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Sony Treating Filmgoers As Terrorists?

Posted by: , 11:43 AEDT, Thu November 1, 2012

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One filmgoer's experience to Skyfall's London premier has his questioning why people are being treated as potential terrorists all in the name of anti-piracy
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Have movie studios, Sony in particular, taken anti-piracy measures too far, that it's making filmgoers feel like that they're being treated as terrorists?

That's the question James Rhodes asks in a blog on the UK Telegraph, following his own personal experience attending the Skyfall premier in London.

Rhodes compares and contrasts with another premier he attended just before, for Bill Murray's new film Hyde Park on Hudson, and the far less obtrusive measures deployed there - stewards wearing night vision goggles scanning the audience for those making illegal recordings of the film.

But for Sony's premier of the mega-hit Skyfall, things were drastically different. Even the invite to what is supposed to be a wonderful event was ruined by the inclusion of a warning notice in semi-legalese warning of the hoops the invited "guests" will have to jump through in order to satisfy Sony's "paranoia".

The warning notice, which was then repeated via email just in case people had not read the printed version, says the following:

"This screening will be monitored for unauthorised recording. By attending this screening, you consent to surveillance by security personnel. By attending, you agree not to bring any recording device (including certain types of mobile devices which have recording capability) into the venue. By attending, you also consent to physical search of your belongings and person for recording devices," and the warning continues later on, "no cameras, camera phones or any other picture or video recording devices will be allowed into this screening. All items will need to be checked in with security personnel on entering the venue".

Rhodes then likens visiting this premier to visiting a high security area, like his recent visit to the US embassy.

And while Rhodes understands the need for studios to be vigilant, he also questions their hypocrisy when the excessive product placements often makes one feels like they're watching one long commercial, and one that they've had to pay good money for too. The Sony product placements in Skyfall (and the previous Sony/Craig Bond films), from laptops to smartphones to TVs, is then perhaps less understandable when combined with Sony's anti-piracy measures that are as "insulting as it is ineffective" when they "act as if we are all potential terrorists".

And even if Skyfall is pirated, Rhodes argues that Sony will make a huge profit because people are going for the big screen experience, something that piracy cannot replicate.

And Rhodes has a final advice for the film industry: concentrate on making films that make people want to buy a ticket or a DVD for, and if they do that, then perhaps they won't need so much "policing/surveillance/searches".


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