Microsoft has applied for a Kinect patent that uses its posh webcam to count the number of people in a room, just in case there's any confusion as to whether your entire family watching Evil Dead counts as an illegal public screening.

The code would let Microsoft and media providers set a maximum viewer threshold for films, with Kinect counting heads in the room. If it spots too many people you'd be asked to upgrade your license -- presumably that's patent talk for "pay some money" -- to continue viewing.

Of course, you could just switch the stupid camera thing off, if the Microsoft of the future lets you switch it off. [Extremetech]