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Theatrical Anti-Camcording Challenge

Goal
The goal of this challenge is to identify creative new technology solutions that can reduce the camcording of movies in theatres without disturbing the viewing experience of moviegoers.

Problem
Every year the film industry loses billions of dollars in sales as a result of recordings made with hidden camcorders in movie theatres and then distributed widely on the streets of many of the world's major cities. Various technologies have been proposed either to detect camcorders in operation or to degrade the quality of camcordings. All of the known technologies have some drawbacks, either because they can be defeated fairly easily or because they interfere with the quality of the movie experience.

Technical Criteria
Solutions may have additional useful features, but we are looking for techniques which come closest to meeting at least the following criteria:

  • It should not interfere with the viewing experience of other moviegoers, either visually or aurally.
  • It should work for camcorders located in the majority of the seats in the theatre.
  • It should work for the large majority of consumer camcorders.
  • It should function in the presence of various electronic devices (cell phones, PDAs, etc.) and not affect their operation.
  • It should be safe, easy to operate, and require little maintenance.
  • It should be resistant to countermeasures.