Copyright

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
copyright, movie theater, piracy, toronto



Movie Theater Security Guards Assault Women, Claim They Were Pirating Movie

from the has-it-really-come-to-this? dept

It's well-known that the big studios and the MPAA like to indoctrinate movie theater employees into believing that there's a horrible menace of people trying to pirate movies in the theaters, and that in some cases, they even hand out money to employees who "catch" pirates in the act. In general, all this really does is make it less enjoyable to go to the movies -- and sometimes leads to elderly patrons being ejected from theaters because some kid is totally sure she's pirating the film she's watching.

And the latest example is even more extreme, where private security forces apparently decided to assault a couple of Toronto women they falsely accused of pirating a showing of The Magnificent 7. One of the women, Jean Telfer, says she actually decided to leave the film early because she found it too violent. Apparently the idea that a pirate probably wouldn't be leaving in the middle of a film didn't occur to the geniuses Sony Pictures had specifically hired to "guard" the showing. So they tackled Telfer. Really.
Halfway through the film, Telfer decided to leave because she found the movie to be too violent.

“When I left the theatre I heard someone yelling behind me, ‘Sir! Sir!’ I didn’t think much of it,” said Telfer.

“Out of nowhere I felt someone grab me from behind. My reaction [was] to get this person off of me. Unfortunately it did escalate and he did somehow get on top of me.”
Bizarrely, despite all of that, the guy who tackled her never told her why and then just let her go. But when her friend, Elaine Wong, also went to leave, the experience was a bit different.
Wong, unaware of what had happened to her friend, left the theatre shortly after to find Telfer.

Wong said a guard approached her and little explanation was given except that the security guards had been watching them all night and that something on the guards’ heat sensor guns had gone off. She added that they attempted to search her bag.
Wong noted that they left right before the action really started, and if they were trying to pirate a movie, you'd think they'd "wait until a lot of people start dying." Eventually both Telfer and Wong were told to remain with security until the police arrived -- though after a while when no police arrived, they were apparently let go. The two did decide to file a police report of their own, arguing that they had been illegally assaulted by security at the theater.

In some tweets, Wong notes that they demanded to search her bag, and also demanded to know why they were leaving early -- as if that were some sort of "sign" of piracy in action (though she refers to the guy as being from Disney, the news reports say he was hired by Sony).
Once again, I fail to see how treating regular customers as criminals helps Hollywood convince more people to pay to see movies. It likely has the reverse effect.

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  • icon
    sorrykb (profile), 26 Sep 2016 @ 11:50am

    The two did decide to file a police report of their own, arguing that they had been illegally assaulted by security at the theater.

    Good. Arresting those guards for assault and false imprisonment would be a start.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    kallethen, 26 Sep 2016 @ 11:50am

    How can a person "pirate" a movie if they are leaving during it? Who would want a partial movie?

    I guess it's proof positive that Hollywood lives in bizzaro land.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2016 @ 11:58am

      Re:

      After seeing Magnificent 7 over the weekend (theater by me has a great sunday morning matinee for cheap which is early enough to see a movie and not miss any of the football games), I'd be all for seeing the first half of that movie without the second half.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 26 Sep 2016 @ 1:32pm

      Re:

      They had problems with their recording equipment half-way through and, having failed to pay attention to the movie rather than their camera, were missing crucial context for at least enjoying the rest of the movie. Or they were incapable of enjoying movies because they are lawless criminals not amenable to good entertainment.

      That sounds far more plausible than a well-tried recipe for success like this remake of a remake's remake being more of a load of unwatchable crap than the moviegoers were expecting.

      Well, at least it sounds far more plausible when your job depends on the movies being so fantastic that people would not just want to watch them but would want go to the hassle of missing out on the rest of the Internet while wasting their time on them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2016 @ 2:15pm

      Re:

      They knew that the movie itself is about 30 minutes of actual material, looped over and over from different perspectives with small additional details filled in each time around.

      Obviously they knew that if anyone had the first 1/2 of the movie, they could just photoshop the whole thing into being, and nobody would be the wiser...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      art guerrilla (profile), 26 Sep 2016 @ 4:06pm

      Re:

      know nothing about these ladies, obviously, nor much about how movies are pirated by directly recording them...
      BUT, seems like there *could* be any number of scenarios where you got to a movie late, camera was out of juice, SD card got munged, whatever, where you had to record just the first half or some portion of a movie to have a complete version...
      just sayin'...
      but even so, just more 'criminalization of living' (especially when a darker shade of pink...)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Padpaw (profile), 26 Sep 2016 @ 12:03pm

    Maybe the security guards will try the "they don't have to know the law to uphold it" defence.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2016 @ 12:16pm

    So the lesson, if you don't want to be assaulted by rent-a-cops in a movie theater, just download the movie online.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    orbitalinsertion (profile), 26 Sep 2016 @ 12:20pm

    Ah yes, the old "exact opposite from what we might be looking for" behavior is the most suspicious.

