AMC Patron Wearing Google Glass Questioned by Feds at Ohio Theater

Google Glass Theater Ban

Man attending 'Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit' reportedly interrogated about suspected piracy for 3.5 hours by Dept. of Homeland Security agents

A man who was wearing a Google Glass device during a showing of “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” last Saturday at an AMC Theatres location in Columbus, Ohio, was questioned by agents from the Dept. of Homeland Security — to see if he was illegally recording the pic.

An AMC rep confirmed the incident, which was reported by The Gadgeteer blog. In a statement, the theater chain said, “While we’re huge fans of technology and innovation, wearing a device that has the capability to record video is not appropriate at the movie theater.”

SEE ALSO: How Much Could Google Glass Change the Way People Consume Content?

Theaters have policies that prohibit recording devices, to thwart piracy. Last year, an exec for the National Assn. of Theatre Owners suggested that movie theaters would develop policies specifically to address Google Glass wearable computing gadgets.

The incident occurred at the AMC Easton Town Center 30 cineplex in Columbus on Jan. 18. After the theater manager identified that the patron was wearing Google Glass, a rep from the MPAA — who was on site — investigated the claim and then contacted the Dept. of Homeland Security, which oversees movie theft.

The investigation determined that “the guest was not recording content,” according to AMC. The moviegoer was questioned for about 3.5 hours, according to an account from the man posted by the Gadgeteer.

The Dept. of Homeland Security said agents “briefly interviewed” the man, who has not been identified. After DHS confirmed the recording function on the individual’s Google Glass device — which had prescription lenses — was disabled, no further action was taken, the agency said.

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  1. Glad to see homeland security is busting potential movie pirates and not, ya know, protecting us against terrorists and life threatening things. Tax dollars well spent. Go ‘Murica.

  2. Doug M says:

    Ummm… do they know Google Glass only records videos for 10 seconds by default? Do they know that even if you extend past 10 seconds you probably would not have enough storage space to record a full 2hr movie on Google Glass? Idiots.

    • Mister Salty says:

      And if you do extend it, the battery life in Google Glass has a maximum of 30 minutes when recording video, regardless of storage space.

      • John Shea says:

        But he could have brought spare batteries and maybe a spare Google Glass, and held his head perfectly still for two hours, and the result would be THE TOTAL COLLAPSE OF CIVILIZATION AS WE KNOW IT!

  3. Theadore K Mullins says:

    This anti piracy thing is getting pretty silly 3 and a half hours of questioning by DHS… Really??? Jesus Christ

  4. Rebecca says:

    This is literally stupid. Anyone with a smart phone could have discovered within five minutes that google glasses will not record for that length of time for the safety of privacy. Every tech article and news release has included this limitation regarding the glasses.

  5. Bought and Sold says:

    Dept. of Homeland Security is now doing copyright enforcement? I don’t remember that being part of their mandate. Guess they sent down some the extra TSA agents that usually have standing around at airport security while 3 of them actually work.

  6. mnxc says:

    The truly silly part of it is, pirates usually just rip screeners because they’re high quality. Cam rips of movies usually look terrible anyway, but to use Google Glass his head would have to stay perfectly still to get a halfway decent picture anyway. All it would take is one person successfully ripping a movie with Google Glass to make people realize how terrible and not worth watching the pirated movie would be.

  7. Nanny Mo says:

    I’m sure that all theaters will have a “No Google Glass” policy just like they have a “turn off your cellphone” during the movie policy very soon. Just like I don’t want to be filmed without knowing it, so will studios insist that their films not be pirated by this or any other means. It’s best just to post a sign saying “No Google Glasses Allowed.” Problem solved.

  8. lilkunta says:

    MPAA just happened to be at the theater? And there is a local Homeland Secrity Office in Ohio and they had men free to come to the theater? This is bs.

    • DH350nWo says:

      Not bs. Already been confirmed by many sources (did you bother to read the article?). And yes DHS has an office in Columbus.

      What is bs is the ‘authorities’ detaining this guy ‘voluntarily’ while threats are tossed about. What’s more sad is this guy seemingly not knowing his rights and not applying them to this circumstance.

  9. Neal Stevens says:

    I was about to say — right, being held briefly is “three and a half hours” — and then I remembered that this is homeland security we’re talking about. They’ve held people without charge who they actually know are innocent at Guantanamo for *over ten years.” I guess by that metric, being held for three and a half hours for not doing something in respect to an activity that Homeland Security, by no stretch of the imagination, should even be investigating in the first place actually is being held briefly.

  10. JackSlack says:

    WHAT A JOKE! Good to see Homeland security hard at work protecting Americans from those people who record movies with a shitty cam,who the hell watches movies that are cam anymore. I feel bad for you Americans.

  11. Anon says:

    LMAO I’d probably rather see this guy being interviewed probably more interesting than the movie itself.

  12. foxbrownfox says:

    Reblogged this on The House That Fox Built and commented:
    File this under #BraveNewWorld

  13. Q Twan says:

    Why is there even a danger of pirating a movie as stupid as Jack Reacher?

  14. ThomT says:

    Why is the Department of Homeland Security responsible for investigating video piracy? Do the Feds think that these people are real pirates?

    • John Shea says:

      Perhaps he wore an eye-patch over one of the Google Glass lenses, a tricorn hat, pegleg, hand hook, sword, and a parrot on his shoulder muttering ‘Pieces of eight!’. Although all that might lead Homeland Insecurity to suspect he was…an Islamic terrorist.

  15. Doesn’t google glass have a light that turns on / blinks if it’s recording?

    • Bill says:

      Like most things software-based, it can be disabled or simply colored over with a Sharpie.

      Good for the theater owners for noticing this, and I hope people will be dissuaded from such stupid stunts in the future.

      • You know how a SANE society would handle a breach of theater policy? An usher would approach the guy, and ask him to take off the Glass or leave.

        It’s not “good” that the theater owners noticed, it’s part of their business model to monitor their theaters. And it’s unbelievably bad that the MPAA has “agents” stationed in regional theaters to play stoolie for every camera phone that’s pulled out during their crappy films. And it’s simply UNTHINKABLE that the DHS, a freaking federal police force, would even answer the call from the MPAA wienie, let alone actually dispatch troops, er, “officers,” to detain a guy for longer than the movie he planned to see in order to protect the profits of a financial heavyweight movie company.

        I hope people will see this and question what the copyright system actually is, and how it’s enforced; and what the job of the police actually is (local and federal), and how it’s implemented.

      • ThomT says:

        I agree with you but be assured that this is just the start. I recently sat near a patron at a Broadway show who tried to record the show on their iPhone. They were escorted from the theater about mid-way through the first act.

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