edited DVDs not legal anymore

10 07 2006

I have looked at a couple of companies that edit DVDs of questionable content to make them family-friendly (like CleanFlicks and CleanFilms), and I was going to try one of them on a particular movie or two.  But now the movie industry has decided there’s a “public interest” for not letting these companies edit DVDs.  It was all done legally as far as purchasing the movie, because they’d buy it on behalf of you, edit it, and then send it to you, not keeping any copies of it.

The industry said they don’t want the public misled, but that could be fixed by putting a special you-can’t-miss-it logo on the front.  The industry also claims this process causes “irreparable injury to the creative artist expression”.  I can see where they have a point in that the artist’s “expression” is being modified, although some major music labels also release edited versions of their CDs.  But I don’t agree with the “irreparable injury” part of it.

This is a David vs. Goliath type situation, although the court has ruled against David in this case.  It’s too bad, because Hollywood insists on putting questionable material in almost all of their movies.  There are a few movies that would be good except for a few words or a scene or two, and by shutting down this industry they will lose a few sales.

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2 responses

14 07 2006
Wise Old Man

This observation has much deeper implications than it might first appear. In general, all of our capitalistic society businesses have a desire to make money. That makes sense. One has to make money to stay in business. But the movie industry has made some interesting assumptions.
One of those is that to make money, a movie cannot be rated G. It must be at least PG, and preferably PG-13. Hence the essential violence/sex/foul language, even in movies whose plots require none of the above.
Another assumption is that the viewer has no imagination. Many movies made in the 30s (no, i’m not really that old) through the early 60s had scenes which suggested R rated scenes (if they had been rated), but through such subtle hints that the actual scenes would easily pass with a G rating! Today, movie makers seem afraid that if they don’t show every detail, the audience will not have enough imagination to figure out what happened. Or perhaps they are afraid that if they don’t show explicit sex and violence, the undistracted audience will realize there isn’t really any substance to the movie itself – that the only draw IS to see the gore and nudity, and hear someone spit out profanity as though it were some kind of proof of their exceptional command of the English Language. Perhaps it proves something about the writers (in)ability to express thoughts through the language, after all.
The truly unfortunate part of all this is that the box office proves that the majority of the movie going public, while perhaps not as eager to see those features of a movie as the movie makers seem to think, are certainly willing enough to pay for the privilege to see them anyhow. As long as the market is there, the movie industry will continue the supply!

18 07 2006
Beppo

Well said, old man. 🙂 I think part of the problem is that we (Americans) tend to enjoy the immoral “shock value” of entertainment. And so Hollywood has to keep making movies and TV shows worse and worse to keep the audience entertained. And this reflects on the corruptness in our culture. If we were as “religious” as we claim, we would not allow this filth into our minds.

I realize not everyone enjoys the corruption, but obviously enough people do that they keep making more. We vote with our money. While Hollywood does have an agenda in some cases, their main priority is making money. (And that’s why you see good ideas get copied over and over, like with “reality TV” and shows like American Idol.) If all the people who claim Christianity supported clean entertainment while avoiding the morally corrupt entertainment, it would make a loud statement and there would be more clean programming. We must start with ourselves on this issue — are we living what we preach, or do we gripe about the immoral movies and still watch them?

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