At an AMC Theatre in Columbus, Ohio, on Jan. 18, a man wearing Google Glass was approached by an FBI agent in the middle of a showing of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. The agent reportedly took the device from the man without permission, removed him from the theater, and questioned him for about an hour before determining the man had not violated any copyright laws.
“Movie theft is something we take very seriously, and our theatre managers contact the Motion Picture Association of America anytime it’s suspected that someone may be illegally recording content on screen,” an AMC spokesperson said.
The theatre gave the man and his family four free passes to see another movie, but not before being searched and detained.
“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),” the man wrote in an account of the event. “After an embarrassing 20-30 minutes outside the movie theatre, me and my wife were conducted into two separate rooms in the ‘management’ office of Easton Mall.”
The man also wrote that he was given no apology and he considered the free passes an insult.
The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. constitution prohibits unreasonable search and seizure, and also requires a warrant sanctioned by a judge after probably cause has been shown.