Should DVDs Stores Be Allowed To Sell Edited DVDs?

This is an interesting issue that I’m curious to hear our thoughts on. Should the courts stop a couple of companies from editing objectionable content out of a DVD for viewers who want to see the movies without all the adult (nudity, sex, language, yadda yadda yadda) stuff?

Here is the basic story from Yahoo News:

Editing movies to delete objectionable language, sex and violence is an “illegitimate business” that hurts Hollywood studios and directors who own the movie rights, said U.S. District Judge Richard P. Matsch in a decision released Thursday in Denver.

“Their (studios and directors) objective … is to stop the infringement because of its irreparable injury to the creative artistic expression in the copyrighted movies,” the judge wrote. “There is a public interest in providing such protection.”

Matsch ordered the companies named in the suit, including CleanFlicks, Play It Clean Video and CleanFilms, to stop “producing, manufacturing, creating” and renting edited movies. The businesses also must turn over their inventory to the movie studios within five days of the ruling.

I’ve got to admit, I’m not 100% sure how I feel about this.

On the one hand I was happy when I saw that news. “Hell yeah”, I thought to myself. “Maintain the artistic integrity of the movies!”. And I do believe that.

On the other hand, could this be yet another example of Hollywood alienating parts of its audience? The reason these companies exist is because there is a DEMAND for these movies without the adult natured content in them. They want to watch these stories, just without the T&A.

Wasn’t this a win-win situation? The fans are happy, more DVDs are sold which makes the studios happy, and more people are enjoying the heart of the stories that the directors are telling. How did anyone lose in this situation?

As long as these “editied” dvds weren’t being passed off as the original cut of the films, and people knew what they were renting or buying… then what was the problem?

I honestly do see both sides of the argument on this. So I’m asking you guys what you think.

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75 thoughts on “Should DVDs Stores Be Allowed To Sell Edited DVDs?

  1. I think all of the aggravated young men on this website are missing the point of people with families. To say, “go make your own movie” is ignorant and flippant and obviously not a helpful suggestion. If you have children that are 10-14 years old, it is very hard to find decent movies they are interested in. They would like to watch sports and war movies but unless they want to spew profanity constantly, rated R movies aren’t an option. There are a lot of movies they haven’t been able to watch that they would have liked. Do you really want all of the little kids running around saying F… etc?
    Now Pg movies are even being released with 30 words of profanity. Hollywood needs to realize there are a lot of rich 30-something parents out there that could be spending a lot more money on their products if they listened to their needs and concerns instead of trying to impress college students with no money!!!!

  2. It seems that I am a bit late on this bandwagon, but nonetheless, I want to share my opinion. I would agree with the artistic intergrity argument if the artist actually had the copyright. In most cases, the true artists don’t hold the rights, the studios do. That is why we see endless sequels to movies that the original makers have long since moved on from. I hate it when I see a beloved movie spoiled by a needless sequel.
    On the flip side, unfortunately, not all editing companies do a great job. My friend wanted to show his parents Love Actually, but they would never approve of the nude scenes. He rented the movie from a Clean flicks type of place, but felt that too much was take out. Love Actually is one of my favorite movies of all time, but unfortunately not everyone can enjoy this great movie because it includes nudity. I for one don’t mind, but I don’t feel I should force that on another person. I would like to force the rest of this beautiful movie on others though.
    Do I feel that these companies should have the right to edit the movies, not necessarily. I would like to see studios and directors do it. That way they could do it in their way. It is interesting that in the pursuit of the dollar, these studios go the other direction and release “Unrated” versions of their flicks. The funny thing is, is that sometimes these films are no worse than the original version, they simply have footage that wasn’t in the theatrical release.
    It is interesting to bring up the Recording Industry in this debate since they have already done themselves what the movie studios will not. It is possible to buy edited versions of CD with the swearing muted. There is a market for it.
    I believe in tolerance and I feel that what you do in your own life, as long as you aren’t trying to make me do it, is your choice. If you want to watch these movies as they are, go ahead I won’t stop you. If you want to watch them edited, go ahead (as long as it’s in a legal way).
    As a somewhat sidenote, I would like to mention that I am Mormon. I don’t feel though that you have to believe the same as I do, but please allow me to keep my beliefs sacred in my own life. Religion can be a way to make life better, but it is not something that should be shoved down someone’s throat. Please allow me my right to live as I choose, and I will do the same for you.
    Please studios give us this additional option.
    Don’t force your nudity on us, we won’t force our values on you.

  3. I’ve been renting and buying edited dvds for some time now. I’ve seen most of the un-edited version, and I must say that the plot was never in jeopardy. If a scene is needed for the plot but also needs editing, they do what is needed in order to keep the integrity of the film in tact. Also, they do a MUCH better job than any television network has ever done.

    I enjoy the edited version of these films for various reasons. It may seem like just a few sware words that could be heard on tv, but it’s really not! I like that they take out the cussing… all of it. I hate hearing it on television and promptly change the chanel if I hear it. I love that these edited versions have less gore. You can’t watch a war movie without seeing battles take place and certain events occuring. You can, however, watch it and see that a missile is headed directly at the abdomen of a loved character WITHOUT seeing that it went straight through him, his guts all fell out and he was still alive for 10 minutes longer feeling all the pain and seeing his own intestines all over the ground. Do you see my point?

    If anyone has ever seen an edited version, you’d see that the integrity of the film in not in question. They allow you to see what is happening without having to see all the gorey details. You can tell that a couple had sex without watching soft pornography with your kids in the room.

    I think it’s wonderful that someone decided they wanted to be able to watch the same movies as everyone else but without having to watch all the garbage involved. I love that they made these edited versions available for those willing to search for them. I sincerly hope that it shows Hollywood that people don’t want to see these things and then maybe they’ll either quit making things so gruesome to begin with, or maybe they’ll make an edited version available on the dvd, like a special edition.

  4. I haven’t read all of the comments yet, but as for the ones I have read – I don’t understand what all of the hoopla is about! So what if some people want to see things edited – let them! How in the world does it affect you? You still have your full version! They aren’t asking you to destroy your copy or even asking you to view the edited version. They just want theirs edited…like the movies on an airplane. Why can’t the airplane versions be made available to the general public? Then, whoever chooses to purchase it can, or if you want the unedited version you can purchase that. It should be as simple as that!

  5. My husband and I don’t watch half the stuff out there because we’re not interested in the trash. What an awesome alternative to be able to watch the same movie without the garbage. Hollywood is losing out if they don’t allow people to do this.

