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UK Copyright Group Tells Cinemas to Ban Laptops

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the but-i-need-to-code-right-now dept.

Movies 438

Sockatume writes "Cinema chain Cineworld now has a policy banning anyone from carrying a laptop into a theatre, even if it is not used. The management claims that this is an anti-piracy move on the advice of the Federation Against Copyright Theft, the much-mocked source of all kinds of dubious anti-piracy statements. When it was pointed out that the laptop had no camera, the management made a temporary exception. For customers, the message is clear: leave your laptop in the car. For pirates, the message is clear: there is more money to be made slinking around cinema car parks looking for laptop bags."

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438 comments

Movies (5, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29756785)

It's funny they had no problems with mobile phones that certainly have good cameras now a days, but with a laptop. Oh well, maybe that changes soon too.

I'm just waiting them to take off our eyes while in movie theatre.

Re:Movies (4, Interesting)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#29756809)

Good thing we have engineers working hard to remove the smartphone/laptop distinction.

Re:Movies (5, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#29756841)

The cameras on laptops tend to be pretty cheap things that are designed for video conferencing. They'd be abysmal for recording a movie.

On the other hand, smuggling in a reasonable quality camera would be fairly easy. I dare say it would be possible to bring in a tripod as well.

Re:Movies (2, Insightful)

sadness203 (1539377) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757019)

Not only that, you would have to hold the laptop in a ankward position for more than one hour, without getting caught. Then you have the light on the laptop... A bit too much trouble for what it's worth IMHO.

Re:Movies (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757089)

I agree, and hooking up some kind of reasonable quality camera to the laptop simply makes more complicated the "adding a reasonable quality camera".

Re:Movies (1)

kipd (1593207) | more than 4 years ago | (#29756971)

All the cell-phones in my house have better cameras than my laptop. I really don't see why they shouldn't be banned before my laptop. On the other hand, it would be relatively easy to find the pirates in a movie theatre. Just look for the people desperately balancing their laptops on top of their heads.

Obama: broken promises, empty rhetoric (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29757065)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/6310255/Barack-Obamas-Top-10-unfulfilled-pledges.html [telegraph.co.uk]

Here's 10 examples of Obama's brand of hope and change. I would like to add #11: During his campaign he repeatedly stated that Afghanistan was a war of necessity, and Iraq was a war of choice. Now he's back-pedaling on yet another central campaign issue. Sorry Obama, banning Fox News from the White House will not make what's left of the free press stop pointing out the vast differences between your rhetoric and what you actually deliver. A man with such thin skin should really consider a career other than politics.

Re:Movies (3, Interesting)

Animaether (411575) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757079)

Last time a theater employee even asked if he could check my stuff, there were three things in the bag I was carrying around...

- A high quality digital still camera also capable of HD video, mounted on a tripod.
- A smartphone with less-than-worthless 640x480 noise-o-vision video
- 2 bottles of Aquarius 'Red Blast' ('peach' flavor sport drink).

( Quick backstory: I ended up at the theatre because it was raining out. Not so bad in general, but I was making a photo trip on the bike and the weather report said the rainshower should last 2 hours tops. I was in the area of the theatre, so I figured I'd hop in there, catch a movie, and by the time I'd get out I could continue on my shoot. )

Employee: we can't allow those inside
Me: oh, I know, but I'm just on a shoot; I can leave the battery with the reception if you want
Employee: no, no.. the bottles. We can't allow those inside; we don't sell those (they sell regular and whatever the hell flavor the blue-colored Aquarius is)
Me: ... wait, I can't take the bottles - which I'm only carrying for outside; I just got a Coke Zero at the bar, see? *holds up coe zero* - but the camera is okay?
Employee: yes.. sorry, policy
Me: o-kay.
Employee: Could we put those in storage for you, perhaps?

I guess they already knew that the movie had been available for download for weeks, as a telesync, probably snatched up in the U.S. with a proper audio feed, and didn't much care about anybody bringing in cameras.

But the drinks.. oh noes, the drinks!

Re:Movies (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757497)

I suppose it's possible that the policy does not exclude "still" cameras. They may have had more of an issue if the camera was an obvious video camera.

Having said that, movie theatres supposedly make next to nothing on ticket sales. That money goes to the owners of the film. Where the theatres make money is selling 5 cents worth of popcorn for $4.50 and 2 cents worth of soda-pop for $5.00. By bringing in your sports drink means you're unlikely to buy their overpriced merchandise.

