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Published on June 5th, 2011 | by Adam

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Apple's patent remotely prevents you from taking photos

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It seems that Apple have recently filed a new patent that could turn off the camera in a device remotely. Of course these devices are most likely to be made by Apple, like the iPhone or iPod but this could start a new craze (everyone wants to copy Apple, right?).

The device will be able to accept a signal from an infrared source and remotely turn off the ability for you to take photos on your device. The new technology could be used for concerts, cinemas, and art exhibitions to prevent copyright infringement or even to prohibit photographs near schools and playgrounds.

While I am all for a system that could stop weirdos taking pictures of children without the parent’s consent, I’m not too keen on a system that could shut down the use of a camera just because someone doesn’t want me taking pictures in a certain area. If the system is widely available in shopping streets, arcades, clubs, parks, bars & cafes it doesn’t give me any reason to even have a camera on my phone any more.  Let’s hope that the mainstream camera makers don’t adopt this system otherwise I’m going to start searching for some film.

What are your thoughts?

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About the Author

Adam Carlson is a former airline pilot turned full time stay at home dad and part time photographer with an emphasis on family and children portraits. His love of photography started almost 15 years ago with the purchase of his first Canon Rebel continues today. He currently shoots with the 5D Mark III. He has written numerous articles and currently co-hosts the monthly podcast here at PixelatedPhotographer.



  • Adam

    Seems kind of silly to me… On one hand I guess it just goes to show how good the cameras are getting in phones, and how much people are using them. On the other hand is it really necessary to stop me from using my phones camera just because I might get a photo of some concert or something.

    • Anonymous

      I’m sure that’s it a ploy to ensure that Steve Jobs isn’t caught in a strip joint with his pants round his ankles ;)

  • Stephen Rynas

    Technically, you bought the product. As such it becomes your property.  The seller should not retain any rights restricting your use of the product.  Furthermore, they have no authority to say what is or is not an “acceptable” picture.

    As for the claim that you do not really own the product, this is a creative sidestep to vaporize the ownership issue.  As consumers, we need to protect our ownership privileges.

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