  6. “The line about the “trail of dog pee that looks like a river” was cut completely, with losing the implication of it.”

    I meant “withOUT losing the implication of it.”

  7. I think if a movie is to be edited, it should be done by the original studio, with the original filmmakers’ input and cooperation. I am not against edited versions, as long as they maintain the integrity of the original.

    I’ve seen Ghostbusters on television a few times and I noticed in order to get around the frequent profanity in that movie, they simply replace the line in question with an alternate, more TV-friendly take. This is a great idea, becuase then you’re not tied down by this whole character maying one line and mouthing another, or really bad voice-over work. Plus, it implies studio involvement. The studio made those takes available because they felt they were still effective in their excecution, but they were the less vulgar versions the networks needed.

    Disney does this with some of their mid-90s live-action movies, back when Disney’s PG-rated movies had a rough edge to them. I remember seeing Honey, I Shrunk The Kids on the Disney Channel once and the line “We’re all the size of boogers” was replaced with the same actor saying “What does it look like? We’re all the size of bugs!” The line about the “trail of dog pee that looks like a river” was cut completely, with losing the implication of it.

    New Line was releasing videos a while back of edited versions of some of their PG13-rated movies. I remember seeing videos of The Mask and Blast From The Past that were “edited for family viewing.”

    As far as someone else cutting these movies and selling/renting them, I can see where the studios would be upset about this. Aside from the content side, basically what people are doing is buying a copy from the studio, and then reselling the movie with no benefit to the studio. Granted, store sell used DVDs all the time now, but they’re still selling them unaltered. I think the studio has a right to battle these edited copies, but should take it as a sign that there may be a market for studio- and filmmaker-approved edited versions of some of their movies.

  8. “While these films are the property of the studios, when you purchase a film, you are allowed to make a single copy, are you not?”

    I’m not sure we are allowed to make even personal copies, many things we buy, software, movies, music we don’t actually own at all. If you read the small print they are actually licensed to us, although we have the physical disc we do not own the content in anyway and actually have no right to alter, transfe, copy or anything else other than is stated in the licence.

  9. Wild Bill–

    With all due respect, I counter.

    While these films are the property of the studios, when you purchase a film, you are allowed to make a single copy, are you not?

    Keep in mind, please- these stores are not selling copied movies. They have a 1:1 ratio, the original and it’s edited copy. If people would like the business to edit a movie they can own in their own private library, the individual is required to purchase the original film, whereupon the business makes the edit. I’m not sure where that’s illegal or immoral?

    Is it illegal or imooral for me to turn away from the screen? If not, then why is it immoral for me to permanently take that out of the film I view? It’s still out there in it’s original glory to be seen unedited.

    As for rights: You just argued it’s the studio property- so how do film makers rights play into it? I suppose on an artistic level you’re correct- it is their right. But why not let that be decided (or, since it’s the property of the studio, letting the studio decide), instead of this kneejerk “It’s all wrong”. And that’s what is perplexing. The studios are capital driven organizations. While shrouded in copyright, this is cash driven. It’s all bottom line.

    Lastly, we’re not talking about allowing small animals to be killed by stilleto here. Studios can make this easy and simply see the need and fill it- just like the music industry and Apple did with iTunes in the wake of MP3 copyright issues. Take advantage of the demand, don’t squash it (let me also add that not all films can be edited and retain impact. Saving Private Ryan, Unbreakable, etc. are films designed to shock by design).

    Anyway. Good discussion.

  10. I haven’t the time to read all of the postings above, but I want to sum up some important points.
    The movies are the property of the studios.
    Period.
    I can not buy a studio authorized copy of Star Wars from the store, burn more copies, and sell them unless I have the studios (or distributors) permission to do so. I most certainly cannot buy a copy, edit it to suit my taste, and resell it. All arguments about the Mona Lisa and movies edited for TV (done under contract with the studio, remember) are irrelevant to this basic fact.
    Also, remember these companies SUED THE STUDIOS FIRST, trying to force the studios to let them do this, to force a court ruling to give them permission.
    These stores are wrong by any ethical standards, and are clouding the basic issue with talk of “morals” and “market need”
    BULL.
    IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT DON’T BUY IT WATCH IT OR LISTEN TO IT.

    I know a great many people who will not watch theatrical movies on TV due to the cuts, (some for content, others for time) that are made. And because of this editing, there are some movies that will likely never be shown on TV because the owner of the film doesn’t want to give permission to have his/her work cut up. That is their right.
    If Leonardo was alive he would have the right to have his work restricted from being shown in any particular venue simply because he doesn’t want it shown there, EDITED or NOT.

    Market forces? More BULL.
    There is a market for videos of women in heels stomping small animals. Do we allow that because of the market pressure, or do we behave as a civilized society should and not allow the killing of small animals for sick entertainment?

    Wild Bill

  11. While some of these retailers don’t stock the “Orignial” version, I think it again goes back to the whole point John is making: Blockbuster is still out there. Hollywood Video is still out there. Best Buy, WalMart– you name it: all other venues are open to view the original pice of work. The viewer is well aware of the fact they’re watching an edited film. This isn’t a heist foisted on an unsuspecting public.

    In short, no one is walking into Clean Flicks looking for the Director’s Cut of Basic Instinct 2.

  12. Here in lies the problem John, I fully respect an individual‚Äôs right to watch what they wish. But Lets face it in these stores that don’t agree with the “Bad stuff”, they will not be stocking any other version. For me it‚Äôs a much bigger picture than “Sex and violence”, that‚Äôs the Trojan horse, because no one is going to argue that it‚Äôs right for kids to see this stuff. Some cuts will alter the original work hugely, everyone is concentrating on one pair of tits or a few bad words and of course that may well not alter the theme of the work, but there will be cuts that will hugely alter the message behind a movie, book, and news article. There are many times when what “they” don’t show you makes all the difference. The biggest lies often don’t rely on adding anything; they work simply by omitting something. The reason we defend the right of bigots to speak is not because most sensible people want to hear what they have to say it‚Äôs to prevent erosion of things we do value, once you open the door to censorship it’s not something easily closed.

    If the studios decide to make Cleaner versions themselves eradicating just those things deemed excessive sex and violence and those cuts are published, while I might laugh at the people who want it, I would not have a problem. I how ever do have a huge problem with independent censors selling or lending goods. If you edit a book or Movie for your own personal use (I.e. maker pen) and don’t pass it on to anyone else I have no problem with that at all.

