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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » Cinema staff to patrol screenings with night-vision goggles to combat movie piracy (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Cinema staff to patrol screenings with night-vision goggles to combat movie piracy
Frank Cox
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1974
From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 09-24-2015 02:22 AM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Cinema staff to patrol screenings with night-vision goggles to combat movie piracy
quote:
Cinema staff across the country will be required to don military-style night vision goggles in order to help crack down on movie piracy ahead of the release of two of the most anticipated blockbuster smashes of the year.

The release of the latest film in the James Bond franchise, Spectre, as well as the next installment in the hugely successful Hunger Games series, Mockingjay Part 2, has meant the film industry is looking into ways to beef up security at screens in order to stop the movies leaking online.

As part of a new measure to stop piracy ahead of the release of Spectre in October, staff will use equipment that would not look out of place in the 007 blockbuster, wearing night vision googles in order to make it easier see who may be illegally recording the film.

In recent years, pirates have found new and inventive ways to record movies while watching them at the cinema screens, including using a smartphone to film through a popcorn box and covering their phone with a sock with a hole in to hide the glare of the screen.

Kieron Sharp, director general of the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), said: "The bigger the film and the more anticipated it is, the higher-risk it is. We have staff on extra alert for that. James Bond is a big risk and we will be working with cinema operators and the distributors making sure we will keep that as tight as possible. We really don't want to see that recorded.

"They [cinema staff] are on alert to really drill down on who is in the auditorium and who might possibly be recording. They still do the sweeps around the auditoriums with the night vision glasses regardless of the film. But sometimes extra security is put in place for things like Bond."

The initiative arrived after a man in Nottinghamshire was arrested on suspicion of recording recently released films American Ultra and Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials and posting them on the internet.

Following the arrest, Sharp said: "Over 90% of counterfeit versions of movies originate initially from a copy recorded in a cinema. Piracy not only costs the film industry millions of pounds but can also affect thousands of jobs, so it is crucial we act upon intelligence we receive about this activity.

"With two big releases due to hit the screens in the next few months it is incredibly important we work to combat those behind illegal film recordings."


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Mark Hajducki
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From: Edinburgh, UK
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 - posted 09-24-2015 08:29 PM      Profile for Mark Hajducki   Email Mark Hajducki   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This is nothing new, cinemas in the UK (where the article is referring to) have been encouraged to use night vision goggles for a few years now.

The effectiveness of this is probably minimal against any half-intelligent pirate.

quote:
The initiative arrived after a man in Nottinghamshire was arrested on suspicion of recording recently released films American Ultra and Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials and posting them on the internet.
Impressive if they managed to pirate Maze Runner in 3 screen Barco Escape.

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Michael Brown
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From: Bradford, England
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 - posted 10-30-2015 06:28 PM      Profile for Michael Brown   Email Michael Brown   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We just had security guards sent by Sony to patrol screen showing Spectre with night-vision goggles for the opening night of Spectre.

We have our own set of goggles that we have been using for a few months too.

Occasionally we have customers complain that "they were being filmed" and we just explain that it's night vision goggles. [Big Grin]

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Christopher Lani
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From: Ely, Nevada, USA
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 - posted 11-28-2015 11:13 PM      Profile for Christopher Lani   Author's Homepage   Email Christopher Lani   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Why do you never hear or see anything about someone recording a movie at a drive in theater? You would think it would be easy enough to record the fm broadcast and set up a tripod and record from the back seat of an SUV or some other easily concealed vehicle. Never heard anything about this. Have any of you? I know the movies are supposedly watermarked, but how does that work?

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Mike Blakesley
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 - posted 11-28-2015 11:47 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't know the answer to the drive-in question, but one guess might be that many drive-ins are not located in the areas where this kind of piracy is rampant (big cities) AND a lot of drive-ins don't play first-run content on the break.

Then there is the issue of drive-ins starting the movie before the sky is completely dark thus making it hard to get a good quality image -- not that that would stop a lot of cammers, I guess.

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James Westbrook
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From: Lubbock, Texas, Usa
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 - posted 11-29-2015 01:34 PM      Profile for James Westbrook   Email James Westbrook   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
A drive-in not far from me, back in the era of 35mm "crap code", was notified that the sound of a movie he had played via FM broadcast was used in pirate copies of said film, with the video part from another source. I forget what movie it was but legend has it the broadcast signals could be picked up at a nearby residential area...

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Randy Stankey
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 - posted 11-29-2015 01:56 PM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Michael,

Did anybody offer you and your fellow employees any training on legal and civil rights issues before they turned you loose with night vision goggles in the theater? Search and seizure? False arrest? Wrongful incrimination?

