Is It Legal to Wear Google Glass in Movie Theaters? [e114]

November 5, 2014

The guys talk about the nationwide ban of Google Glass in movie theaters. The later answer the question, “Some of my employees travel to our different offices during the week. Normally this wouldn’t be a big issue but some of our offices are in different states. What should I be concerned with?”

Full Podcast Transcript

NASIR: All right. Welcome to our podcast where we cover business in the news and answer some of your business legal questions that you, the listener, can send in to My name is Nasir Pasha.

MATT: And I’m Matt Staub.

NASIR: You know, I’m wondering if we should slow down our pace, like, as far as how we talk because, you know, if you listen to NPR, they talk very slowly and are very methodical on everything that they say that it makes you want to fall asleep.

MATT: Ah. Well, for me, in my opinion, I like fast talking better. I talk a little bit in general, but I listen to a good amount of podcasts. I speed it up sometimes – maybe give it a 1.5 speed or maybe even a 2.0 times if they talk… some people talk really, really slow and so you can actually double the speed.

NASIR: Yeah.

MATT: And then, it sounds like they’re actually talking normal.

NASIR: It sounds normal?

MATT: Oh, really? Yeah, I think the NPR podcast are a 2.0-speeder, as you would say. Maybe our podcast, at most, 1.25 – what would you say? 1.25er?

NASIR: Yeah, I don’t know. There’s other podcast apps that allow you to go, I guess there’s a newer one – I don’t know how new it is now but it’s pretty cool. I don’t know how it does it. You can just download this podcast – or whichever one – and, at any breaks in-between talking – so, like, right now, when I pick up again, it would automatically cut that out of the podcast. Like, I guess, just any dead time, even if it’s a fraction of a second. It just automatically cuts it out so it’s just continuous talking, nonstop, which I don’t know how it does that, but it’s kind of cool.

MATT: That’s strange.

NASIR: Can you do the break example again? I didn’t get it.

MATT: I thought it was a good example.

NASIR: It was a good example. It was just funny. All right. Let’s get to our motion picture article today.

MATT: Yeah, so the MPAA and NATO – but not the NATO, not the one you’re thinking of.

NASIR: Not the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

MATT: Yeah, so the Motion Picture Association of America and the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) I guess have gone on – in the US, obviously – a nationwide ban of Google Glass in movie theatres. I think there have been some banning throughout the country here and there, but this is just a blanket ban that people can no longer wear that in movie theatres. I think from the legal perspective, it’s a little bit interesting because we don’t like to talk about – well, I don’t like to talk about constitutional rights on this podcast or I guess in general at all but…

NASIR: Yeah, you’re anti-constitution and freedom of speech and freedoms in general so that’s why you tend to not talk about these things.

MATT: That constitution is an overrated document, let me tell you.

NASIR: Overrated, overreaching, it should be banned. You like the more confederate style of governance.

MATT: Did you see – this was a long time ago – the Simpsons episode where they’re going through the museum and Homer is eating something and he picks up the constitution to, like, use as a napkin.

NASIR: Yeah.

MATT: And they come up, they’re like, “Oh.” Lisa’s like, “Dad! That’s the Constitution!” and then the security guards come up and they’re like, “Oh, you just wiped out the part about cruel and unusual punishment.” Like the Constitution could just be there for someone to pick up without any sort of protection. I mean, what do you think about this? I mean, I understand the reasoning – because it’s illegal to bring recording devices into movie theatres for pirating reasons. I mean, I guess that’s a whole other legal aspect, too – the piracy involved in doing this.

NASIR: Yeah, I think that’s the main reason. I mean, a guy was detained by the FBI for wearing Google Glass at the movies because of this same reason, but this was before this ban. This was like an administrator ban saying, “All your local theatres, now you can’t bring in your own food and drinks, but you also can’t bring…” or I should say, I think the rule is that you can’t wear your Google Glass. You have to turn it off and put it away, just like your phone, just like any other wearable devices. This is similar to what they’ve done in other cases. For example, they’ve gotten rid of these things in Las Vegas casinos and some bars and so forth and already in theatres before. Even from a privacy perspective, people do get weirded out when someone could be recording you without knowing it because they’re glasses. But, at the same time, all these locations are all privately-owned so there’s really not a freedom of speech issue or necessarily even a privacy issue there – not privacy issues. There are privacy issues but, as far as rights to record in a public place and so forth, in a private space like this, like a movie theatre, you don’t have those same kind of rights.

MATT: That’s obviously true. I don’t even know. I’ve taken this the complete opposite direction, but I don’t even know how good of a recording this is. I’ve never worn Google Glasses. Is it even that good? Are you even getting a good video out of it?