    Also there is a huge difference between public and private consumption. TV, radio, wearing an offensive t-shirt in public, using bad language in a restaurant and the resulting consensual public censorship is a different issue. TV for instance is beamed into your home, you can change the channel, but a family could accidentally catch a snippet of something they do not wish to view. DVD is not beamed into your home; you can’t accidentally watch it, you have time to make an informed decision before you watch.

    Just my opinion though, I can see parts of the argument for it as well.

  13. Hey there Bullet in the head

    Again I have to bring this up. But the reasons I don’t think you’re point is applicable here (and you DO raise a good point), is because we’re not talking about altering the original work.

    We’re not talking about someone who wants to edit what YOU see.

    We’re not talking about a group that want to change how the studio makes their movies.

    We’re only talking about what a certain group of people want editied for what THEY ALONE see. No one esle… not effecting you or me… just for themselves.

    Let’s look at the book senario… you ask how far is too far. I say… NOTHING IS TOO FAR if it’s just for me and not efecting anyone else.

    If I buy a book, and it’s mine… then if I want to take a black marker and strike out all the adult language and sex out of a book, then that’s my right. It’s not effecting you or anyone else.

    So why not for movies?

    Studios already put out diferent versions all the time:

    – Regular
    – Director’s Cut
    – Unrrated Version

    So why the hell not just add:

    – TV safe version

  14. Would it still be OK, if it was books?

    It’s not artistic expression which is necessarily the problem for me, it’s the setting of precedent that will see individuals given the right to censor and alter works as they see fit.

    Sure there are lots of examples you can give where taking out one bad word does not effect a movie, but once you allow this whose to say how far people will go, how do you determine what is too far?

  15. For all the money is claiming it’s losing by pirating, don’t you you think they could recoup some of it by offering two or three versions of the same flick at a time, as the demand calls for it? Don’t you think it would make great business sense to have options for parents who, say, are actually doing their job when they rent the cleaner versions for a family movie night? Don’t you think if adults are into the full monty experience, there should be that choice, too? And don’t you think that there should be a version for adults who don’t mind a few salty words and no nudity or violence, as well as one for those who hate salty words but are okay with a bit of violence and nudity? Tolerance comes down to choices, doesn’t it? You either chose to tolerate something by watching the movie, or you chose to not to by walking out on the movie in the cinema or turning it off at home on tv or you just don’t rent the movie at all from the store.

    Am I the only one who thinks this way?

  16. I’m an offender.

    I visit and rent from these edited movie locations. Watched “Underworld 2” edited. Frankly, sans Speedman/Beckinsale humpfest 2006, I didn’t miss a thing. I saw “Passion of the Christ” edited, and it was still a difficult and blood soaked viewing.

    Studios, as usual, are shortsighted here. There is a HUGE market (even more so if they excercise control, shut these stores down and fill the void) for edited content. A store buys one or two copies of a film to be rented by hundreds of people. If studios made a PG-13 version available, they would get thousands of purchases from that film instead of one or two.

    I suppose you could argue artistic integrity, but are people ruining artistic integrity when they look away from a gruesome scene? Skip a scene of graphic content? You have that choice– and that’s what this boils down to: choice. You still have the choice on which version to watch.

    The bottom line is this: these films would get out to a broader audience and make more money. It’s obvious with the success of these editing businesses (Flicks, etc.)– Hollywood would be wise to adapt and make money rather than fight and lose revenue.

    John nailed it- those saying “you can’t” are eliminating choice. Those saying “Why not?” are allowing it. With the question of “why not?”– Everyone wins.

  17. This is something that, when I heard about it, I was actually pretty upset to hear.. and for a couple of reasons.

    (1) I wanted to use one of the services.

    (2) I care about the artists integrity as much as the next guy, but removing a sex scene(a) or a swear word(b) or even a little bit of violence(c) doesn’t have to kill the movie.

    Here are my reasons:

    (1) Love Actually: A great movie, but there was one story that just didn’t fit with the rest, and I wanted a version of the movie that didn’t include that story. Life as a House: A movie with a pretty great message about change and living your life, because you don’t know how long you’re going to have to do so.. I watched this with a group of people after a youth group meeting (I’m 25, I help out with the youth group. i.e. I am Catholic (and that does mean I’m a Christian.)); well, we skipped a few scenes in the movie, and let me tell you, the overall message of the movie was not lost on a single one of us.. in fact, none of the story was lost, and that is what I feel is important. If we’re going to skip those scenes anyway, can we not just edit them out ourselves.. and in fact, if we can’t afford the software and equipment to do so, can we not have someone else, that can afford it, do so for us?

    (2) (a)In older movies, for a sex scene, the door would close and morning would come and you knew what happened.

    (b)Swearing isn’t necessary, and I believe that it not only sounds crude, but it makes the user sound like an idiot. Now I’ve just insulted many people here, but I mean no offense.. I don’t mean the person is an idiot, I mean they SOUND like one. If I were to re-write this comment and add the f-word before key words for emphasis alone, the post could be both a lot longer, and my point might be lost amongst the cursing (despite the fact that I am okay with the censoring). If such swearing were the case: you would all have to first read what I said, and then you’d have to edit the swearing out in your mind, so you knew what I was saying. Common usage of the english language has faltered much since more and more people started tossing in swear words for practically anything. A little vocabulary increase couldn’t hurt, and if you cut out the swearing, you find that there are more words that are more suitable for situations. I just got myself way off track, but I hope that you can understand what I’m saying.. I mean no insult, just to defend what I’m saying.. and if you don’t get it, just read any books by J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, etc. Many of their books aren’t even fifty years old, yet many have a problem, not only understanding the language, but grasping what they’re saying in their works. Anyway, saying another word in place of a swear word can get the point across in a more effective and understandable way by both or all parties involved.

    (c) With violence.. sometimes violence goes to the extreme.. plus there are many different forms of violence. But for an example of violence that doesn’t need to be seen, I’m going to bring up two things to make my point.

    One: a Graphic Novel called “Origin.” For those that don’t know, it’s the origin of Wolverine. In this graphic novel, pardon the spoilers, you find that a character has been beaten by his father. The first panel was of the angry father, the next a broken beer bottle. The next few panels are just drawings from the outside, and the text was the screaming pleas of the child.

    Two: In the movie “Signs” you hear a dog barking, and as we slowly zoom into a wall, you hear the dog whimper and then suddenly silence.

