Moviegoer Wearing Google Glass Yanked From ‘Jack Ryan’ Screening, Questioned by Feds

Moviegoer Wearing Google Glass Yanked From 'Jack Ryan' Screening, Questioned by Feds

Patron at AMC Theater in Columbus released after authorities determine he wasn't recording “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit”

A moviegoer wearing Google Glass was removed from an AMC Theater in Columbus, Ohio, and questioned for an hour by federal authorities before being released after they determined he wasn't recording “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.”

The incident came to light when the man, writing anonymously on The Gadgeteer, told of being targeted on Saturday night with his wife:

“About an hour into the movie, a guy comes near my seat, shoves a badge that had some sort of a shield on it, yanks the Google Glass off my face and says ‘Follow me outside immediately.’ It was quite embarrassing and outside of the theater there were about 5-10 cops and mall cops.”

AMC responded on Tuesday, in a statement to TheWrap.

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“Movie theft is something we take very seriously, and our theater managers contact the Motion Picture Association of America anytime it's suspected that someone may be illegally recording content on screen,” a spokesman for 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 theatre. At AMC Easton 30 last weekend, a guest was questioned for possible movie theft after he was identified wearing a recording device during a film.

“The presence of this recording device prompted an investigation by the MPAA, which was on site. The MPAA then contacted Homeland Security, which oversees movie theft. The investigation determined the guest was not recording content.”

The interrogation went on for more than an hour, said the patron.

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“I was searched and more stuff was taken away from me (specifically my personal phone, my work phone – both of which were turned off, and my wallet). After an embarrassing 20-30 minutes outside the movie theater, me and my wife were conducted into two separate rooms in the ‘management’ office of Easton Mall, where the guy with the badge introduced himself again and showed me a different ID.”

He said the interrogating officer identified himself as “Bob Hope” of the “movie association.”

“Eventually, after a long time somebody came with a laptop and an USB cable at which point he told me it was my last chance to come clean. I repeated for the hundredth time there is nothing to come clean about and this is a big misunderstanding so the FBI guy finally connected my Glass to the computer, downloaded all my personal photos and started going though them one by one (although they are dated and it was obvious there was nothing on my Glass that was from the time period they accused me of recording). Then they went through my phone, and 5 minutes later they concluded I had done nothing wrong.”

He said they gave him four free passes to another movie at AMC for his trouble. But he didn't get an apology, and that made him mad.

“All he said was AMC called him, and he called the FBI. I would have been fine with ‘I'm sorry this happened, please accept our apologies.’ Four free passes just infuriated me.”

  • Jerri

    How about you don't wear Google glass whilst watching a movie? What did it add to your viewing experience beyond being pulled out of the theater?

    • dmknyc

      Yeah, I have no sympathy for him

      • rosco

        Wow, what dickheads.

    • Teresa

      Maybe he wanted everyone to see his new toy and how hip he is…NOT

    • Wow

      It never fails to amaze me what stupid rationales people come up with – your comment being Exhibit A.

      Please don't serve on any juries, and please don't procreate.

    • evil eyes

      how about not wearing them at all…we don't need more recording devices pointed at us night and day…we are already losing our humanity with those freaking dumb phones…but the dude didn't deserve what happened just because Google glass sucks so your logic is poor…but really, people, don't wear these dumb glasses in general

  • Burphelson AFB

    wow… department of Homeland Security? Um… don't they have enough to do, now content theft too? guy's lucky he got off with passes and not a beatdown. or worse.

  • Roger Pugliese

    I think it is insane. Homeland Security? I understand the seriousness of the offense being in the business myself but I think we have gone a little overboard with the reaction. Homeland Security??? We should put this much effort into Runaway Production causing major job loss in California.

  • Not happy

    Too bad They're not so tough on YouTube and Google …we've had our movie pirated on YouTube for over a week now with no response from Google

    • wah wah wah

      Our government works for corporate interests. That is clear. Seriously, they had MPAA on standby at the local AMC? “Bob Hope” haranguing some poor schmuck under a bright light and rifling through his stuff? This reads more like a parody. Had to double check that this wasn't a joke.

      Way to keep an ever declining movie going audience coming back, AMC and MPAA…

  • terry208

    Thank God he wasn't black, he'd been shot dead

    • mike1093

      This is sooo sad, but extremely true. I wonder what would've happened if it were a minority.

  • topaz

    The present administration's fascist state in full bloom. Welcome to the United States of China. Surely the victim will look into suing?

  • A.L. Hern

    “…me and my wife were conducted…”

    He wants an apology? At the very least, the unnamed moviegoer deserves to be imprisoned for his atrocious grammar.

  • Projection Booth

    Unless it has gone up, if you catch someone in the act of recording a movie in a public theater and it is proven your reward is $500. Who knows maybe some movie passes too, but to reflect on the article the patron should have received an apology for wrongful accusation while it being brought to his attention why he was targeted.

    • Michael Watson

      one reason not to go to movies.wait three monthes,stream the movies in HD,sit in your house eat your reasonably priced goodies and use your bathroom that has only been used by you and yours and let the theatre insult some other patron for a over priced movie!

  • Cliffhanger77

    Which begs the question: Why would anyone WANT to record “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit”?

  • ratbag

    The main problem is that with few exceptions, the MPAA and FBI are Luddites. I bet they were thinking they'd made a huge score.

    But, you have to ask, how is your viewing experience enhanced with the glasses?

  • ThomasNeidhart

    wow. the hate about someone wearing google glass is bizarre! it's a tech gadget and it's bizarre to hear ANY of you rip on him for using an advanced tech item. You DO realize they were actual PRESCRIPTION GLASSES, right? And therefore, it's something he would need to see the screen. haters… (and like you can't wear a small tiny camera on your shirt, so saying google glass is bad is silly, if someone's wearing it, realize they could be recording, but there is a light on the glass that shows up)

    • beardedman

      Anyone with reasonable modern knowledge would probably be able to guess that wearing a recording device to a movie theater would pose a problem. Anyone who needs prescription glasses would not have Google Glass as his only pair. These concepts should not need to be explained to anyone who has the money to afford Glass. He was wrong to wear them and does not deserve an apology as the legal issues and controversy surrounding Glass are very widely discussed. He must be aware of them. In wearing them, he must know he will run into situations like this.

      I also doubt the way he has reported the incident. The incident came to light when the man himself wrote about it anonymously on a gadget blog… not exactly a vetted New York Times exposé.

  • ugh enough

    Google glass is just another pointless violation of quality of life and privacy, and people who think it's cool are morons. But, how is this an issue of national security. Meanwhile, a judge decided wearing these stupid glasses while driving and endangering lives is ok, but wearing them during a movie is a national crisis.

  • Skyla Adair

    Why are you even wearing Google glass while watching a movie, or driving a car for that matter?! They are not glasses to improve vision so if you're not using them, why wear them? Remember, perception is reality, especially to the authorities; if it looks like you might be doing something illegal (like recording a newly released Hollywood movie) then they will investigate.
    Of course, the whole unpleasant scene may have been avoided if the theater manger had any sense; he or she could have simply addressed the patron and told him that the Google (any recording) device was not allowed during movie showings instead of calling the feds (overkill)!