    People are idiots.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2016 @ 9:10pm

      Re:

      People are idiots.
      Correction, those who are in enforcement are idiots.

      It is an unfortunate thing that the moment many people are given an enforcement role, they leave their brains/minds at home sitting on the dunny.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      DannyB (profile), 27 Sep 2016 @ 6:06am

      Re:

      But doing the exact opposite to avoid the penalty for your illegal act IS suspicious and therefore provides probable cause.

      Three simple Examples:

      0. In order to not be shot by a police officer for jaywalking, you decide to use the crosswalk to avoid the penalty.

      1. In order to not be shot by a police officer for running a red light you decide to stop at the red light. That attempt to avoid contact with the police provides probable cause for contact with the police.

      2. The MPAA / RIAA tears apart your home, seizes all your computers, and after an extensive two year search can find no copyright infringing files anywhere. The reason is because you must have hidden them in order to avoid prosecution and capital punishment for copyright infringement.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2016 @ 12:20pm

    There must have been something else with the guards than thinking pirates...

    I've been to multiple early release screenings. Every one either had metal detectors at the entrance (no electronics, no phones allowed in, etc.) or guards with night vision goggles at the front watching for filming. Likely both. They were strictly controlled to the point that even answering a text would get you kicked out immediately. People if caught were always taken right from their seats. Never after they left.

    I can't think of any situation where they would detain someone only after leaving the theater and not during their supposed illegal action.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2016 @ 1:24pm

      Re: There must have been something else with the guards than thinking pirates...

      No phones allowed inside? The industry doesn't want teenagers any more?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Sep 2016 @ 12:59pm

        Re: Re: There must have been something else with the guards than thinking pirates...

        For pre-release screening? yes. they banned all electronics.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2016 @ 4:58pm

      Re: There must have been something else with the guards than thinking pirates...

      I read somewhere they also film the audience and use the clips in promotional ads for the movies.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        JoeCool (profile), 26 Sep 2016 @ 10:25pm

        Re: Re: There must have been something else with the guards than thinking pirates...

        And there we have the REAL answer - these two spoiled a promotional ad by walking out in the middle. They had to be taught a lesson for their transgression.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Peter (profile), 26 Sep 2016 @ 12:24pm

    It is not exactly a vote of confidence into their Ultra-HD 4K Superquality formats if the Sony/Disney folks see Handy-cam copies of half a movie as a threat worth fighting with high-tech weapons and rent-a-cops ...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2016 @ 12:44pm

      Re:

      We've already seen it stated that the anti-piracy game is a job- and budget-justification game that self-perpetuates and escalates for further benefit. The companies will just claim that the amount they spend on security guards and fancy detection equipment are financial losses caused by piracy - because if no one pirated movies, they wouldn't have to spend the money. They get to continue to claim unsupported numbers for losses and lobby Congress and attorneys general for harsher laws and state-sponsored lawsuit persecutions, etc.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bushido Master, 26 Sep 2016 @ 12:28pm

    The irony for this film is delicious

    So they are worried about the pirating of a re-make of a film that was stolen to begin with? beautiful.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      DannyB (profile), 27 Sep 2016 @ 6:11am

      Re: The irony for this film is delicious

      There is another irony to this. They left this violent movie to avoid the violence. Therefore they were violently assaulted for not staying in the movie and being exposed to the excessive violence. "Jean Telfer, says she actually decided to leave the film early because she found it too violent."

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    John Snape (profile), 26 Sep 2016 @ 12:31pm

    An intricate plot?

    Maybe it's all an intricate plot, with years of forethought, to have people assaulted, starting with just a few a year, and increasing every year, until no one wants to go to the theater anymore.

    Then their ingenious plan comes to fruition: they can rightly say no one is going to movies (because they are stealing the movies online!!!) and they can get SOPA passed without opposition!

    I can see Hollywood executives curling their mustaches as I write this!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Killer_Tofu (profile), 26 Sep 2016 @ 1:24pm

      Re: An intricate plot?