Is this your theater's policy or is is the movie company's?

One false step and one of your customers could have a nice, comfortable retirement, courtesy of your theater's management! [Wink]

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Steve Kraus
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 - posted 11-29-2015 02:48 PM      Profile for Steve Kraus     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Are those issues different because of night vision, compared to simply seeing camming going on without night vision?

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Rick Raskin
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 - posted 11-29-2015 03:18 PM      Profile for Rick Raskin   Email Rick Raskin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Why are you guys playing cop for the film companies?

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Randy Stankey
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From: Erie, Pennsylvania
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 - posted 11-29-2015 03:48 PM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't know for sure but I do know that there is a difference between an ordinary person observing something with the naked eye and that same person using binoculars or a camera with telephoto lens. One is ordinary behavior and the other could be considered a search, depending on the circumstance. The fact that a company specifically sends its employees out to search theaters with vision enhancing equipment might easily sway a judge or jury.

I find this troublesome because companies will tell employees that they are not cops or security guards when it comes to holdups, fights, drunk/disorderly persons or other similar things but, almost in the very next breath, tells them to act like cops by searching customers or their personal property. In one sentence, they say that low-paid, teenaged employees don't have the training, experience or authority to act like cops then, with the next, send them out to do just that.

Some might say that there is a difference between searching bags and dealing with a criminal carrying a gun but you should ask why employees are being asked to search. They are being sent out to search for guns. Right?

What's the difference between a stickup artist with a .38 and a lunatic with a Kalashnikov?

In my opinion, theaters are sending their employees out to walk a tightrope, both in a legal sense and in a safety sense. To me, it doesn't matter whether they are searching for guns, drugs and contraban, searching for smuggled bags of Doritos or searching for cameras. It's all the same thing.

If theater's want to have security guards they should hire security guards and stop impressing their line-employees to do the jobs that professionals should be doing.

If movie companies want theaters to have security, they should pay them to hire professionals.

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Marcel Birgelen
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 - posted 11-29-2015 04:29 PM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This is all getting a bit out of hand to the point it's becoming ridiculous.

TSA type security checks and ushers with night vision binoculars tracking down illegal "camsters".

quote: Christopher Lani
Why do you never hear or see anything about someone recording a movie at a drive in theater? You would think it would be easy enough to record the fm broadcast and set up a tripod and record from the back seat of an SUV or some other easily concealed vehicle. Never heard anything about this. Have any of you? I know the movies are supposedly watermarked, but how does that work?
The watermarking actually is in the audio. No mortal soul is supposed to understand how it works, because that's the key to the magic. Although there are plenty of public documents of how you can "invisibly" watermark both images and audio.

I guess drive-inns using FM transmission for their audio, operate somewhat in a grey area. I'm pretty sure most studios don't like the fact that their precious content is at least partially transmitted in high quality over the airwaves without any encryption...

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Dave Bird
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 - posted 11-30-2015 09:35 AM      Profile for Dave Bird   Author's Homepage   Email Dave Bird   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We are a single-screen first-run drive-in. In 9 seasons (which for us might be about 200k patrons), I have only seen one person set up a tripod and camera and attempt to video tape a movie (35mm at the time). I asked him to stop or leave. I'm not always on-site of course, and though I've never seen anyone trying to do it from INSIDE the car, it would be harder to tell if they were now that many cars have "video screens" on the center consoles, which look a lot like a camera viewfinder. It's true that dark scenes projected at dusk would provide less than ideal video. The sound would potentially be much better than an indoor of course if they hard-wired a good FM receiver to their recording device. No studio has ever written, e-mailed or spoken of any concern about our FM broadcasts to me.

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Martin McCaffery
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 - posted 11-30-2015 09:43 AM      Profile for Martin McCaffery   Author's Homepage   Email Martin McCaffery   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
One would think with the relative availability of dash cams, DI bootlegging would be a breeze these days. Someone would have to be dedicated enough to do some tweaking, but if it is what they want to do...
Hell, I can imagine someone doing their own version of MST3K from inside their car and doing a live-stream podcast! [evil]

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Dave Bird
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 - posted 11-30-2015 10:34 AM      Profile for Dave Bird   Author's Homepage   Email Dave Bird   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Is that why people keep asking for our wifi password? (I should've had our IT guys name it something other than the theatre's name.)

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Sean Weitzel
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From: Vacaville, CA (1790 miles west of Rockwall)
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 - posted 11-30-2015 01:34 PM      Profile for Sean Weitzel   Email Sean Weitzel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I find it hilariously ironic that due to the transition to digital projection, cammed bootlegs actually look better since flicker/strobing isn't an issue anymore.

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