If there was any doubt on how theaters felt about patrons using Google Glass, the Motion Picture Association of America and National Association of Theatre Owners have quashed it: an update to their joint anti-theft policy has just been "made to fully integrate wearable tech into the rules." If it can record, the new guidelines say, shut it off and put it away.
Here's the updated policy:
The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) have a long history of welcoming technological advances and recognize the strong consumer interest in smart phones and wearable "intelligent" devices. As part of our continued efforts to ensure movies are not recorded in theaters, however, we maintain a zero-tolerance policy toward using any recording device while movies are being shown. 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. Individuals who fail or refuse to put the recording devices away may be asked to leave. 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.
A theater-goer was questioned by Homeland Security early this year for wearing a prescription version of Glass. After that incident — which ended with the man being given free movie passes — an MPAA spokesperson issued this statement to The Verge, apparently at odds with the new policy:
Google Glass is an incredible innovation in the mobile sphere, and we have seen no proof that it is currently a significant threat that could result in content theft. The MPAA works closely with theaters all over the country to curb camcording and theater-originated piracy, and in this particular case, no such activity was discovered.