      Be careful. If they see you posting about their plans online while in a meeting with them where you can see it, they might have you disappeared.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    HegemonicDistortion (profile), 26 Sep 2016 @ 12:37pm

    There's some comfort, I guess, in knowing that American rent-a-cops aren't any dumber than those of other countries.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Baron von Robber, 26 Sep 2016 @ 12:51pm

      Re:

      Rent-a-cop1: Got into it with my girlfriend last night. She won't talk to me now.
      Rent-a-cop2: What happened?
      Rent-a-cop1: I said something about the Pope.
      Rent-a-cop2: Stupid, you know she's catholic.
      Rent-a-cop1: Yea, I know she is, I didn't know the Pope was.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      DannyB (profile), 27 Sep 2016 @ 6:16am

      Re:

      There is an explanation for the universal dumbness of rent-a-cops. The job itself selects for low intelligence, regardless of country. If they COULD do something else, then they would.

      Similarly for police. The job specifically selects for: authority complex and bullying. If you find yourself graduating from high school and suddenly realize you have no useful skills or talent, and you don't want to go into marketing or management, you become a police officer. Failing that, you become a rent-a-cop. Or run for political office.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    AJ, 26 Sep 2016 @ 12:49pm

    I understand this happened in Canada, so the security guard\s were probably not in fear of being shot by a lone or a pair of ladies. With that said; I sincerely hope the AA's don't try that technique in the U.S. Imagine what would happen if over-excited security guard were to meet right to stand your ground law? People are a little jumpy right now in big public places with lots of people. You would have had a hard time convincing a jury she broke the law if he would have tackled her and she would have pulled a legally carried firearm and shot him. People need to really think hard before putting their hands on another person. Really bad things can happen, and fast.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Skeeter, 26 Sep 2016 @ 1:00pm

    Another Drive-By

    This falls into that 'Django' (don't want to see it, because you're making more out of a bad movie than I care to be involved in) catagory.

    Sorry, but if your film is THIS PRECIOUS to you, tell you what, you keep it - I'm clearly not missing out on anything worthwhile. This is getting ridiculous, from the 'Red Dawn' politically-correct spin, to the Django 'race spin' to the Magnificent 7 'profit spin', Hollywood has become their own worst-enemy.

    Repeat after me, Hollywood, 'it's not the pirates that are killing my business, it's my greed and constant political messages that are killing me'. Like Django, I'll just wait until it hits Netflix in a month, due to bad reviews and revenues, and see it as part of my $9 monthly package.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      anonymous me, 26 Sep 2016 @ 1:29pm

      Re: Another Drive-By

      "Hollywood has become their own worst-enemy."

      This.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 26 Sep 2016 @ 11:50pm

      Re: Another Drive-By

      "it's my greed and constant political messages that are killing me"

      I don't believe that most movies are as political as some people try to make out (Django Unchained actually pissed off a lot of people due to its racial political incorrectness, for a start). I agree Red Dawn was a mess because of their pandering to the Chinese market, but it was hardly a film people were looking forward to (or watched) at the end of the day. There's some sources that will try to find political messages in everything, but they're usually clutching at straws.

      But, if you think that overarching greed is some kind of new thing in Hollywood, I welcome our time traveller from the early 1900s and wonder how you because so quickly proficient at the internet.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      DannyB (profile), 27 Sep 2016 @ 6:33am

      Re: Another Drive-By

      Hollywood: If your crummy movie isn't streaming on Netflix, Amazon, Starz, HBO, Hulu, PBS, then IT DOESN'T EXIST as far as I am concerned. Never heard of it. Don't want to know about it. And I assure you that I won't learn of it via some mythical thing called 'advertising' that I've heard of, and apparently some other people seem to be afflicted with.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 26 Sep 2016 @ 1:06pm

    That the anti-piracy crew acts like dumb jackasses sometimes we know but this must be a new record. I mean, who isn't eager to watch a half recorded, shaky movie.

    Come to think of it maybe it's a better experience since you aren't at risk of being assaulted.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2016 @ 1:07pm

    The story fails to mention that suspicions were first aroused by the fact the two subjects were wearing a pegleg, an eyepatch and a hook when they arrived at the theater.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jason, 26 Sep 2016 @ 1:13pm

    Something I haven't seen mentioned yet (here or in the linked original article):
    Halfway through the film, Telfer decided to leave because she found the movie to be too violent.

    “When I left the theatre I heard someone yelling behind me, ‘Sir! Sir!’ I didn’t think much of it,” said Telfer.[Emphasis added]
    In the reverse situation, if a random person behind me was calling out "Ma'am! Ma'am!" I'd probably not think anything of it either...

