The MPAA has published an updated set of guidelines for movie theaters that urges the adoption of a zero tolerance policy for recording devices, including phones.
The guidelines cover not only the recording of video footage, but also audio and even still pictures of "any portion of a movie". In addition, the guidelines urge theater staff to assume a "guilty until proven innocent" stance, and report all suspicions to the law enforcement.
"Theater managers should immediately alert law enforcement authorities whenever they suspect prohibited activity is taking place ... Let the proper authorities determine what laws may have been violated and what enforcement action should be taken," the updated guidelines state.
The guidelines to be vigilant and suspicious when it comes to cinemagoers, asking theater staff to observe patrons and look for any "unusual" signs, such as people wearing long and heavy coats. Theater owners are also asked to be suspicious of innocent looking equipment, such as walking canes, or the placement or phones in cup holders, as signs of a possible movie pirate. Even the theater staff themselves, and any friends they invite to showings, should be put under increased scrutiny.
For pre-release screenings, the MPAA urges even more drastic steps to curb pre-release recordings. Bag searches, night vision equipment are all recommended, and MPAA investigators may join security teams for the screening as well.