Apple May Crack Down on Content Piracy with Possible New iPhone Filter

Apple has filed a patent that could very well lead to the iPhone no longer allowing users to photograph or shoot video of anything they please.

Based on the intellectual property described within the filing, what we’re looking at is a new filtering sensor capable of detecting when you’re photographing or recording copyrighted content that you could potentially pirate.

Without question, this sort of technology would lend to a wide variety of settings – from sitting in a movie theater or at a concert, or even at a party when music you don’t own the rights to begins playing in the background. All could potentially disable certain functionalities native to your iPhone.

According to Patently Apple, which uncovered the filing, this so-called filtering technology “could easily apply to movie theatres trying to stop customers from filming a movie for illegal distribution or any kind of music concert to protect an artist’s image from being photographed or videoed illegally.”

In a different application of this technology, recording functionality won’t be disabled. But watermarking will be employed.

“In some embodiments, a device may apply a watermark to detected images as an alternative to completely disabling a recording function,” Patently Apple reports. “For example, a device may receive infrared signals with encoded data that includes a command to apply a watermark to detected images. In such an example, the device may then apply the watermark to all detected images that are displayed or stored (e.g., single pictures or frames of a video). This feature could be convenient, depending on how this is applied.”