    Personally, if there were people in the theater watching for anyone using a cell phone and immediately escorting them out if they were, I'd consider that the best thing that has happened to moviegoing since popcorn. But when these theater "guards" are trained (such as it is?) to have the mindset that "there are pirates in this theater and you have to find them" instead of---at best---"keep your eyes open for suspicious behavior" then this kind of nonsense is only going to get worse.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      DannyB (profile), 27 Sep 2016 @ 6:42am

      Re:

      If you're going to have poorly trained people watching the movie audience for use of a cell phone, then the whole process could be made more efficient by making them snipers. Their expanded duty would be to identify anyone suspicious in the audience, and then to carry out instant justice.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Hollywood, 26 Sep 2016 @ 1:16pm

    Wanna watch movies safely? Stay home, pirates!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2016 @ 1:38pm

    "and that something on the guards’ heat sensor guns had gone off"

    Well, at least they have the technology to stop people who are really enjoying the movie.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 26 Sep 2016 @ 1:40pm

    whats nice about this??

    Sue Sony
    Sue the theater for HOLDING them, without reason or want
    Sue the 2 Men, as they were NOT representative of the police or constabulary..

    Anyone want a GOOD pile of money to retire on??

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2016 @ 2:40pm

    I see the obvious next step...

    Now that customers are being illegally detained for leaving early (it's called "forcible confinement" in Canada), the obvious next step is to go after those filthy pirates who deprive Hollywood of its rightful earnings by not seeing the movie at all.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Norahc, 26 Sep 2016 @ 2:53pm

      Re: I see the obvious next step...

      And the step after that is to start hanging all people accused of piracy from the light poles in the parking lot. After all, it worked so well with sea going pirates.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2016 @ 5:04pm

      Re: I see the obvious next step...

      They have been doing this for some time with music. You pay even though you did not buy their shit.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Sep 2016 @ 6:07am

      Re: I see the obvious next step...

      unlawful detention or something similar here in the states... and a felony if I remember correctly.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      DannyB (profile), 27 Sep 2016 @ 6:45am

      Re: I see the obvious next step...

      The penalty for not seeing the movie and depriving Hollywood income could be to force them to see, and pay for, the movie. Because they paid for being forced to see it, this would not be 'forcible confinement'.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2016 @ 2:58pm

    All these comments and nobody's mentioned Security Theatre?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 26 Sep 2016 @ 3:46pm

    Really, that's plenty

    I get it, don't go to the theaters. They don't need to keep giving me more reasons not to give them money, the ones they've already provided are plenty.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2016 @ 4:53pm

    "something on the guards’ heat sensor guns had gone off" Sounds like the TSA at work. Glad I don't fly, and I don't go to the theater. Seems Hollywood hasn't had an original idea since E.T.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2016 @ 5:56pm

    This is the experience that paying customers get, and fucktards like Whatever wonder why people feel the need to pirate. Pirate sites might give you viruses, but they sure as hell won't give you a black eye!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 26 Sep 2016 @ 11:53pm

      Re:

      It's always interesting when the usual suspects aren't jumping into comments to try and defend the actions described and/or deflect and insult instead of addressing the problem. Almost as if even they understand it's indefensible.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Sep 2016 @ 1:44am

        Re: Re:

        Give them time.

        Remember, until John Steele got his ass kicked by Otis Wright, Whatever was an ardent fan. (Not saying he's suddenly not a fan; he's just remained very, very quiet. Eerily silent...)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Dirkmaster (profile), 27 Sep 2016 @ 10:28am

    The heirarchy of Life, 20116 edition

    Cops act like Military
    Security Guards act like Cops
    Civilians act like slaves.

    Any questions? Good. Shut up slave!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Sep 2016 @ 11:46am

      Re: The heirarchy of Life, 20116 edition

      "Cops act like Military"

      No - cops dress like military...they act like mobsters.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rudyard Holmbast, 27 Sep 2016 @ 11:42pm

    Wow, these security guards are brilliant. Not only did they tackle a "pirate" who was leaving the movie, they called her "sir". Who hired these idiots?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Oct 2016 @ 12:26pm

    Guard1: this movie is shit.
    Guard2: Yeah
    Guard1: I mean like UTTER total shit, it's so crap even the homeless wouldn't come in here to get out of the rain.
    Guard2: Hmmm...that women just bought a ticket for this movie
    Guard1: Lets assault her...no WAY she's here because she enjoys this crap!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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