Just "blind" the cameras (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757083)

They've got the tech to find most cameras and send blinding light right at the camera.

I know this is true because I saw it on the interwebs a year or two ago.

Re:Just "blind" the cameras (4, Informative)

Animaether (411575) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757221)

Well they don't really need to send a blinding light at the camera.. they can just project (near-)IR light from the projection booth, make it vary randomly in intensity, and all but the most well-equipped cameras (with a *very* decent IR blocker that can at least block the frequency used by the theatre; no, the standard IR blocker does not cover this, as pointing a TV remote at your camera will show) record utter junk.

It's even a relatively cheap solution; certainly cheaper than having personnel run around with nightvision goggles trying to catch people, or checking people's bags and banning cameras, etc.

But in the end, it still only takes 1 person - a projectionist not adhering to policy, a print shop that has a mysterious 'leak', a review board member wanting some extra crash - to get a transfer to a format that distribution groups can use, and the whole world will have access in no time.

Re:Just "blind" the cameras (1)

LordAndrewSama (1216602) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757481)

But then people would just think that cameras don't work in cinemas because of bad spirits or something. with angry security guards they also get the message across that recording in such a way is illegal and pirating is serious business.

why would you need a laptop in a movie theater? (1, Interesting)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 4 years ago | (#29756811)

If you didn't have a trunk (motorcycle rider for example) I could see why, but seriously, this should not be much of an issue for most people.

Re:why would you need a laptop in a movie theater? (3, Funny)

Haxzaw (1502841) | more than 4 years ago | (#29756849)

Because when you start watching the movie and realize it was a waste of your money, you can fire up the laptop and watch a different one.

Re:why would you need a laptop in a movie theater? (1)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757039)

Ooh, good point leading to a reason (I should have thought of) that I WOULD use a laptop in a theater for (although I wouldn't really because it would be impolite in the extreme) - when forced to watch the latest chick flick...

Re:why would you need a laptop in a movie theater? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29756855)

Why shouldn't I be allowed to take my laptop with me? Especially when recording movies with a 1.3 megapixel webcam that most laptops sport is a rather futile task anyway.

Re:why would you need a laptop in a movie theater? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29756891)

You don't need a laptop in a theatre. You need the laptop for whatever you might be doing before/after watching the movie.

Re:why would you need a laptop in a movie theater? (1)

Adriax (746043) | more than 4 years ago | (#29756953)

Like posting bad reviews of it after you lost interest in the first 5 minutes.

Re:why would you need a laptop in a movie theater? (5, Insightful)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 4 years ago | (#29756895)

Maybe you live in a city and don't use a car to go to the movie theater? E.g., you're out for the day, doing some work with your laptop, now this policy means you'll have to drop off the machine at home before catching the film.

Or maybe conveniently located rentable lockers will start showing up at the theater, which you can pay to store all your potentially infringing devices. Dump your laptop, phone, and any pens or pencils which may be used to write down dialogue. Also, when you leave the theater, please make sure to stop by our convenient memory erasing station, so that you don't carry unauthorized memories out of the theater.

Re:why would you need a laptop in a movie theater? (1)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757007)

*sarcasm* yeah, I see so many people walking around with laptops, who didn't just get out of a car, who aren't in an airport... ;)

Re:why would you need a laptop in a movie theater? (2, Insightful)

sadness203 (1539377) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757073)

Well, where I live, we have subways, bus, and a great transportation system. I don't need a car, and yet I travel with my laptop. And I see a lot of people doing the same in the bus and subway. So much for sarcasms huh.

Re:why would you need a laptop in a movie theater? (4, Insightful)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757269)

Where I live we have trains, bus, and a great transportation system. I don't need a car either, I walk. I have never seen anyone bring a laptop to a movie theater, ever. So much for sarcasms [sic].

Re:why would you need a laptop in a movie theater? (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757437)

I take my laptop regularly into the movie theater during film festivals, because I have it with me for the day for between screenings. Only when there's a big-budget Hollywood film are we ever ordered to put them in a car or check them at the front desk.

Same is true for my DSLR camera. That one I have to whip out during the Q&A, since it can take decent pictures without a flash so I can practice a hobby without being an ass (i.e. using a flash).

