Is Apple Right To Try And Block Smartphone Cameras At Gigs?
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How does it work? Well, the patent describes a smartphone camera receiving coded infrared signals beamed from emitters in public places. The handset could then offer on-screen information or disable the camera functionality to stop pictures being taken.
Whether Apple will ever implement this technology into its products is unclear. But what if it does?
Is this right? Is this wrong? Let’s discuss.
Hell yeah it’s right! Put that phone away you scrote.
A lot of artists would probably welcome fewer phones at gigs. In fact, high profile names such as Prince, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Mumford & Sons have gone as far as banning smartphones from their gigs in the past.
But no one has been opposed to smartphone use at gigs as much as The White Stripes’ Jack White. In 2014, he said: “People can’t clap anymore, because they’ve got a f**king texting thing in their f**king hand, and probably a drink, too!”
White continued: “Some musicians don’t care about this stuff, but I let the crowd tell me what to do. There’s no set list. I’m not just saying the same things I said in Cleveland last night. If they can’t give me that energy back? Maybe I’m wasting my time.”
Strong words, but it’s not difficult to empathise with his frustration. If you’ve worked as hard as musicians like Jack White have, grinding and grinding until you finally make it big, only to be met by a sea of smartphones wrapped up in Minion phone cases…that would be irritating. Artists want to emotionally connect with audiences, and smartphones, if overused, can obstruct that.
It can annoy other members of the crowd too. We’ve seen people add large sections of a gig to their Snapchat story before, which is a little dumb. Putting aside that you might be doing gigs a bit wrong (shouldn’t you be experiencing the gig when you’re actually there? You don’t need to document everything), how many of your friends actually want to watch a Snapchat story that lonnnggg? Nobody does, you crazy person. Nobody.
But on the other hand…
No way! Apple can’t tell me what to do maaan #fightthepower
But let’s talk about Apple. This isn’t the first time the tech giants have tried to impose upon consumers. Remember when Apple placed U2’s new album onto every single iPhone? Obviously, literally nobody was happy about this, and Apple received a furious reaction. Nobody wants something put on his or her phone without permission.
On the plus side, U2 and Apple got a lot of good-natured roasting (“Just woken up to find U2 downstairs watching TV and eating my biscuits. Will their presumptions that I want them in my life ever end?”) on Twitter, which was pleasing. You can never roast U2 and Apple enough.
Opinions on the use of smartphones at gigs are split. But regardless of whether you agree with people choosing to record a lot of the experience or not, it’s wrong for Apple to step in and decide what users can or cannot choose to record. Apple should not have that power.
If people have paid money to see a show, spending money that will go on to support that performing artist, then they should be free to do as they wish at that gig. Unless they’ve gone to that gig to video them lobbing cups of piss at people. Those people exist, and they are the bane of all our lives. They are the worst. The literal worst. They almost suck as much as the King of the Lizard hordes. No – not King Krumgotzfarkqwa. Michael Gove.
tl;dr: ban piss lobbers, Apple, U2 and Michael Gove from everything. But don’t ban smartphone camera use at live events. Let people do what they want.