August 4, 2004 · Tim Wu
Last week I went to a Black Eyed Peas concert at the Avalon in Boston. It was a DNC event sponsored by the RIAA, and at the doors, big signs were posted everywhere: “Absolutely No Cameras.”
The result: Chaos in the line, as people were sent home after failing cell phone inspection. The choice was to leave your phone / camera behind or leave the concert. People were mad. (“Where is the love?” they asked). So I asked the bouncer, “what’s this about?”
And he said “It’s not our deal. Its those guys [the sponsors].”
So perhaps this is becoming routine and I’m late to it. But can the idea really be (as this suggests) that cell phone pictures of a band are considered a competitive threat? There’s controlling, and then there’s obsessive-compulsive.