    Both are effective ways of showing violence without actually seeing it, because your mind can be a far better place to imagine what is happening, and in both cases, the artist’s intent was for you to do just that, and in both cases you are given the option to NOT think about what is happening. You can also tell from once scene to the next what has happened to a person with good editing where violence isn’t shown. The Shawshank Redemption, one of my all time favorite movies, has plenty of violence in it, that I feel is necessary to the story, but if it were edited, I wouldn’t miss some of those shots.. simple sound effects or allusions or storytelling is enough to let me know what is happening, without having everything spoon-fed to me. When Andy Dufresne is being attacked by the Sisters in the film, there are a few times when we see the attacks, but we don’t need all the gory details, so some shots are just Andy walking with fresh bruising on his face. When we see a man shoot himself, we never actually see it happen: we see him put the gun to his neck, and we see glass break and hear the gun shot.. we only THINK we see it happen, because of how it was edited.

    Anyway, that’s my take on the whole thing. I think that closing those companies is something of a mistake, because it doesn’t hurt the viewer that probably already owns the movie in the form they already want to see, and it helps viewers that actually want to see the movie, but don’t really want to see the other stuff, to get some glimpse of the artist’s intent. (Widescreen vs. “Fullscreen” debate, anyone? Plus, which artist’s intent is it.. the writer’s? director’s? editor’s? studio’s? Sometimes the studio makes cuts against the director’s will.. sometimes a writer requests his name be removed from the credits.. anyway, that’s just another side of the same die (as a coin cannot have that many sides).

  18. Woohoo its about fucking time I agreed with something you said John, very well put man, you hit the nail on the head, thats exactly what I was trying to say….only better.

    nord

  19. Hey JohnIan,

    Dude… I totlaly see what you’re saying. However there is one misconception in your statements that I’m just pointing out here…

    Here are two of your quotes:

    “I see groups of people, ALWAYS religious organizations with either the word or acronym of ‚ÄúFamily‚Äù and or ‚ÄúChildren‚Äù telling me I shouldn‚Äôt watch something.”

    And:

    “You give this group the ability to edit what YOU see.”

    Here’s the problem. In this situation, no one is trying to edit what YOU or I see. No one in this situation is trying to censor anything YOU OR I watch. If this issuse had ANYTHING to do with censorship, then dude I’d be right there ranting with you. BUT…

    This has nothing to do with what you or I see and watch. This is about groups of people who just want to edit what THEY THEMSELVES watch. It doesn’t effect you or me in the slightest.

    They aren’t asking to have all DVDs edited. All they want is the OPTION available to them for themselves.

    That doesn’t effect you or I in the least.

    Now here’s a provoking question. If we tell these people “Screw you, watch the movies the way we say you should watch them or don’t watch them at all” then arent’ WE DOING THE EXACT SAME THING THAT YOU JUST ACCUSED THEM OF DOING?

    Arent’ we saying to them “No choices for you. No alternatives for you. Even though it doesn’t effect me in the least, or efect how movies are actually made in the least… you either watch that gratuitous Halle Berry Tits shot in Swordfish or don’t watch it at all”.

    Because I would find that really hypocritical of us.

    But once again, if this was about someone trying to tell me what i can and can not watch… then I’d be right there with ya buddy

  20. I dont think companies should be aloud to edit movies then sell them or rent them.

    Clean Flicks out here in Utah buys one copy, then edits it. Then sells and rents their versions. You can buy their edited version and then they CLAIM to destroy the original. Yeah right. If you ask them for the original they wont give it to. If these companies were on the up and up they would sell you the edited and original together. You can however give them your store bought copy and for $15 plus dollars they will edit it for you.

    When I hear it infringes on artistic integrity, give me a break. Most of what comes out of Hollywood has nothing to do with art or integrity. Nude scenes and graphic violence are rarely done in the interest of the story. But to sell tickets to those who want to see the latest hotties rear. And lets be honest, no one is crying about artistic integrity when those ‘naughty’ movies are edited and run on TNT TBS or USA 10 hours at a time.

    Most ‘artist’ don’t even get to give input on final cut. Its focus groups and execs. Should those companies be aloud to sell edited versions…NO. Should Hollywood in the interest of expanding their audience sell their own ‘clean flicks’….YES.

  21. This is one of those topics that get me pisses off.

    The things is I get hot and bothered and have things to do, by the time I get the time to write, I’ve pretty much spent my rage and say, “fuck it”.

    Ok. I‚Äôve tried not to think about it. Put it out, I‚Äôll want some energy later. First off, let me address Brandon…

    I have never had any desire to watch NASCAR, it’s a bunch of guys who drive real fast in a circle (oval-whatever), a lot. What the point, lame. But I understand that there are real fans for this thing. Should I be at a rally? No. I don’t belong there. This is for other people, I’m bothered by the repetition of it all.

    Movies such as “Scarface” are intended for mature viewers. The topics and language expresses the notion beautifully. If you are offended by that, all right. Then this movie, is not for you. The argument that an edited version airs on TV is moot. The sole reason is because of the FCC, you can’t air programing that contains harsh words or graphic visuals. If these rules were not in effect, BELIEVE ME they would air the unmodified feature.

    A friend of mine, Daryl was all happy and excited about the V-Chip. I was and still am a bit bothered by it (what happen to the days of parents, monitoring what their kids did Рor people having the ability to actually use the Off switch??). He was expecting that in a few years, networks would finally air nudity and all the ingredients of R rated materials. People will turn on their chip and the rest of us would finally be set free. Nope. He recently showed me a program that aired on Japanese TV on prime-time. I was surprised, very. He then got disappointed that the rest of the world understands some things are meant for adults, some not. Why is it so hard to understand. Cartoons are for kids. Hentai is not. There isn’t any kind of confusion here. But we live in a world where zero tolerance is acceptable, instead of looking at situations in a case by case basis.

    I see groups of people, ALWAYS religious organizations with either the word or acronym of “Family” and or “Children” telling me I shouldn’t watch something. Jacket Jackson had her nipple exposed. Big fuckin’ deal. Is that exposed breasts going to implode your existence??? Guess what, I have nipples too so do you. It really says a lot about your state of mind that a tit will utterly demolish your reality. The same can go for gays. How does two girls or guys want to get married effect your world? The answer is squat.

    1138 is correct. It sets a precedent. You give this group the ability to edit what you see. What they feel isn’t correct. Here’s two examples. The Lady Justice statute. Our former Attorney General, John Ashcroft had the statue covered up because her breast is bare. How many administrations has that effigy for justice and fairness stood without anyone giving a second thought about her nudity? Here in California, a statue of a mermaid was getting some folks wrangled up. Same deal. The same mess has happen to the Statue of David.

