AfterDawn: Tech news

UK movie theater bans notebooks to prevent piracy

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 16 Oct 2009 12:56 User comments (18)

UK movie theater bans notebooks to prevent piracy According to "professional speaker and TV reporter" Jeremy Nicholas, the UK movie theater chain Cineworld has banned notebooks from their theaters, in an effort to stop piracy.
Despite his notebook not even having a camera, Nicholas was told to leave his expensive device with the management and collect it after, and offer he refused.

Says Nicholas, in his blog post: "[The manager] explained that it’s a new policy to cut out piracy. No-one is allowed to take laptops into Cineworld cinemas anymore.

I pointed out the lack of webcam on my laptop and he said he would make an exception in my case and let me in. He maintained his staff had been correct in refusing me entry as it was a new policy."


Apparently, Cineworld was just following the advice of FACT (Federation Against Copyright Theft) which was giving the same advice to most large UK movie chains. However, Nicholas' smartphone, with video recording ability, was allowed into the theater, as were other patrons, one lady who even had a Flip video recorder in her bag.

Nicholas concludes:

I have a few things to say to Cineworld.

1. If you treat your customers like this, they will go elsewhere.

2. There are many more efficient ways of recording a film than via the webcam on a laptop.

3. Many people carry a laptop or netbook these days. They will not all go straight home from work, some may come straight to the movies.

4. I go to the pictures a lot. I love the Cineworld Unlimited card. It’s a great deal for movie lovers. I have been a real evangelist for it and have persuaded friends and family to sign up for it. Equally if this computer madness continues, I will tell as many people as I can about it.

The good news is after treating me like a a potential villain they let me in, and with my laptop.

Previous Next  

18 user comments

116.10.2009 13:52

I can see going to the movies directly after work and not wanting to leave the laptop in the car, but honestly what legitimate reason is there to bring your equipment into the movies?

216.10.2009 13:53

Why would anyone need a laptop in a theater anyway?

It would be disruptive to other movie goers.

Its kinda like someone being upset that they can't smoke on a plane.

316.10.2009 14:08

That was his point. He did not want to leave the hardware in the car, in the oft-chance it could be stolen. He had all his unfinished novels, etc, saved on there.

416.10.2009 14:28

or that person doesn't have a car so is either walking, biking or taking the bus to get to where ever.

516.10.2009 14:40

Originally posted by Unfocused:
...honestly what legitimate reason is there to bring your equipment into the movies?
AAAAHHHHHH???????

Originally posted by Unfocused:
I can see going to the movies directly after work and not wanting to leave the laptop in the car...
So now that you answered your own question is there anything else I can help you with?

Pretty soon [Insert goofy acronym here] will advise theaters to start there own "Black Book", like the one in Vegas. Not to mention facial recognition software.

And where do these people come up with their names? FACT? I hope they didn't pay some one to come up with that crap.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 16 Oct 2009 @ 14:47

“Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. Forget this... and attaining enlightenment is the least of your problems.”
–Zen Judaism by Someone Clever

616.10.2009 15:52
atomicxl
Inactive

Seems like a valid policy. I imagine all 0.000001% of people who always bring their laptops will be upset and the other 99%+ won't ever be in a situation to find out that this is a policy.

716.10.2009 16:04

I think the real issue here is not that this guy, or the %.000001 of people who have a computer are inconvienenced...
It's more about the ability of this F.A.C.T. to limit/restrict valid, legitamate persons in any way. Throw in the fact that they don't even seem to apply logic to their restrictions (a notebook is hardly a threat and a cell-phone IS) and you've got a recipie for disaster.

So, while this restriction may not hinder or bother you... Imagine in a year or two when the list of "restricted" items is as long as your arm and includes... Cell-phones, Electronic devices of any kind... (MP3 players), ect.

These people should have ZERO power, other than the ability to post a blog and I applaud this guy and anyone who fights against this kind of crap.

816.10.2009 16:12

I think he is being misleading that they "allowed" his smart phone. Someone can easily stick that in their pocket and nobody will know. Same thing with a Flip. I don't think enough information was provided on how he got through with his smart phone. At least movie theatres aren't conducting strip searches.


The guy had some valid points. Would this ever effect me personally? No, not ever. They have a right to ban items that might record movies. And at least they were reasonable to let him through when he proved that his laptop did not have a webcam.

