Photo of Movie Pirate on Drudge?

I'm looking forward to James Cameron's Avatar just like everyone else. But when I saw this photo on a Drudge Report headline about the film, I got a little upset.

Photo by John Shearer, Getty Images, 2009

Is that person in the aisle seat of the second row videotaping the movie off the screen? Am I the only one who sees this?

Never ever ever videotape a movie in the theater. That's called stealing, and it's wrong. Never ever ever encourage this kind of behavior by downloading movies off the Internet. That's stealing too, and just as wrong.

As for the guy with the pizza, I'm going to assume he asked for and received permission from the theater to bring that in. For more on food in movie theaters, listen to Dr. Diana Hsieh's Rationally Selfish Radio, Episode #10: Rules and Property Rights.

Update: It turns out that this photo was taken during a Q&A session, not a test screening. Which makes sense, because no one would ever get into a legit test screening with a video camera and a pizza. They wand you for those things. Even still, I doubt videotaping the Q&A session was a good idea, especially since the 3D glasses everyone is wearing suggest that footage was shown. The point about not videotaping or downloading movies is still valid, however. Don't do it.

Tom G Varik