Re:why would you need a laptop in a movie theater? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29757101)

Dude, should come to a downtown area in most major cities. Many of us commute from the suburbs and take work home.

Re:why would you need a laptop in a movie theater? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29757251)

*sarcasm* yeah, I see so many people walking around with laptops, who didn't just get out of a car, who aren't in an airport... ;)

So do I (and no sarcasm here). In fact, I always travel in to work with my laptop. I live and work in London, and the Tube have been known to transport more than 4 million people daily. And this is just one city.If 10% of them travel with laptops, and 1% of the people with laptops decide to go catch a movie... you are still looking at 4000 people in one city. (ok, make that 2000 as most people transported get counted twice... in and out )

Re:why would you need a laptop in a movie theater? (1)

Dr. Evil (3501) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757197)

Although, if the theaters provided guarded lockers, like a lot of electronics shops and stuff, I'd be okay with that. Trouble is, the staff are so rude and nobody takes responsibility for anything, so I guess it wouldn't work. The cinema would also charge some outrageous fee for the service, and hire kids so broke that they'd pick pockets and rifle through the bags.

I hate big cinemas :-(

Re:why would you need a laptop in a movie theater? (2, Funny)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757277)

Or maybe conveniently located rentable lockers will start showing up at the theater, which you can pay to store all your potentially infringing devices.

Ooooo - I like that idea. Then, while you're in the theater, the duly authorized officials from the RIAA and MPAA can search your hard drive for stolen music and movies. :)

Re:why would you need a laptop in a movie theater? (2, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#29756905)

I tend to walk to the cinema. I've also known people travel by bus and train. This is not the US. People don't all drive everywhere.

Re:why would you need a laptop in a movie theater? (1)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757071)

I walk to the cinema as well, but I don't bring my laptop. Do you find yourself bringing your laptop to the cinema often?

Re:why would you need a laptop in a movie theater? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757193)

Depends what my plans are for immediately before and after.

Re:why would you need a laptop in a movie theater? (1)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757525)

I agree. How many times have you actually taken a laptop inside a theater though? (I wouldn't want to just out of the inconvenience personally, but in theory I could need to.)

Re:why would you need a laptop in a movie theater? (1)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757087)

I've also known people travel by bus and train. This is not the US. People don't all drive everywhere.

I am in Birmingham and I wish to disagree... ;)

Although seriously, having lived in London (using public transport 98% of the time) and in Brum (driving 100% of the time) an often overlooked factor is the ability/inability to leave items/shopping/whatever in the boot of a car.
Similarly, people often overlook the need (when driving to the shops, for instance) to find and return to where one had parked the car before leaving, as opposed to being able to start at one end of a shopping street (eg Oxford St in London) and depart from the other end when using public transport, without having to remember an arbitary location of where you happened to park that day.

Re:why would you need a laptop in a movie theater? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29756931)

Gee gosh. You meet your wife/friend/furry-afficionado after work, have dinner and then go to movie. In your briefcase you have your notebook.

Re:why would you need a laptop in a movie theater? (2, Funny)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757517)

Gee gosh. You meet your wife/friend/furry-afficionado after work, have dinner and then go to movie. In your briefcase you have your notebook.

God dammit, that just ruined any desire I had to go see "Where the Wild Things Are"

This policy is so not green. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757001)

If you didn't have a trunk (motorcycle rider for example) I could see why

Or bicycle rider, or bus rider, or train rider, etc. Banning people from carrying in their belongings forces people to use cars more, which is environmentally unsound.

Re:This policy is so not green. (0, Troll)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757111)

I'm sure we can all think of *theoretical* cases where you'd be forced to bring your laptop, but to be totally honest I have never seen anyone with a laptop at a movie theater - and I walk to a theater in the city often.

Re:This policy is so not green. (1)

Monsieur_F (531564) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757505)

of course you don't see anybody with a laptop in the cinema, they were stopped to enter!

Re:This policy is so not green. (1)

Skylinux (942824) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757551)

How could you if the laptop is inside a bag.
I have been to a movie theater right after an evening college class. Since I was not going to stick my Laptop and radar detector in the trunk of my, cheap, Asian car I took them with me to the movie. They where in a backpack so why do you think you would know that I had one.

