Apple May Block iPhone From Taking Photos, Video at Concerts

Apple May Block iPhone From Taking
Rex Shutterstock

Audiences may soon need to put their phones away at live concerts after Apple patented a technology that blocks the iPhone’s camera feature.

The new software, which hasn’t been officially introduced by Apple, would reportedly allow venues to use an infrared beam to disable a mobile phone’s camera, preventing users from taking videos and photos.

The development comes as musicians and actors regularly complain about the growing use of mobile phones and selfie sticks at live performances, which allow fans to immediately share content on social media for the millions of people who didn’t actually pay for tickets.

Artists like Adele, Jack White and Zooey Deschanel have publicly expressed frustration with the throng of phones at concerts. Meanwhile, actor Benedict Cumberbatch broke character during a performance of “Hamlet” last summer to tell audience members in London to stop recording him with their phones.

“It’s mortifying and there is nothing less supportive or enjoyable as an actor on stage experiencing that,” the actor said.

According to the Telegraph, Apple’s patent says that the phone would display a “recording disabled” message when users take photographs or videos.

It’s unclear if or how Apple would start using the anti-camera technology. One of the bigger concerns, the Telegraph notes, is how the software could potentially used against users in other situations, such as political demonstrations or police violence, depriving them of certain civil liberties.

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    1. Ray Cloud says:

      You are all missing the point. When I go to a concert I want to see the artist and not a hundred phone screens blocking my view.

    2. Ed Marshall says:

      Upon viewing occasional videos captured from a few of these concerts I don’t see why the performers would be concerned. Have you ever experienced how these amateur theater patrons capture these video concerts? Over exposed and burning bright images often so far from the stage that the performers appear as silhouetting or as Sammy Davis was heard to say ” From where you are sitting, your picture of me will look like a Tootsie Roll”
      And the audio, those microphones in the smart phones pick up the audio similar as two Cambell soup cans tied together with a string plus often the unruly sound of the disrespectful boisterous audiences overrides the performers audio. The videos are not steady as these Steven Spielberg wanna be’s can’t hold the camera phones steady for long periods of time without a tripod.

      • PS says:

        Well. Then maybe you should stop to watch the bad quality videos and only watch the good quality ones? For every bad video, you can find good to great ones. These devices (not all of them) have gotten quite good at capturing concerts.

    3. Ted says:

      hey Variety, is it too much to ask your news organization to hire an unpaid copyrighter intern to handle your typos?

    4. Todd says:

      Well why don’t these rich artists record the entire show that’s in our individual city so we can purchase the entire concert so we can have a memory of what we saw I meant they charge us 1000’s of dollars for up close seats and meat and greets you artists always praise that you wouldn’t be here for the fans, well I’ll tell you right now if makes us not record are favorite artists singing well then I guess you lost me as a fan

    5. Randy says:

      This tech would be bad in the hands of police force or other agencies for blocking the recording of unnecessary violence.

    6. Adam C says:

      We will have to see how this is used. I bet that many enterprise applications apply, which is why Blackberry used to offer most of their models with a no camera option. This could allow companies to restrict recording in sensitive areas within their own buildings (government top security, etc.)

    7. billy_ray says:

      I’m sure Android would and will do the same thing.

    8. John says:

      An excellent idea. Maybe a notice “Thank you for making your video. You will now be billed $6,000 for use of this copyright” might have a sobering effect.

    9. Dave Elliott says:

      Why would Apple do this? It’s not like this would help them sell more iPhones, in fact, it would help them sell less phones. And celebrities need to get used to the whole photo thing. You’re famous and people like to take pictures of famous people. If you don’t like it, don’t become famous. The only time I think the celebrities might have a point is if flash bulbs are going off while an actor is acting. I can see how that might be a nuisance.

    10. Jimmy Green says:

      Yes. Do It Immediately.

    11. Some Dude says:

      With the rise of people using their phones to record interactions between them and the many corrupt law enforcement officials in this country and throughout the world, this must be prevented at all costs. People recording extremely low quality video clips of concerts are not making money off it it. These musicians are just the ones who have lost touch with the real world and don’t actually care at all about their fans.
      Real musicians wont care about fans taking pictures or videos at their concerts on their phone. Because the quality will always be too low for them to make money off of it.
      But this will be widely abused by governments and corrupt officers and criminals to prevent people from catching their crimes on camera. This is the very same thing as ripping apart the first amendment of the constitution.

      • Herb says:

        Yep, coz grainy, shaky, blurry footage with tinny audio is the same thing as being there. Yep, yep. Because I WAS going to shell for Adele tickets but why bother when I can hunch in front of my computer and squint at the screen for free!

        • Some Dude says:

          Exactly. Why would someone want to go out in the real world to have a great time with their friends and see their favorite artist in person when they can stay inside by themselves and go on the computer to see a shaky video from far back in the crowd, with the sounds of peoples screaming and having a great time overpowering the music?

    12. jhs39 says:

      Sounds like a reason to switch to Android.

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