robert Baker
    Thumb Up


    Love it!

    1. James Hughes 1

      Re: "Glassholes"

      Have you been in prison with no net access for the last 6 months?

  18. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    "While our position on mobile phones is that we ask people to put these away when the film is playing, with wearable technology – whether Google Glass or otherwise – we believe that it is generally more difficult to detect when they are and are not recording, so our approach is a precautionary one."

    Huh? Google Glass has a light to indicate that it is recording and despite the idiots claiming that the sky is falling down, that they will punch anybody wearing one and that the google mothership is monitoring everything a google glass wearer sees, the google glass device doesn't have the battery or storage capacity to record for long, or in any particular good quality. On the other hand, my mobile phone doesn't have a light to indicate that it is recording and has the battery and storage capacity to record video for two hours and can record in very nice quality.

    Go figure. More knee jerk reactions by the clueless.

    On the other hand, wearable technology will only improve it's capabilities therefore at some point it will be possible to record two hours of dubious quality movie video using a wearable device, but having specific rules for specific devices is just stupid. It's already prohibited to record the films, why are new guidelines needed? Also as noted above, cam copies in cinemas aren't the real risk to a film's distribution.

    1. Khaptain Silver badge


      I would argue that the difference between the two devices is that it is quite obvious what someone is doing with their smartphone, whereas it is far more discreet with Google Glass.

      On top of that, yes, it is the fear that is yet another domain that will quickly fall into the already powerfull and monopolistic hands of El Google....

    2. Spleen

      "Google Glass has a light to indicate that it is recording"

      Which can be easily turned off, or if you can't be bothered to hack it, a small piece of masking tape will do the job.

  19. BongoJoe

    Just a thought

    I admit not seeing one of these items at all and even less likely to see one in a cinema (ours is going to be turned into a carpet warehouse or something) there is one question that I have.

    If someone is using one; is there any light spilling over that others can see? For example, will the light from the tiny projector be visible to anyone else or there is an LED lit?

    If so, I would imagine that this would be adequate grounds for refusing them.

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Just a thought

      You can clearly see that one is in use, here's a random image that shows the effect: [Image]

      It is not enough to ruin the darkness, certainly a lot less than the obligatory mobile phone use in cinemas.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    They're unlikely to go into a cinema anyway because it's dark and people won't be able to see how hip and cool they are. Neither will they be able to record people seeing how hip and cool they are.

    As many others have said already cinemas need to remember what their purpose is. To show films in a relatively comfortable, distraction minimal environment, on a big screen with great quality picture and sound.

    Rather than be magnets for ignorant twunts who talk, text and use their mobiles while noisily eating from a bucket of crappy popcorn and slurping cheap soft drinks. All while watching an out of focus film with earsplitting sound.

    The last film we saw at a cinema was No Country for Old Men, we assumed that the washed out colour was intentional, till we bought the DVD.

    Haven't been to a cinema since.

  21. FunkyEric

    I enjoy going to the cinema

    Our local cinema has a bargain Tuesday, each Tuesday all films are only £3.75. I take my own bags of sweeties in to munch on but do pay £3.05 for a drink, sneaking one of those in could be a bit awkward (perhaps I should try it) and mostly I have a good evening out for 2 for under a tenner. We have our favourite seats where there aren't any phone wielding twunts infront of us and have seen some excellent films. But I must admit paying full price to see a film does make my eyes water.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Luckily my local Odeon is completely failing thanks to the much more popular nearby CineWorld.

    Which is great - all the kids go to CineWorld and I get to see blockbuster films with about 3 other people in the auditorium. Pity it will close soon due to lack of customers.

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