With $5 million in funding from major movie studios a surveillance firm is installing five-inch cameras weighing as little as 14.5 pounds in movie theaters in an attempt to catch people pirating movies.
The company is primarily installing its cameras at premieres and press screenings says PirateEye CEO Brian Dunn.
Eventually, the system could be used by theater owners to keep an eye out for a range of offenses from piracy to rude behavior like texting or talking on cell phones.
Dunn claims that there are actually less privacy concerns with movie theater surveillance than those involved than with the CCTV devices that capture the public everywhere from ATMs to retail stores.
“The purpose of PirateEye is to not have another person look at you suspiciously if you haven’t done anything wrong,” Dunn said. If the cameras don’t catch a person trying to tape a film illegally, the images are destroyed.
Currently, the system is being used in 80 percent of industry screenings; Dunn projects that a 1,000 systems could be in place worldwide over the next 18 months.
Mitch Neuhauser, CinemaCon‘s managing director, announced Monday that a person had been captured via the surveillance system trying to illegally record Paramount’s presentation to exhibitors and was placed in police custody.