    To be honest I’ve become less and less tolerant to religion. I wish the world had more people like the character of Father Francis J. Mulcahy from “M.A.S.H.”. I liked him. Faith and common sense with the latter taking precedence. The world isn’t black and white, never was never will be. He understood that.

    Yes, I’m being an ass. It bothers me, pandering to a group of people who want, nay demand censorship. Don’t let pretty words persuade you. It’s censorship. The same with their war on porn. It’s not about curbing it, no it’s about making it illegal (since it’s immoral). To downright forbid it to exist, because it doesn’t relates their faith.

    It all comes down to this. You have as your creator given you, senses. You have the ability to use them. So USE them. Don’t listen to music/podcasts that insult or offends you. Don’t watch movies or
    television that distresses you. Don’t visit websites that anger you. Use your power of self edit.

    I‚Äôm still pissed of at at two seconds. The American release of ‚ÄúDawn Of The Dead‚Äù has digital blood on a windscreen inserted to cover a topless woman. Let me get this straight… it‚Äôs bad to show a topless woman, but seeing people getting eaten alive, torn to pieces and disemboweled is all right?

    Ok. Let’s break it down. My problems is that these people are doing the edits without the permission of the artists and or studios. If there was such a thing, I can imagine that some directors would have a stipulation in their contract, no Christian version.

    A good example is the “Pirates”. http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=17868 (don’t copy and paste if you’re not over 18!). The adult video, winner of nearly every AVN (Adult Video News) award there is coming once again to DVD as R rated movie Рall the sex scenes edited out. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FMGTNU/002-2042411-7107237?v=glance&n=130

    What Digital Playground did is fine. They wanted a new market and was ok with cutting up their film. If studios want that too, sure fine. There is a big distinction.

  22. Hey John,

    TV is addressed in the earlier version.

    But I will add that when studios or directors do their own edits they do not destroy the integrtity of the product. In some cases they will actually shoot alternate scenes for movies to be aired on TV.

    These other companies edit these material they have a tendency to butcher them and remember these edits are not supervised or done under any guidelines so any edits can and are capable of being harmful to the product.

    And if the poduct is edited and released in a form that is worse or even embarrasing that is a poor relflection on the studio.

    And that the studio does not want.

  23. It’s not Blockbuster Video ‘editing’ films for clean, Lil. They would be the very last video rental/sales chain to do so. Back in the mid to late 90’s, nearly half the shelves were loaded with ‘erotic thrillers’. Now, it’s just bad exploitation.

  24. I think the court made the right decision. To me, editing these is like cutting out parts of a book because someone finds them offensive. If folks want to see these edited movies, they should just watch the TV version. I’m not sure I agree with some company going in and deciding what is and isn’t objectionable.

  25. *cough*Blockbusters*cough* The mormons who own that chain have been censoring movies for years! And not just in the USA. Here in Canada, too. I saw it with my own eyes on a long trip from Toronto to Ottawa in a Greyhound. Imagine how pissed I was when I saw that Grannie’s middle finger was blurred as they drove down the LA freeway on their way into town. I was stunned and offended by this. It was shown on a bus that left the depot after 9 pm. There was no need to show this version. I asked the driver what happened to the movie, and he told me that’s the way they come from Blockbusters when they sign them out, and they have always done this. At first I thought it was a target audience issue until someone I know who works in film rentals told me it was actually a religious thing with that particular company. “Fuck!” I screamed.

    Okay, as someone who worked for tv and had an office beside someone who was employed to alter films for time constraints only, let me tell you something: when a network options the rights to broadcast, part of that license agreement is that they can alter films for airing on tv due to any number of television regulations as well as time constraints so all the advertisers who paid good money to keep the network afloat can get their promotin’ on.

    What none of you are realising or thinking about are the tv regulations. The CRTC as well as the FCC regulate the broadcasters up the ass till they bleed on basic and low tier cable because none of these networks have actual paying customers like Showcase, Showtime, HBO and Comedy Central do. They can do what they like because the gov’t doesn’t support them, nor do advertisers. It’s all subscriptions from the viewers.

    As for the issue of who should do the editing in the rental arena, my thinking is that any film should be made available when possible with both versions specifically labelled with which content it does or does not do. If film distributors are smart (and very few are) they would put out as many versions as possible to get as many sales as possible. And they only people who should be doing any of the editing are the producers and directors themselves in addition to tv broadcasters who need content to fit into their schedules and to match their content mandates as the regulations deem proper and appropriate. If a director doesn’t want their film edited or censored, he or she shouldn’t strive to have their film sold to a distributor who will then in turn sell it to a broadcaster. It’s that simple.

  26. I totally agree Lou, the only way I watch movies on TV is by accident, flipping through channels, see something I liked, watch it until

    A- a commercial fucking interupts and I sigh and change the channel

    or

    B- I hear/see the word “shoot” instead of “shit”, then BAM Im gone

    nord

  27. BTW – who watches movies that are televised anymore? Can’t stand the A/V quality, the station watermarks, and all the damn commercials.

  28. brandon I am not attacking you or mocking you but you just gave a perfect example of what confuses me about christians. you say you wanted to watch scarface but didn’t want to have to hear the swearing or see any sex yet the fact that film is filled with extreme violence didn’t bother you at all?
    guys getting shot, attacked by chainsaws etc etc….scenes of taking life are fine yet seeing people in the act of making life is a problem?

    I am really not trying to be a jerk I am generally curious as to why christians get so bothered with sex yet violence seems to be fine?

  29. “I don’t see why the movie studios wouldn’t just make the airplane versions of the movies available for rental/sale to the general public”

    The airplane versions are notorious not just for removing language, violence and nudity, but whole chunks of scenes to fit a time frame and it’s in full frame at that. Most directors take thier names off the airline versions…even films that were rated PG or PG 13 in the theatres.

  30. “Six: The Mark Unleashed”. One of the few films in which you will see a cameo by the supermodel Sung Hi Lee…with her clothes on. But it’s kind of funny you bring that film up: Eric Roberts also does a cameo, his character, having refused the Mark Of The Beast, is killed off…but before that happens his character has this “underground DVD” scam going on. He wants his unedited version of ‘Braveheart”.

    Gosh, never thought I’d say Sung Hi Lee and ‘Braveheart’ in the same paragraph, but there you go.

    Anyway…on to the subject at hand:

    I am not a big fan of editing down films to ‘clean them up’. I am, however, a strong advocate of common sense. There were times when filmmakers did a take for theatres/video, and then the ‘cover’ take which would show up on TV. A classic example is “Blade Runner”, where Rutger Hauer’s Roy Batty confronts Tyrell. In the movie version, he says, “I want more life, fucker”. TV: “I want more life, father”. Oddly, the TV version works better in context of story, but ‘fucker’ makes Batty into more of a threatning force. Then again, this was all before the f word has been de-sensitized and no longer a part of shock value.

