Cell phones could be banned at concerts in the future, but for now, Apple is working on a way to just disable them. New iPhone technology might literally stop the video recording application and force users to just enjoy the show.
The upcoming patent will allow musicians to place sensors overhead or on the stage which will detect iPhone signals and disable them by remote. Some might call this a violation of privacy as there is no guarantee that those sensors aren’t also reading and collecting personal data. Imagine if you will, you just saw an amazing concert last week which your iPhone wouldn’t let you record, and you get a notification in your email that the musician is suing you for the attempt.
The late Prince had done something similar before cell phones started being banned from concerts. He had looked for recorded copies of his live performances and sued the people who recorded them for a million dollars each. The lawsuits were dismissed after the videos had been taken down.
The sensors would work at specific angles, so it wouldn’t stop you from taking pictures of your friends and such.
New iPhone update could make your camera stop working when you go to a concert https://t.co/ZPmC1IN5L8 pic.twitter.com/olhFG2RpVQ
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) June 30, 2016
YouTube also regularly removes videos containing copyrighted music over a certain length because the artist isn’t being paid royalties for it.
An Apple patent appeared today describing tech that would allow a concert venue to shut down your iPhone camera… https://t.co/yuwrcG0oJY
— Fast Company (@FastCompany) June 29, 2016
Many YouTube channels have taken an alternate route and used royalty free music from musicians who aren’t looking to get paid for it. They post videos with the music included and enforce the free use rule by letting the public utilize the music as long as they are credited either in the video or in the description.
— SocialUnderground (@SocialUnderGrnd) June 30, 2016
This movement toward potentially having cell phones banned from concerts will be a more proactive approach to stopping copyright violations from happening at the source. Musicians often want to get paid for their performances, and having said performances recorded is technically stealing their property. You may have paid to see them live, but you didn’t pay for the right to redistribute the music.
Alicia Keys is another artist who has taken a proactive approach to the problem. She started having the staff give lockable pouches at her performances, a motion which many others might start doing. Adele even called out a concert-goer who had been recording her, telling them that they can see her and don’t need a screen.
One of the problems being fixed by this cell phone banning patent is that musicians and concert-goers are often distracted by the devices being aimed at them. If the musician loses focus due to the flash function on your phone, it could negatively affect their performance and ruin it for everybody else.
A possible variation on this patent might extend to movie theaters eventually, in order to keep video recording devices from working and cut down on cam file piracy. It’s a common problem for filmmakers that people often find ways to sneak a video camera into the building and record the movie, and then, a few hours later, it finds itself being hosted on torrent sites. It’s a lower quality version of the movie, but it’s still copyright infringement and a federal crime.
There is no word yet on whether Google will be adding cell phone banning technology to Android phones.
If you want to avoid trouble with musicians and copyrights, put the phone away. You can just turn it off and enjoy the show. After all, that’s what you paid for.
[Feature image via Billion Photos/Shutterstock.com]