NASIR: Well, let me tell you this, when I’ve traveled and watched pirated copies of different films, that’s the only time I’ve really watched an actual camera in a theatre. Usually, what happens is the video is okay, but the sound quality is horrible.

MATT: That’s true.

NASIR: Because, I mean, how are they going to record it otherwise, right? And, of course, you get that humorous stuff about someone walking by in the middle of the film, you know? But here’s the thing. With the Google Glass thing, the best videos are the ones that are completely still, right? If someone’s holding a camera, then it’s not going to be perfectly still and it’s going to be moving and it’s going to be hard to watch. So, you know, think about putting a camera on your head – to keep that still the entire time is nearly impossible.

MATT: Yeah.

NASIR: So, I don’t see it really being an issue, frankly.

MATT: Yeah, it’s like the Seinfeld episode where Jerry is apparently really good at… he gets forced into recording one of the movies for one of Kramer’s friends and then gets really into it.

NASIR: Yeah.

MATT: Yeah, I guess the sound quality would definitely be an issue. I didn’t consider that.

NASIR: Yeah, that’s usually the main issue. What happens is you just wait a few months. Actually, what they do now – or at least I don’t know what they do now but what they used to do in the last five or so years, before everything went digital – they would send screeners out to celebrities and other reviewers so that they can watch it at home on DVD and these screeners would somehow get out and be ripped off and then streamed online and you would see online it would say, like, “Property of so and so,” and it would be blurred out or they would have a digital code within there and so forth. But I don’t know. I think that’s old news.

MATT: You would know from your pirating days of movies.

NASIR: Yeah, I definitely would pirate Pirates of the Caribbean.

MATT: Ugh. That wasn’t great.


MATT: I didn’t like that one – the joke.

NASIR: Oh, well, it wasn’t a joke, but okay.

MATT: Question of the day. I’m just going to get into it.
“Some of my employees travel to our different offices during the week. Normally, this wouldn’t be a big issue, but some of our offices are in different states. What should I be concerned with?”

NASIR: Yeah, traveling with employees is a difficult issue if you haven’t dealt with it, especially if you’re starting to do this and there are a lot of pitfalls that you can fall into. I mean, this question just raises so many issues, but let’s first talk about offices in different states. When you travel out of state, then all of a sudden, the rules when it comes to traveling – when to pay when travel – changes because now federal law applies and so that can kind of confuse things a little bit if you’re used to traveling within the state. Usually, the state’s laws either match the federal law or the most restrictive. But the hope is with your traveling employees is that they’re exempt employees. If they’re exempt and they’re paid on salary, et cetera, then you’re not going to have as much issue when it comes to payroll. But, if they’re non-exempt, then okay, you’re going to have to get your calculator out because, if it’s overnight stays, depending upon when they’re traveling and for how long is going to depend upon whether or not they’re going to be charged for travel time. But, generally, the rule is that, any time that commuting between home and work is not considered to be payable, all right, under the federal law. If the same work hours are being used to travel for an overnight stay, generally, that’s paid time. But, if it’s after hours, generally, it’s not. Again, minus, you know, commute time and so forth – that doesn’t include as well.

MATT: I think what you’re getting at is there’s obviously different laws for different states and, if some of the employees are doing their work in different states, you’re going to have to know the laws associated with that. We’re talking minimum wage.

NASIR: Yeah, minimum wage. That’s true because, if you have different offices in different states, that’s a whole different issue too because I was focused on the traveling aspect. But, yeah, having employees in different states in the first place is the whole issue. So, you know, the real answer to this question is that they need to make sure that they have a robust HR development plan – whether it’s an HR person or an attorney that is very familiar with these laws to develop an HR manual for them – because this is some heavy stuff that for any employer shouldn’t be delved in too lightly.

MATT: Yeah. I mean, there’s an abundance of issues that come up with employees traveling – while they’re traveling and then while they’re even in the location, too. So, I think we hit on a couple of them. I’m pretty satisfied with how that answer worked out.

NASIR: As am I. It’s a little too general too because we would have to know, like, specifically which state and when the hours are being traveled to to really give a specific opinion on it. Okay.

MATT: 114 in the books.

NASIR: Very nice. All right. Thanks for joining us, everyone.

MATT: Keep it sound and keep it smart.


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Legally Sound Smart Business

A business podcast with a legal twist

Legally Sound Smart Business is a podcast by Pasha Law PC covering different topics in business advice and news with a legal twist with attorneys Nasir Pasha and Matt Staub.
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