CATEGORIES Movies

google glass movie pirateFREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

A regular moviegoer who has prescription lenses in his Google Glass was watching "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit" when he learned the hard way all about Big Brother. The local AMC he was at apparently rang up the MPAA, who then got the DHS involved in grilling this poor dude who was just out with his wife on a Saturday night.

The whole situation sounds pretty confusing, with several updates from the original writer at The Gadgeteer and the fellow who experienced this Google Glass kerfuffle, but the DHS made an official statement as follows:

On Jan. 18, special agents with ICE's Homeland Security Investigations and local authorities briefly interviewed a man suspected of using an electronic recording device to record a film at an AMC theater in Columbus. The man, who voluntarily answered questions, confirmed to authorities that the suspected recording device was also a pair of prescription eye glasses in which the recording function had been inactive. No further action was taken.

According to the Google Glass user, this is what he told them from the beginning, that they were prescription glasses that he was wearing to see, not to record the movie with. Eventually, the investigating officers hooked up his gadget to a computer so they could see for themselves there were no illegal recordings on there.

AMC released the following statement:

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 [sic]. 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.

Whether or not Google Glass becomes more commonplace, most smartphones also have the ability to record video, although it would be much more obvious and intrusive, so this seems like a pretty silly argument. Plenty of journalists have experienced going to screenings where it's required to check one's smartphone or similar devices with recording capabilities, or even laptops, before entering the theater -- an even more ludicrous prospect, since a theater full of film journalists is the least likely place to passively allow anyone to use a smartphone during a movie, much less record it. Google Glass has a small light that goes on when it's recording, although it is possible to work around that if you're really determined.

The user was given four free movie passes for his trouble. There's no report on whether or not he'll be returning to see the rest of "Shadow Recruit."

[via The Hollywood Reporter]