Just because YOU see no need to do something does not make it so for the rest of us.

i live and work in new york city (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757047)

i have no car, and i have no need for a car

i frequently bring my laptop around with me to do a little bit of work or relaxation

i also frequently go see movies. plenty of times i'll get a request from a fellow cinemaphile to go see a certain movie later in the day, when i'm away from work or home. so do i go to work or home, drop off the laptop, then take a second walk or subway ride to the cinema?

the uk has a higher population density that the united states. the uk also has better public transport options. meaning many more people living in the uk are living the urban walk/ train/ bus lifestyle like mine than the typical car-centric suburban american lifestyle

when you say "this should not be much of an issue for most people" you are really saying "i don't give much thought to anyone who doesn't have the same lifestyle as me". you really need to be less self-centered in your thinking

Re:i live and work in new york city (1)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757243)

Not really. I have lived in the UK (Liverpool) and Italy (Palau, and Roma) and I currently reside in the US and I walk to a theater here in the city whenever I see a film (unless the film I want to see is only playing elsewhere.) In Liverpool proper we mostly drove/took public transport to a common area to eat/drink/socialize before walking to the theater but in Italy we always walked start to finish. I have never, not once, seen someone carrying a laptop to any theater. That's certainly not to say it doesn't happen, but for people to suggest this is a serious inconvenience seems to be stretching things a bit, don't you think?

I don't think I'm particularly self-center in my thinking, my experiences (having lived/worked around the world) simply suggest this is a non-issue. I can understand that this will annoy some people, but my *feeling* is that this number is low.

i doubt your perceptions (2, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757507)

many small laptops can fit inside large coat pockets. anyone with a backpack may have a laptop. no one walks on the sidewalk with their shiny laptop cradled in their hands unprotected. so of course you don't see anyone carrying a laptop to any theater: they're securely under covers 99% of the time

Re:i live and work in new york city (1)

quadrox (1174915) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757541)

I actually have been to a cinema with a laptop once. I was coming home by train from a short visit to my parents and had my laptop bag and another bag with me. Outside the station I met a friend (by pure chance) who asked if I would want to go to the cinema with him. Since I had nothing better to do I agreed and had to take my two bags with me (The cinema is right next to the train station).

Of course I never actually used it, but if I had been unable to take the laptop with me I had been unable to watch the movie that day. I don't even remember what movie it was though, so it can't have been anything spectacular :)

Re:why would you need a laptop in a movie theater? (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757161)

There has been a specific instance in my life where I was the 'on call' support guy for my company over the weekend, and I actually had a call while I was in a movie theater. I had to take my laptop outside, VPN into a server somewhere and fix something immediately or fail to meet the SLA. So there. (The movie was Indiana Jones getting raped by George Lucas so it's not like I missed much.)

Re:why would you need a laptop in a movie theater? (1)

Assmasher (456699) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757333)

I can certainly understand that, and it certainly is a scenario where someone would be annoyed by not being able to carry in their laptop (presuming you didn't have a car there at the time - if ever), but as I was saying to other, this seems like an isolated case. I don't care if people bring their laptops into the movie theater (as long as they don't use them, lol), but in typical Slashdot fashion people tend towards hyperbole (like the op.)

Re:why would you need a laptop in a movie theater? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29757209)

Because this article is from the UK. In the UK, we don't drive everywhere all the time. Possibly the person simply didn't have a car parked outside the cinema to leave it in?

Re:why would you need a laptop in a movie theater? (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757297)

If you didn't have a trunk (motorcycle rider for example) I could see why, but seriously, this should not be much of an issue for most people.

How about because my insurance may not cover me for something left in an unattended vehicle?

Re:why would you need a laptop in a movie theater? (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757537)

Shit happens, even when you are enjoying a movie. If i get an alarm that needs a 2 mins check (or a remote service restart) while im there could be nice to not leave to do a quick task.

In the other hand, using it, more than the risk of pirating the movie, is adding another source of light/sound/distraction to a place where all should be concentrated in the movie. If it gets boring and/or someone wants to check facebook will hurt the experience of the other watchers.

Idiotic (5, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | more than 4 years ago | (#29756869)

Banning laptops in a theatre to stop people from recording movies in a theatre makes about as much sense as banning people from drinking if they possess a valid drivers license because they could decide to drive home (the irony that one actually usually uses a driver's license to prove one's legal drinking age notwithstanding).

Why? (1, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#29756879)

While it seems like a rather silly policy, why on earth would people be taking their laptops into the movie theater? Are there that many occasions when people don't go home prior to going to a movie?

