Joined: 16 May 2007
Yes, we should ban recording devices from cinemas?
No, we should not ban recording devices from cinemas?
The argument for:
I believe strongly that copyright should be respected. Since we are under the continual threat of piracy, I am completely happy with the idea that we should not allow the public to have the ability to walk into a cinema and record copyright images.
I am all for the advantages that these devices can give us. However, I don't want to see them used in inappropriate ways, especially when it comes to distributing copyright material.
What we are talking about here is mainly an issue of intellectual property protection. But there is also an issue of protecting the experience of the fee-paying public. When a viewer engages with a natural history programme from the BBC they quite rightly expect and demand the very best that modern broadcast technology can provide them with. And to have the fruits of our labours distributed at an inferior quality is something that just shouldn't happen.
The argument against:
There is an argument for saying that if films are being pirated and finding their way onto the Internet, then this will help to drive people to go to see the film properly and communally, as films are supposed to be seen.
There was a time when we were continually being told that "home taping is killing music". We now know that it was actually one of the things that saved the recording industry. People shared their pirate cassettes, came to love the music and then spent their money on the official recordings, concert tickets and merchandise.
Of course, piracy is advertising and marketing that the copyright owner can't control and so I am against it in principle. But if you think you will stop it by banning personal recording devices then you need to think again.
Joined: 31 July 2009
I don't like illegal copying, but I also don't like dangerous driving; I'd support banning recording devices in cinemas just as strongly as I'd support a ban on cars on roads, ie not at all. Going over to a ban on use of recording devices in cinemas might be less silly than banning the devices themselves, as it would not mean that it was illegal to take one's mobile phone (switched off so that it won't ring and cause a disturbance) into the cinema, but that's not what the proposer is proposing and anyway although that's an improvement it doesn't address the issue of devices which are necessary for one reason or another, eg as an aid to vision (as suggested by the opposer) or to hearing.
A better approach would be for film makers to refuse to allow their films to be shown in cincemas that don't operate a ban. Then cinemas could choose to operate a ban or not. Those which did operate a ban would find that the majority of customers would no longer visit those cinemas because they weren't prepared to be stuck without their phone or their tablet device, and would have to either scrap the ban or go out of business through not having enough customers to break even. The film makers who wouldn't allow cinemas without a ban to show their films would then have no cinema business, and would have to reach their public via TV or DVD. So then they would want a ban on recording devices in any home that contained a TV or a dvd player; the whole thing is just plain ridiculous.
Eur Ing Tom Thomson MA MSc MBCS CITP CMath FIMA CEng FIET