    I am not a liberal; but I feel that personally, and I think Brian De Palma’s ‘Scarface’ was brung up- just aired yesterday on AMC- sometimes dubbed or muted profanity can cause a dramatic performance to be more corny than it should be. I’m not sure what the appeal is, the performances are now watered down. I’m not approving of some of the choices some of the filmmakers make, but you know what? If I want to see an action film, someone’s got to throw a punch or fire a gun.

    I can understand where those wanting “clean” come from. Profanity in movies is not always needed; people can express themselves in other ways. Also, after a long day where you may hear nothing but foul language at work, do you really want to hear it at home on your TV set?

    There are other movies to see and choose from.
    Don’t rent John Woo’s “The Killer” and then tell me you want the gunplay out of there.
    It does not work like that.

  31. I’m sure that many people are familiar with the classic Da-Da style painting of Mona Lisa with the handelbar moustache, no? It’s a shame that many readers of this site evidently think that such a work is somehow morally unjustified and shouldn’t exist. There is no other conclusion that I can draw from some of these arguments.

  32. Also remember that anything the studios say about “artistic integrity” or “preserving the director’s vision” is just a smoke screen. The movie studios are more than happy to compromise “art” for the sake of a dollar.

    Case in point: lots of folks don’t realized that one of the big reasons we have so much profanity in American films is to get a ‘R’ rating. Over the past decade, the ‘R’ movie has become the most profitable type of movie–a pretty significant shift, given that the PG was the most profitable type for years. Thanks to the MPAA rating system, the appearance of certain word guarantees an ‘R’ rating, so an easy way for studios to get that rating is simply to coarsen up the language. Remove some of the vulgar language, and you’d have a PG movie.

    The studios know this. They deliberately have the directors/writers insert additional foul language in their scripts not because of ‘artistic integrity’, not because it makes sense for the characters or for the scenes, but because they think that ‘R’ rating will appeal to more movie goers.

  33. I’ve been recently wondering why a DVD can’t have the option of an edited version on the disc. You can find DVDs that add special content, why can’t the same idea be used to cut it out. Make it menu option.

    If I’m watching Matrix Reloaded by myself let’s let the good times roll, if I want to watch ti while my kids are around give me an “edited for TV” option in a menu.

    PS, the Matrix is probably a poor example but it’s the first thing that came to mind.

  34. My two cents:

    (1) The “cleanflix” rental places shouldn’t edit content without the consent of the IP owners, in this case the movie studios. That said…

    (2)…I don’t see why the movie studios wouldn’t just make the airplane versions of the movies available for rental/sale to the general public. Those versions have been cleaned up because obviously the airplanes can’t predict the ages of all their passengers, and they don’t want to have to deal with angry parents who are stuck on a long flight with their six year old being shown “A History of Violence”.

    A long time ago (long ago to where I can’t find the article archived online, alas), Premiere magazine did a short article about one of the first–it might even have been THE first–Christian/family viewing video rental/sales store in Utah that was doing this sort of editing. The store started out as just a regular video store, but they had a high demand for “clean” versions of popular films. The owners told Premiere that the only reason the started editing films themselves to offer to their customers was because they couldn’t persuade the movie studios to let them buy the airplane versions. The studios gave some lame excuse about artistic integrity, but that doesn’t stop them from offering the airplane versions or the “edited-for-TV” versions.

    To me, the whole thing is just like the unauthorized MP3/file-sharing problem: rather than saying, “Hm, maybe there’s a market for these so-called ‘clean’ edits? Let’s do a little research and see if we can make money offering the airplane versions to this audience”, the movie studios are instead doing like the record labels and just taking people to court.

  35. I think this is a symptom of the larger issue of people wanting more control over their entertainment. When the Supreme Court ruled on obscenity (I’ll know it when I see it), it allowed each community to define its own standards for decency.

    One of the functions of the MPAA is their ratings system which (supposedly) these communities yield their discretion to. Otherwise, the studios would be forced to create one edit for Alabama and one for California, etc. which would raise the cost of distributing films astronomically.

    What I see is each community wanting to share in the collective experience of film watching but now wanting to control it as well. If the studios were to find a way to address these needs at a profit, I’m sure we will see many versions of films on the market. We see it now with director cuts, special editions, ultimate editions, anniversary editions and unrated versions on DVDs.

    Where this argument runs afoul is that most of these “clean” companies do not have permission from the copyright holder (the studio, not the director) to alter the film. That the court ruling cited above has decided that such alteration does not fall under fair use doctrine.

    Bear in mind, few directors have final cut on their films. The studio ultimately owns the project and decides how it will be shown. If a large enough block of people say “we want clean versions of films” and can prove it with their $$$, we will see clean versions of films.

    Should the studios give permission? Why should they? They can do it themselves and they will when “clean” versions prove to be a new revenue stream.

    Isaac

  36. Sounds like these are companies that are side-stepping the studios and the directors and just doing it themselves.

    I think there needs to be arrangements made that involve the studios and directors.

    I know they already manufacture “edited” versions of movies for sale in the bigger retail chains (best buy and walmart). They should just deal in these and get the studio behind the process 100%

    It sounds like these companies in question in the lawsuit are just taking one master of a film, editing the bad stuff out and reselling multiple copies of their version of the film without giving the studio it’s cut. I could be wrong. But if i am not, then they deserve what they got.

  37. bullet: There is not necessarily hypocrisy at work. Because I may wish to provide a cleaner version of a film for my children to view doesn’t mean I have a problem with the unclean version.

    Some films contain unnecessary profanity in which a simple snip and you’ve got yourself a more family-friendly film. Some films have truckloads of profanity and would be completely neutered without it – I’m thinking of Midnight Run. Boy that Dennis Farina can swear. Poetry.

    Here’s a simple example: Beetlejuice. With the exception of one f-bomb (in a PG movie mind you), this movie is a great Halloween treat for families. A better example would be Casper, which was produced specifically for families, was also PG, and contains the rhymes-with-witch word. In both cases a simple snip doesn’t hurt the integrity of the film.

  38. Perhaps, John, the studios have some sort of contractual exclusivity clause that allows only broadcast television to show edited versions of films. Or better yet, maybe studios want networks to think they are getting something unique in order to maximize that revenue source. I’m just thinking in print. I have nothing to back up these theories. I still think the studios should jump on board and provide squeaky clean edits if there’s $$$ to be made.