I certainly wouldn't want to hear the clickety-clack of someone typing behind me while I'm trying to watch a movie, any more than I want to hear the 12 year old telling his friend "okay, in about ten seconds this guy is going to jump out...".

Re:Why? (3, Insightful)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 4 years ago | (#29756977)

While it seems like a rather silly policy, why on earth would people be taking their laptops into the movie theater? Are there that many occasions when people don't go home prior to going to a movie?

You don't have a job, do you?

Re:Why? (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#29756981)

While it seems like a rather silly policy, why on earth would people be taking their laptops into the movie theater? Are there that many occasions when people don't go home prior to going to a movie?

If you're not in home town, but need to kill off some hours. If you're traveling. If it's a long, useless trip to home just to drop off the laptop there. If you get off the work and the movie starts soon after that, while your friends are already waiting there. Might be lots of reasons.

Even more so because technical equipment is getting more common and common every day. They probably count in the tiny laptops into this too. Banning laptops from movies makes no sense (atleast if you're not using it)

Re:Why? (1)

adnonsense (826530) | more than 4 years ago | (#29756995)

I live in a city, often carry a laptop around for work reasons, decide to pop in to see a film on the way home (or better, have a date) and what else am I going to do with the laptop other than leave it in the bag I am carrying it round in?

Re:Why? (-1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757029)

The only reasons I can think of for bringing a laptop into a movie theater:
1) You want to pirate
2) You're an incredible internet addict that can't even escape IRC/AIM long enough to sit through a movie in the theater
3) You don't have a trunk in your car to lock it in - but why the hell did you have your laptop with you in the first place if you were driving to a movie? "Went to the movie directly after work" isn't a valid reason:
a) If you're going to see a movie, highly unlikely you were going to work from home that night. Lock the laptop in your desk cabinet.
b) Few people want to go see a movie in their work clothes. Even if going home is out of the way, most people are going to change for comfort.

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757081)

Wow, way to be auto-centric. What about all the people who don't drive to the theater? And for that matter, who the fuck are you to say what is or is not a valid reason? I most certainly have gone to a movie directly from work; I have had many jobs which do not require me to dress like a trained monkey. And working from home is not the only reason to take a laptop back and forth; for a while I used my last work laptop as my home system too, because I was between powerful computers at home, and they did not mind.

I think your comment is the most arrogant thing I've seen on slashdot in days. Not getting any at home?

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29757279)

The only reasons I can think of for bringing a laptop into a movie theater:
1) You want to pirate
2) You're an incredible internet addict that can't even escape IRC/AIM long enough to sit through a movie in the theater
3) You don't have a trunk in your car to lock it in - but why the hell did you have your laptop with you in the first place if you were driving to a movie? "Went to the movie directly after work" isn't a valid reason:
a) If you're going to see a movie, highly unlikely you were going to work from home that night. Lock the laptop in your desk cabinet.
b) Few people want to go see a movie in their work clothes. Even if going home is out of the way, most people are going to change for comfort.

1. Laptop camera is the worst way to pirate a movie. Buy a FlipHD or one of those pocket 1080p cameras.
2. No one could possibly have a reason to have a laptop near them besides IRC. Clearly.
3. The city I live in has the highest rate of car theft in the country, locking something in the trunk is only marginally more secure then resting it against the tire outside the car. And why isn't it a valid reason that you are going to a movie after work? You -always- stop at home before you go anywhere?
a. The job I work -requires- me to take my laptop home at night, and when I'm on call I don't start till 12am.. so I could work from home after going to a movie
b. I wear casual clothes to work.

So, just because you can't think of any valid reasons doesn't mean anyone else can't.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29757287)

1) You want to pirate

Then I'd take a camera.

You're an incredible internet addict that can't even escape IRC/AIM long enough to sit through a movie in the theater

So internet addicts aren't allowed to see movies? Even if they go outside to get their fix immediately afterwards? You don't have a trunk in your car to lock it in

Or maybe you don't have a car at all.

but why the hell did you have your laptop with you in the first place if you were driving to a movie? Lots of reasons. People use laptops for all sorts of reasons. Not all of them are working from home. But even if you are...

If you're going to see a movie, highly unlikely you were going to work from home that night. Lock the laptop in your desk cabinet.

Might want to work from home the next morning.

