Apple Wants To Stop Concert Filming With iPhones

    June 16, 2011

Cell phones are popular items at concerts as mobile users take pictures and videos of their favorite entertainers, or, well, whatever entertainer they happen to be watching at the time. The technology is also considered something of a menace by many artists and concert-goers alike, and now, Apple is trying to placate the recording industry once again by attempting to remove the ability to film concerts with an iPhone.

According to an article in The Sun — no Page 3 here — Apple is in the process of building a system that recognizes concert environments and shuts their iPhones down when they are trying to film the performance. Don’t you just love purchasing an item and then have the company that made it govern how you use it? Clearly, Apple is taking a page from Sony’s handbook in regards to the PlayStation 3. It should be noted this is not a cry to allow iPhone users to willing steal concert footage — but then again, you bought the device, and, you should be able to use it for whatever purposes you choose. If those choices violate laws and/or RIAA edicts, then it’s up to you to pay the consequences.

By that as it may, Apple is still trying to introduce technology to the iPhone environment that will remove such a choice from the device owners. The Sun has more:

A patent application filed by Apple revealed how the technology would work. If an iPhone were held up and used to film during a concert infra-red sensors would detect it. These sensors would then contact the iPhone and automatically disable its camera function.

People would still be able to send text messages and make calls.

While I’m sure there will workarounds, provided Apple is successful, should they be doing this at all? Is it Apple’s job to police how consumers use their products or is the job of the agencies who want Apple to develop the technology? It seems like enforcement is such a frustrating task — I mean, it’s hard to see when a concert-goer is holding up a brightly-lit device with a sizable screen, defecating on copyright laws at will, right? — that these institutions are hoping Apple will do the leg work for them. Perhaps the most telling aspect of Apple’s strategy comes from the following quote, via The Sun’s article:

Apple filed for the patent 18 months ago — and it is thought if successful it will help them negotiate deals with record labels to sell content through iTunes.

If you believe that, then it’s apparent Apple is creating this technology to secure future business ventures instead of something more altruistic like protecting the artists who were infringed upon. Are these ham-handed attempts at securing future monetary deals enough to break the “Apple is the best company at creating mobile devices” talk or will the desire to have a iPhone like everyone else win out? Does it mean the end of things like this:

Which, according to the description, was “Filmed with iPhone from Dress Circle level?”