  39. Hey John.

    Well I am not familiar with how much films are edited in North America, although I have visited a few times I spent my time seeing the country and not watching TV. There for I have to talk from a UK perspective and in the UK there are clear guidelines for what can be shown at a certain time. Most TV channels don’t want to edit films so they show them after the watershed (9pm as a general rule here). How ever very popular films may be shown earlier and may then suffer slight edits if they are on mainstream TV channels (Dedicated movie channels don’t seem to do this much). Usually this is done more for the fact that children are awake watching TV so parents have a rough guideline rather than any moral stance. No matter what political or religious persuasion you are most people agree there are things which are for adults only and young children should not be exposed to them. Most people in the UK would rather a film was shown later than it be shown earlier and cut. The TV channels have even challenged the board that regulates this here when asked to edit films such as Reservoir Dogs or Pulp fiction (I can’t remember which it was) after the watershed (It was on BB2 at 9.30). The fact is for the most part they are reacting to clear guidelines that apply to all TV channels here and it’s not just arbitrary. I think most of the channels would not show a film if its integrity would be destroyed by too many cuts. British DVD labels have even held off releasing films on DVD when they feel the BBFC cuts would destroy the integrity of the film, an example would be Arts Magic who choose not to release the Angel Guts series here when the BBFC demanded what was in their opinion excessive cuts.

    I would say simply because there is a market for something that is not always an argument for producing it. There are lots of very dubious things there is a market for I don’t suppose I need to go into them.

    … And other thing either something is the profit of sin or its not, if such things are so sinful why would you be buying and renting movies even in the “Clean” form when you know the money is going towards making more “filth”. That strikes me as very hypocritical.

  40. John,

    I think with the issue of films that are edited for TV, usually those edits are done by the studio or the director themselves. Also, those edited versions, at least here in the states, are almost never available for rental or purhase.

    As for whether or not the studios or directors should be giving permission to these companies who want to re-edit their films to make them more family friendly… personally, I think they shouldn’t… if the director or studio wanted to make a more family friendly version of said film available, then they probably would have done such an edit themselves.

    For example, Mel Gibson did exactly that when he re-edited THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, toning down the violence so that younger and more sensitive viewers would be able to see it.

    Anyway, that’s my take on it…

  41. Hey Bullet in the Head,

    Once again I have to ask the question that no one seems to be addressing here… THEN WHAT ABOUT TV??? They show edited versions of films on TV all the time. Is that “wrong” too?

    Everyone seems to understand it because they’re making it available to a wider audience. So why no DVDs as well as long as they’re CLEARLY labeld as such?

    I’m not saying I’m on one side or the other here… but NO ONE seems to be addressing this.

    Cheers guys!

    ~John

  42. If there is a demand for it and people want it, I have no issue. As long as the edited version is clearly marked as such and not passed off as being the true cut, let the studios go for it.

    One does have to question the sensibilities of the people that want to watch a butchered piece of work though.

  43. A while ago I rented a movie called Six: The Mark Unleashed, being from the UK Christian propaganda movie are not something we know much about and as the film was not marked as such I rented it believing it to be a low budget sci-fi. It turns out it was hardcore Christian propaganda disguised as an everyday film. I personally found this sickening. So should I be able to re-edit this film leaving the sci-fi elements and removing its intended religious message? Thus destroying the filmmaker’s original vision and producing what I deem a clean movie?

    Personally I say no, I should just not watch Christian propaganda movies, just as moral guardians and hardcore Christians should just not watch films they deem unclean. Sometimes nudity and bad language accurately express a situation to remove them is to present something false.

  44. I think they should make a seperate “Rental Only” PG-13 version of something, as a trial just to see if there is an actual market for this.

    I personally understand both sides of the argument. Artists don’t want to be censored, but sex and titties aren’t for everybody.

    Also, from a business point of view..this could actually make the studios a ton of money.

  45. This remind me of people who buy veggie burgers that are flavored like meat. Either you want the real thing, a good R or PG-13 rated movie with some cursing, shooting, tits and ass or you don’t. Plus if studios are going to nail ordinary people downloading movies on the internet they sure as hell better go after these people who are making money off of editing their films, and thusly destroying the copyright.

  46. I’m going to take a Bill O’Reilly approach here:

    1. Studios aren’t losing money over this. In fact, they are making more money and since movies are a business, that’s a good thing.

    2. As pointed out by others, no censorship exists as long as the “dirty” original is available.

    3. This is not about artistic integrity. Studios make creative choices for commercial reasons all the time, either editing for television or to get a PG-13 rating. Using artistic integrity smacks of hypocrisy.

    Here’s where I play Bill O’Reilly (don’t get mad, I’m just tossing out an idea I’d like to see where it lands): This is about Hollywood shoving their opposing value system down our throats!

    Like it or not, this is the kind of thing right-wing pundits pounce on and spin.

    Go ahead and tear me apart now. I can take it!

  47. Hey 1138,

    You misunderstood me. This is about permission. The question is SHOULD Hollywood give permission for edited DVD sales?

    If you say no (and remember, I’m not saying i disagree with you), But if you say “NO”, then you have to address the question of TV.

    Why is it ok to edit the films for showing on TV, but not ok to give permission to edit for DVD?

    Good discussion.

    ~John

  48. I think people are misunderstanding what this issue is.

    It is not a censorship issue. John is on point when he talked about their being “demand” for this product. It is a business with a market, people who want to show movies to their kids without worrying about gratuitous sex scenes or violence.

    Take any movie, change the product design to reflect its “clean” nature (ie a banner accross the top of the DVD that says FAMILY EDIT, in big bold words on the cover, on the disc AND a big bright disclaimer before the film that says it has been editted to omit “nudity, violence, religious conotations” Whatever)

    and then you sell said product. No one is suggesting theater releases be editted, no one is suggesting the original product for the masses be changed.

    Whats being suggested is creating a separate side market of clean films and I dont see why anyone is opposed to this?

    You guys are going on about the Mona Lisa, thats just a bad analogy Im sorry. Its like freaking out about Light Mayo, standing in the isle of a supermarket screaming about how they’ve changed mayo, its not the same mayo I ate when I was a child, this one won’t kill you as fast as real mayo.

    Its a “lite” version of a product for people who dont care to indulge in swearing, nudity or violence. If you go out to buy Mayo, you know the difference between Mayo and Mayo Light and you purchase the regular kind, would you then begrudge someone who wants to use Light?