If anything, the theatres should be concerned with outside food getting in, as that seems to be where they really make their profit.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 16 Oct 2009 @ 16:14

916.10.2009 18:25

it just takes 1 guy anywhere in the world to record a movie and post it online! im pretty sure other countries cinema chains are not policed therefore movies get pirated, and like u guys said the new smart phones have excellent cameras too! they cant win

1016.10.2009 19:52

Now that winter will soon be here, strap the netbook to your back and wear a coat over it. The USB camera can fit through a button hole.
This is yet another lame attempt to stop piracy lol. Lately anyhow, anyone who's into the scene knows new-release movies are coming from Russia.

1117.10.2009 0:49

If someone really wanted to pirate a movie I doubt they would do something as obvious as carry a netbook/laptop into a theater usually saddle in a messenger bag on their side. They would most likely have a buddy sneak them in with decent a/v equipment and access to the booth. And a reason to carry a netbook in with them has already been mention: afraid to leave it in a vehicle or doesn't own a vehicle and uses mass transit. I definitely wouldn't leave my laptop with a movie theater manager to babysit.

1217.10.2009 4:37

Originally posted by Joshewah:
Why would anyone need a laptop in a theater anyway?

It would be disruptive to other movie goers.

Its kinda like someone being upset that they can't smoke on a plane.
Why would someone need a coat in a theater anyway? Sure, it is snowing outside, but it isn't snowing inside...LEAVE IT IN THE CAR!

1317.10.2009 10:12

@KillerBug

Not sure about near you, but near me the theaters are freezing cold inside. A coat and reasonably priced snacks from the grocery store are two things that I always smuggle in. I just hate paying $6 for a bag of Reese's Pieces and then shivering while watching the movie because it is so cold.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 17 Oct 2009 @ 18:19

1418.10.2009 2:42

im pretty sure here in australia your not allowed to take video cameras with you when you go to see a movie or food that was purchased elsewhere.you can't use a laptop while your watching a movie anyway.I think he should of just left it in the car.

Quote:
Its kinda like someone being upset that they can't smoke on a plane.

I want to go to England for a holiday but i know i can't smoke on a flight and it would stress me heavily sitting in an aeroplane for upto 12hours without a smoke.it one of the reasons i won't go.

Quote:
A coat and reasonably priced snacks from the grocery store are two things that I always smuggle in

I do that aswell.

Quote:
or that person doesn't have a car so is either walking, biking or taking the bus to get to where ever.
if you can afford a laptop you can afford a cheap car.

custom built gaming pc from early 2010,ps2 with 15 games all original,ps3 500gbs with 5 games all original,yamaha amp and 5.1channel surround sound speakers,46inch sony lcd smart tv.

1518.10.2009 3:37

Quote:
if you can afford a laptop you can afford a cheap car.
new york, london, san francisco, paris, tokyo, and the list goes on and on, of places one wouldn't even have the need for a cheap car.

1618.10.2009 10:13
atomicxl
Inactive

Originally posted by ThePastor:
I think the real issue here is not that this guy, or the %.000001 of people who have a computer are inconvienenced...
It's more about the ability of this F.A.C.T. to limit/restrict valid, legitamate persons in any way. Throw in the fact that they don't even seem to apply logic to their restrictions (a notebook is hardly a threat and a cell-phone IS) and you've got a recipie for disaster.

So, while this restriction may not hinder or bother you... Imagine in a year or two when the list of "restricted" items is as long as your arm and includes... Cell-phones, Electronic devices of any kind... (MP3 players), ect.

These people should have ZERO power, other than the ability to post a blog and I applaud this guy and anyone who fights against this kind of crap.
There's always the option to goto a different movie theater. Your talk of banning MP3 players seems like a pretty bogus attempt to paint some doomsday scenario where any electronic device will get you banned and exiled from the movie theaters.

With a laptop you could literally record, re-encode and upload a film to a website all from one device. A movie theater banning devices like that isn't anywhere near as crazy and unethical as you make it out to be.

1718.10.2009 23:05

Quote:
With a laptop you could literally record, re-encode and upload a film to a website all from one device. A movie theater banning devices like that isn't anywhere near as crazy and unethical as you make it out to be.
But why would you? You might as well roll in a studio camera, everyone behind you will see what you are doing. Plus, the quality of webcam video is terrible...not even up to youtube standards.

BTW...some people have motorcycles.

1822.10.2009 11:27

What if the movie sucks and I want to Twitter with my night vision googles?

Comments have been disabled for this article.

News archive