Few people want to go see a movie in their work clothes. Even if going home is out of the way, most people are going to change for comfort.

Where do you work? Most of the tech industry has had casual dress code for decades.

Re:Why? (1)

PrimaryConsult (1546585) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757553)

Wtf? Lesse, movie theater is 5 minute bus ride from work. Home is 20 minute bus ride+walk in opposite direction of movie theater. You're saying that I would rather spend 60 minutes (add in additional waiting time) going home, changing/dropping off laptop, then backtracking, passing my office in the process, to be more "comfortable" for a 90 minute movie?

Simply put, if this were to happen here this change would make it so that I never go to the theater... most of my movies have been watched after work (when you work next to the shopping mall and do not drive, any other way is a colossal waste of time). If it were a good enough movie maybe I'd leave the laptop in my office and pick it up after, but that still adds 20 minutes of waiting to a trip home... -1 Flamebait if I ever saw one...

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757035)

My laptop always travels in my backpack wherever I go because I use it all the time, I'm always out and about. Before a movie I don't want to go all the way home to drop it off, and I cannot leave it at work without losing access to it until the next work day. The policy really puts a damper on portability for anyone who wants to be entertained by a movie. It's a step backward for a foolish reason.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29757069)

Oh, I don't know... you've just finished work/school/university and decide to catch a movie on your way home?

You're travelling in a foreign country and "home" is 10,000 km away (and you don't want to leave it unattended in your room)?

You would leave it in your car, but would much rather carry it with you in case your car is broken in to?

You feel that just because some fuckwit can't think of a good reason for you to have it with you, that doesn't make you a criminal?

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757093)

Yes lots of people do strange things like go watch a movie, go to a bar, go to a restaurant, go to the grocery store, etc. on their way home from work.

Students sometimes even go watch a movie after studying at the library and so on.

There's no plan to use the laptop, they just don't want to leave it in the car to get stolen. Or they're catching the subway and don't have a car to put it in.

Re:Why? (1)

hattig (47930) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757311)

Err, people work in towns. In the UK they frequently use public transport to get there.
Cinemas are in town.
People go to the cinema.
People take work home often, or need to check something up after work.

People don't want to go back to work to pick up their laptop after going to the cinema. They want to go home or to the coffee shop or to the pub.

Re:Why? (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757471)

At the Pirates of the Caribbean 2 premiere, my friends and I got there early and had time to kill, so I brought my laptop and we watched the first movie while we waited. I guess that's a little more rare an occasion, but it happens.

And for thieves... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29756909)

For customers, the message is clear: leave your laptop in the car. For pirates, the message is clear: there is more money to be made slinking around cinema car parks looking for laptop bags.

And for thieves, the message is clear: Bring your crowbar to the 10:00 showing of the latest movie to farm for laptops.

Laptop bags. (2, Insightful)

nx (194271) | more than 4 years ago | (#29756983)

From summary: For pirates, the message is clear: there is more money to be made slinking around cinema car parks looking for laptop bags.

What? Sigh. Once again, all together now: Piracy is not stealing.

So that advice is for thieves, not pirates. But wait, there's one more oddity in the same sentence: "more money" - which assumes that money is made at all by piracy. It's sad that even among the IT elite (/.), such myths are propagated.

Re:Laptop bags. (1)

uncanny (954868) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757257)

piracy - 5 dictionary results Piracy Legal Advice for Piracy. Legal Help from Local Attorneys. RequestLegalHelp.com piracy/parsi/ Show Spelled Pronunciation –noun, plural -cies. 1. practice of a pirate; robbery or illegal violence at sea. 2. the unauthorized reproduction or use of a copyrighted book, recording, television program, patented invention, trademarked product, etc.: The record industry is beset with piracy. 3. Also called stream capture. Geology. diversion of the upper part of one stream by the headward growth of another.

Re:Laptop bags. (1)

aicrules (819392) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757339)

Most people don't camcorder a theater movie for their personal collection. They do it to get a zero day pirate tape made that DOES get sold. There absolutely are pirates who make money selling pirated movies and software. It definitely is a distinct from someone who shares stuff freely, even though that really isn't fair use, and does at least partially steal from the publishing company.

Re:Laptop bags. (4, Funny)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757385)

Pirates do make money, not only through piracy, but drug dealing, selling babies, and holding the Earth itself to ransom with their deadly Asteroid Ray. I'm apalled that you would even question this.

