The nomadic DVD peddlers in Chinatown and other urban areas seem virtually unstoppable, but that hasn't kept Hollywood studios from launching various attempts to prevent movie piracy. Boing Boing reports on the rumor that at least one theater has been silencing the soundtrack in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skullthroughout the film in order to mess with potential bootleggers trying to record the thing. If true, it's got to be one of the most brain dead attempts at security since the rise of quart-sized bags. When you really get down to it, most two-bit criminals with camcorders in their laps don''t really care if the quality of the movie they're recording suffers, since the resulting product will already feature lo-fi video, the overlapping sounds of laughter and other audience reactions, and silhouetted cameos from patrons venturing to the concession stands or taking bathroom breaks. With all that, the intermittent exclusion of music doesn't sound like a major concern for the bad guys.

Studio anti-piracy measures are notoriously ill-conceived. Premieres and all-media screenings often force critics and even the filmmakers themselves to undergo intense evaluations before they're allowed to enter the theaters, while films open to the public, where pirates are more likely to show up, don't take any precautions. Granted, multiplexes wouldn't help their business if attending them felt like entering an airport terminal, but that doesn't mean there isn't a better way to prevent the crimes from taking place. Anyone care to offer some ideas?

[Via Movie City News]