Google Glass banned from movie theaters

The nation’s movie industry is banning Google Glass and other wearable devices from its theaters.

The Motion Picture Association of America and the National Association of Theater Owners issued a joint statement on Wednesday adding wearable technology to their list of banned items, in order to prevent piracy.

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“As has been our long-standing policy, all phones must be silenced and other recording devices, including wearable devices, must be turned off and put away at show time,” the lobbying groups said in new language added to their anti-piracy policy. “Individuals who fail or refuse to put the recording devices away may be asked to leave.” 

The new policy, the groups added, is part of their “zero-tolerance policy toward using any recording device while movies are being shown.”

As the market for “smart” watches, bracelets and other devices has slowly increased, so have the options for people trying to secretly record movies, performances and other events, with the possible goal of distributing them online later.

The trade group policy does not specifically mention Google Glass, but the emerging glasses devices would seem to be the product most impacted by the new rules. Though the devices are still relatively rare in much of the country, they are only likely to become more popular in the near future.

“If theater managers have indications that illegal recording activity is taking place, they will alert law enforcement authorities when appropriate, who will determine what further action should be taken,” the groups said in their policy.

Federal law bans recording in a movie theater, with a maximum sentence of three years in prison for offenders.