The next time you go to the movie theater, there may be a camera next to the screen recording your actions. What is the purpose of this camera? To capture evidence of pirates recording movies in theaters. It will pass photos and/or video of offenders to theater security. The PrivateEve camera is the newest technology devised to combat movie piracy in theaters.
It’s camera-spotting technology was adapted from a military application that placed sensors under combat helicopters to scan the ground below for reflections from scopes on sniper rifles. Now it’s being used to assist Hollywood to stop the loss of revenue due to movie piracy.
Another anti-piracy technology being developed by Verance Corp. in San Diego adds a light humming sound to a movie’s soundtrack, serving as an audio watermark. This unique watermark sends a signal to any Blu-ray player and after twenty minutes of playtime, the disc player shuts the movie down and offers the viewer the chance to continue watching by paying for the movie through legitimate sources like Amazon or Netflix.
In the digital world we live where illegal copies of movies and TV shows are so easy to produce, and in high quality, it is no wonder that content producers like Hollywood are willing to fund technology companies to come up with more sophisticated ways to protect their product. But where should the line be drawn?
I’m not entirely sure I like the idea of cinemas filming me while I watch a movie, or the idea that a Blu-ray disc could seemingly control my playback unit via some well-designed code. In the end, we may not have a choice in the matter, and we shouldn’t be surprised that Hollywood would fund such technology given the pervasiveness of pirates and the continued problem of movie piracy.
Content producers like Hollywood spend a vast amount of money bringing their films and TV shows to us for our entertainment. They have a right to protect their content given their investment in it. However, they may need to be careful about how they go about doing it lest they start using techniques that are as bad as those employed by the pirates themselves.