Re:Laptop bags. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29757439)

Piracy is stealing you moron. Go and do a wiki search for the word "pirate" and then come back here. Also, money is made from media piracy all the time, do another search for "Chinese bootleg."

Re:Laptop bags. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29757549)

>>IT elite
>>Slashdot

What about cellphones? (4, Insightful)

gapagos (1264716) | more than 4 years ago | (#29756993)

I'd be ok for banning cellphones in a cinema.
There's nothing worse than having a cellphone ring in the movie, and there's always some douche who forgot to turn it off and who can't find it in the dark in her huge purse, or some teenage dirtbag who just HAS to answer his buddy's text message right away with this distracting and blinding light by your side.

And GUESS WHAT MPAA.... CELLPHONES HAVE CAMERAS, TOO!!! :-D

What about people who cough? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29757307)

I'd be ok for banning people with coughs in a cinema.
There's nothing worse than having someone cough behind constantly in the movie, and there's always some douche who forgot to take his medicine and who can't suppress their hacking, or some teenage dirtbag who just HAS to cough without covering his mouth and having spit fly all over.

And GUESS WHAT MPAA.... PEOPLE HAVE MEMORIES, TOO!!! They could tell their friends about the movie. :-D

Well at this rate (3, Insightful)

Pvt_Ryan (1102363) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757049)

The only people in the cinema WILL BE the pirates.
The rest of us will forego the spanish inquisition, the extortionate prices and the hassle in general of getting parked and bothering to go to the cinema, we will instead sit at home watching our bootlegged copy, pausing it to go to the loo and still have the poeple walking infront of the screen, laughing and coughing.

Actually I feel like doing piracy vs cinema:

Cinema:
Pros
  • That surround sound and huge picture
  • The popcorn
  • The fact we are out in the real world with real strangers near us

    Cons:
  • No pausing for toilet / food
  • People talking
  • People walking in front of the screen
  • The High prices
  • being treated like a criminal
  • getting ID checked (if they happen to think you look under 21)
  • Getting parked on a busy night
  • getting a child minder

    Piracy:
    Pros:
  • cheaper than a cinema ticket
  • You dont have to leave the house
  • no id required
  • you can pause it to go to the loo.
  • No child minder required.
  • feels like the cinema, laughing and walking infront of the screen included.

    Cons:
  • bad quality (assuming you have a cam and not a screener).
  • You ARE a criminal

Why would you bring a laptop into a movie? (1)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757097)

i can understand leaving it in your bag if you're coming from work, but why would you take it out?

Re:Why would you bring a laptop into a movie? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29757239)

I remember spending the two and a half hours in line for the Dark Knight on opening night. Standing in line watching Batman Begins on my laptop made the experience much more enjoyable. I didn't really feel like losing my place in line (or making it difficult to get back in line since my friends were there too) just to take my laptop out to the car.

no laptop in car policy (1)

wkk2 (808881) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757125)

What do you do if your company policy doesn't allow a laptop to be left in a car or hotel room?

This would be the last straw for me. (1)

macwhizkid (864124) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757129)

As someone who needs to carry a laptop for work purposes, and having had my car broken into and my laptop stolen (albeit in separate incidents), this would be the end of going to see movies in the theater for me. Now, I don't claim to be representative of the population in general, and for most people I could see how this wouldn't be a big deal. But at least for me, years of practice has taught me that the best way to maintain security on my laptop (and more importantly, my data) is to never let it out of my sight unless it's in my home or office. And if dropping my laptop off at home becomes the necessary prerequisite to going to see a movie, it's likely that I just won't bother.

Plus, at home I can watch in Blu-ray @1080p and pause anytime I like, and the popcorn and soda are free.

A Better Answer (4, Insightful)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757145)

For customers, the message is clear: leave your laptop in the car.

I have a better answer: When they ask you to put your laptop in your car, ask for your money back and leave. Is it really worth being treated like a criminal to see that movie right now? Customer service matters. If the proprietor of some establishment is a dick, don't give him your money.

To stop filming, or stop twittering? (3, Insightful)

srjh (1316705) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757205)

I wonder if this has more to do with the Twitter effect (see Brüno) than stopping piracy.

It seems rather implausible (to be generous) that someone would try to illegally film a movie using a crappy webcam on your average laptop (particularly if they manage to do it with the laptop in the bag). If you think about how a laptop is likely to hurt them financially, the reason should be pretty clear.

