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Movie Theater Calls FBI to Detain Google Glass User

It’s a Rorschach trifecta for today’s technology world! An Ohio network engineer wore his Google Glass (turned off) in a movie because he has prescription lenses in them. An hour into the movie, he was pulled from his seat by the FBI at the behest of the “Movie Association” (the MPAA, in all likelihood) and questioned for over three hours. Once the agents downloaded and viewed the contents of the Glass (as he had been asking them to do), they agreed he had done nothing wrong, after which the MPAA guy gave him a pat on the head and four free movie passes. For self-awareness points, figure out what bothers you the most about this story: the heavy-handed FBI behavior, the response to potential movie piracy by the MPAA, or the wearing of Google Glass?favicon follow link


Comments about Movie Theater Calls FBI to Detain Google Glass User
(Comments are closed.)

Eolake Stobblehouse   2014-01-21 11:02
For me, that he was questioned for over three hours!!
What can they possibly ask him??

And by what sane measure don't you just check the contents from the start?
A lot of cops love being the heavy.

It is wonderful to know the taxpayers are funding house dicks for the movie business.
Daniel  2014-01-21 11:48
The engineer should file a criminal complaint for assault/battery for the MPAA rep giving him a pat on the head.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2014-01-21 11:50
I admit that the pat on the head was poetic license. :-)

I'm shocked that after putting someone through this for no reason, the people involved weren't utterly apologetic.
Add a visit from the FBI for having a recording device (smartphone?) to risk of getting shot and it's amazing anyone goes to movie theaters anymore. MPAA, I think I'll stay at home and play XBox. Safer that way.
Josh Centers  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2014-01-21 12:15
AMC has confirmed his story. What's scary about this, regardless of your feelings about Glass, is that we *all* bring recording devices of some kind into the theater with us now. If they were concerned about Glass, why didn't they bring it up before he stepped into the theater?
GregInPrague  2014-01-21 12:26
3 hours is too long to question him. They should have pulled the data from his Google Glass immediately and seen that there was nothing on it. However, the wearer should have known better. You can't easily pirate a movie with your smartphone, anyone can see that's what you're doing, with Google Glass there's almost no way to tell.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2014-01-21 13:03
It does seem a little naive, but he did say that he'd been there several times before with Glass, and had talked about it with a number of the theater staff.

I also have to think that anyone who wanted to record a movie with a cell phone could figure out a surreptitious way of doing it pretty easily, though the quality is going to be lousy without a tripod.

I've not paid much attention to illegally distributed movies, but what I have seen over the years leads me to believe that they aren't generally being recorded by theater-goers.
Mr Smith  2014-01-21 16:59
That would require a warrant. Remember that pesky "right to be secure in your papers and things..."
Mr Smith  2014-01-21 17:01
3 hours is a violation of his right to Liberty. But that nothing compared to what happens if you put up a Facebook post or "the Twitter," because then not 1 but 3 Federal U.S. Marshals will appear at your front door in America today. @DarcyTheCensor @AHowardMatz @AlexKozinski #FundamentalRights
Jennifer Kleigmeier  2014-01-21 18:36
Three men in black said, "Don't report this."
Robert  2014-01-23 13:21
How about wear REAL glasses to the movies. Situation avoided.