Infrared_lamp.jpgLos Angeles – California-based Apple Computer is applying to patent a new infrared technology that could help combat the illegal pirating of movies and music. 

With the increasing popularity of the Apple iPhone, it is not uncommon to see concert-goers holding their iPhones up in the air, recording the live show, only to later upload it onto the Internet.  What many of these music fans may not realize is that doing so constitutes copyright infringement.

Apple’s new anti-piracy technology would allow movie theatres and concert venues to use infrared beams to prevent iPhones from being used to illegally record the entertainment.  This is similar to the technology that is used in theatres to distribute sound to individual hearing aides for the hearing-impaired.  For use in concert venues, the music bands could surround the stage with infrared transmitters that would send a signal to the devices preventing the recording.  Alternatively for video, the signal could automatically place a watermark on the image that was being recorded onto the iPhone.  For example, someone who was attempting to record an Usher concert could have automatically stamped on any recorded images.

This technology will undoubtedly be loved by the thousands of artists who lose money every day to copyright theft.  However it will be met with expected criticism from the device users themselves.  If iPhone users didn’t know about anit-piracy laws before, they will soon.  It will be interesting to see how Google will respond to this technology since android Smartphones have recently surpassed the iPhone in popularity.