Seriously? (2, Interesting)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757215)

Aside from the obvious absurdity of someone trying to record a movie with their laptop -- how much of a problem are off-screen recordings for the movie industry? I may be naive -- but I really have a hard time imagining someone saying -- "I was gonna go see this movie in the theater, but I have a copy that someone recorded with a video camera in the theater! This is just as good! Now I don't need to go see it!"

Am I missing something here, or are these anti-piracy groups really that dense?

Desktop PCs... (1)

marciot (598356) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757303)

No laptops? I guess I'll just have to bring my desktop computer and CRT into the cinema, like the Impromptu Anywhere Starbucks prank.

Or just use a backpack (1)

zsau (266209) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757315)

Put your laptop in a backpack. It's safer from idiots and thiefs both. If it's a good one, it's healthier than a laptop bag slung over your shoulder. And it gets in the way far less often. (Just be sure not to put small valuables in it like your wallet, if they might easily be stolen without noticing the weight loss/fiddling, especially in noisy or busy environments.)

USB Camera (1)

Bazar (778572) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757319)

Yes the camera's that are built into laptops are usally pretty piss poor quality, but theres nothing stopping someone taking a USB video camera in as well. It wouldn't surprise me if there are a few tiny ones that record with good footage, and connected to a laptop, would have plenty of recording space unlike a cellphone which most won't have the room/power to store movie length footage

I still think its a stupid idea. You can't stop cam-rips without creating a hostile viewing enviroment, even then i doubt you would stop cam-rips.

I'll also add, i expect laptops to become more and more common as time, and internet connectivity goes on. Have you see how small some of the netbooks are getting, while the coverage area's and pricing of 3g networks keep improving. But thats a bit off-topic.

Lost me here... (2, Insightful)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757321)

"After a short time a small boy appeared. Sorry I said, I want to see the manager.

It turns out the small boy was the manager."


Yeah... that kinda makes you sound like a prick. Waving around a BBC ID like it makes you special and somehow exempt from the rules everyone else has to follow isn't the most endearing quality either.

Who watches these horrible videos? (3, Funny)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757361)

Who are these people who watch theater video camera recordings of movies? That's really sad. At leaste be a self-respecting pirate and get a decent copy.

easier to download it, than record it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29757369)

"But surely if I wanted a copy of this movie, I'd download it on bittorrent", I like to say loudly when they put up that piracy warning at the start of a movie, and impose a deadly hush on the audience.

Indeed, someone using a laptop in a movie theater would be more likely to be downloading the movie, rather than trying to record it from the screen. You'd end up with a better copy.

it's a good start (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757429)

but if they really want to get to the source of the problem, the Federation Against Copyright Theft will tell cinemas to only allow mute people. that really nips the problem in the bud

see, even if they don't have laptops or other recording devices, some people go see movies and then, get this, verbally review the movies to their friends. some of these verbal narrative reviews are obviously derivative copyright works that represents lost revenue and are legally actionable, since hearing about a movie that sucks replaces the need to go see the movie that sucks yourself

this is clearly the same thing as recording the movie and showing it for free on your computer: it represents lost revenue. people should have to go to the cinema and pay to experience the burning depression and/ or hatred of a terrible movie themselves, not hear from their friends how soul destroying an awful movie is

so voiceboxes must be banned along with laptops. but i understand that some mute people know how to write... hmmm

only illiterate mutes then should be allowed in the cinema

Call me old fashioned (1)

Burnhard (1031106) | more than 4 years ago | (#29757459)

Call me old fashioned, but who the hell takes their laptop with them to the movies anyway?

Cinema Security Theatre (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29757487)

This isn't done to reduce piracy - it's to change people's opinions regarding piracy, and remind people that they find piracy unacceptable.

Also, they like to have an excuse to search bags so as to ensure no sweets or drinks are being brought in from outside - they make most of their money on their overpriced refreshments.

I really like going to the cinema, but the more it becomes like airport security theatre, the less I go. I'd rather see the show inside, than the one at the door.

'K now, lemme get this straight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29757513)

What are people DOING with a laptop in a theater? I thought the glare from a cellphone was distracting and rude. If someone opened up a laptop in the row ahead of me, I'd leave and ask for my money back. That's beyond rude...

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