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Apple Patents Camera Shutoff Technology

CUPERTINO, CA (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Apple has filed a patent for technology that would allow venue owners to disable video recording in cellphones such as Apple's ubiquitous iPhone during concerts.

The technology would work through software on the handheld device that is triggered when concert-goers hold up their phones, exposing them to infrared sensors in the concert venue.

The patent, discovered by the UK newspaper The Times has yet to be implemented in any known commercially available device, nor has Apple announced any plans to do so. It is also unclear if the technology extends to still pictures, but it is likely that it would as the still camera uses the same components in the device.

The patent only expands upon the debate over just how much control consumers have over electronic devices they purchase. Take Sony PS3 gaming console enthusiast George Hotz, who modified the PS3 he purchased to run software of his own design and then posted source code to let others do the same. Sony responded with a lawsuit, contending that the modification encouraged both piracy and cheating on its online gaming networks. Hotz agreed to settle the lawsuit with Sony in April, shortly before Sony was extensively attacked and extensively compromised by hackers.

Similar arguments have also evolved around iPhones and Android phones that have been modified to allow users to run unapproved software.

Admittedly, most concert venues already have rules preventing patrons from filming events, but should such rules extend to allowing venue owners or technology companies to disable electronic devices?