    I dont think so.

    If you dont want to watch the CLEAN version of a movie, then dont, as long as it is advertised as suggested (package, disc and just before the film begins) then I see no problem with it.

    As for as the creaters, writers, directors, actors and so on, as long as their audience is seeing the version they want to see they shouldnt have a problem either.

    No one is suggesting there be ONLY Light Mayo available, they just want to offer an alternative to fatty mayo, I like fatty mayo yum.

    nord

  49. Hi Brandon.

    I made fun of this issue up the page, but there is a serious point here. To be honest with you, (and with no disrepect intended to your beliefs), I don’t think Scarface is the film for you. If ever a film NEEDED to roll around in its own depravity, Scarface is it. Some stories just demand it. To watch that film without the profanity or the sex or the violence would be pointless – you just wouldn’t be getting the experience Stone, De Palma, and Pacino intended you to have. It’s like wanting to watch a boxing match but not wanting to see any of the punches land. You’re entitled to your beliefs, obviously, but that means having to accept that some things are not for you.

    I hope you are well, and that you accept my comments in the spirit of peaceful discussion. Take care.

    Steven.

  50. As long as it was the STUDIO that did the edit and released a version much like we see on TV, then I have no problem with it and feel that this would be a fine idea.

    Admittedly, my copy of Jim Carey’s The Mask, I got as a promotional item in a box of cereal (not kidding) and it was the TV Edit. No swearing. This now moves this title into the pile of films I can let my kids watch. There was nothing wrong with the movie short of the swearing, so in this case, a TV edit on DVD was a great find.

    People butchering films to make “clean” versions only benefits the video store or person editing. This doesnt benefit the studios or distributors at all, and therefore its no better than pirating.

  51. Hey John,

    I don’t think Hollywood is not giving permission. They are just stopping people from altering their works.

    Your are right this isn’t about permission it is about freedom of speech. Which allows you to distribute your doc here in the states and allows leonardo to display his painting unaltered.

    Maybe this is wierd but Hollywood, this one time, is actually trying to protect the intergrity of it’s products even if they may not be satisfying the needs of an audience to make that additional buck.

    Maybe Hollywood understands that this violates freedom of speech and is doing something to stop it.

    And that a extra buck isn’t worth compromising freedom of speech.

    And if that is the case, I salute you Hollywood on this stand!

  52. I understand people being cautious about hurting the integrity of the film. This is not putting boxers on David. This is putting boxers on a replica of David in a museum that caters to folks who don’t want to see his penis. Would you go to that museum? If you make the choice to go, you’re seeing what you paid to see. If you don’t, it won’t affect you one way or the other. Look, I’ve been involved in acting for quite a few years now. I’m also working on some fun little projects (a zombie flick and an interview with some washed up Dreadnoks coming out of retirement to work with Cobra once again). These projects, while no means Hollywood productions, are my art. If people from my church want to see these, but don’t want some of the elements to bee seen by their children…fine. Doesn’t bother me at all. Edit away. I know this is kind of apples and oranges, but why not? It gives people a chance to enjoy something fun without hurting their sensibilities. Perhaps the studios could make “made for TV” cuts available on DVD?

  53. I’m pretty much in complete agreement with 1138 on this one…

    If the director(or the studio… uggghhhh….) does the edit themselves, then I don’t have a huge problem with it. I still don’t like it, but that’s just me.

    Other than that, no one, and I do mean NO ONE else should ever be able to edit out content in a film just because it bothers them. There are enough resources these days for peopla to go into a movie prepared for what they’re going to see. If they don’t like what’s in it, then don’t watch it… simple as that.

  54. Interesting! I spent along time thinking about
    this last night and today I find this article.

    Here’s my deal: I am a Christian (I know I just lost most of you). Becuase of my beliefs, I genuinely don’t enjoy hearing the F word 218 times in a movie or seeing nudity. In fact, these things bother me to the point that it actually removes me from the story.

    For example, I have always wanted to see the movie Scarface. However, I really wasn’t looking forward to the language or sex that I new the movie contained. So I had to wait until I caught the movie airing on TV. Last night, it came on AMC and in order to see the entire movie I would have had to spend like 5-6 hours just to get through all the commercials. At the time, I was greatly desiring a way to purchase the movie so I could enjoy the story and share in the analysis of the plot without having my mind polluted.

    I just checked out CleanFilms.com and while they don’t carry Scarface yet (probably never will :D) they do state that their services are legal as they have a 1:1 ration of edited and non-edited movies. They genuinely purchase all movies and simply edit their 1 allowed backup copy (which is authorized by the MPAA). It just happens that the version of the movie I WANT TO SEE IS THE EDITED VERSION. I totally understand that this won’t make since to some of you, but I am a member of the target audience that loves to watch edited movies when excessive language or sex is used.

  55. Hey 1138,

    I’m not addressing the issue of “permission”. The whole point of this post is that essentially (and through the courts) Hollywood is refusing to give permission. That’s obvious. I’m not arguing that they should e allowed to do things without permission.

    My question is essentially SHOULD they be giving permission? They do it for TV so a wider audience can see the films. So why not on DVDs as well?

  56. And john

    One company or one museum isn’t the issue (your copy said companies by the way no singular company). The issue is precendent. If you establish precendent that one or one meusem can alter works at their descrection, without permisision, then what is to stop everyone from altering whatever produtcts or works they recieve?!

    The floodgates would be opend and you might as well stop working on your DOC. Because the story you want to tell would be so watered down that whatever you are trying to communicate would be lost.

    Again if you gave permission for alteration that is one thing, if not that is another.

  57. My take is that if there is such a DEMAND for the movie SAW without the senseless violence, blood, and swearing, why don’t people just make one themselves? Why piggy-back on the hard work of others because you lack the talent/drive to make your own movie that would appease said DEMAND? I know this sounds like double-talk coming from a guy who writes for a site that is all about the aggregate content of others, but I’m not changing the original works of others and I’m sure as hell not making money on what I’m not doing. You really don’t want to see Kate Winslet’s nipple in Titanic? Fine. Fast foward through that scene, or skip it altogether. The issue here is people taking the liberties of deciding what constitute “offennsive material” and then telling you that you think this way to for $19.95 a month. And while films are edited for TV all the time, that’s due more to the FCC standards than any questionable moral exercising. Networks still have to have permission/rights to edit and broadcast ANY film. Has Hollywood declared war on good taste and clean morals? No, Uwe Boll has and he’s not part of the system (thank God). This is not a demand for edited movies. This is just another example of “hey, I can scream loud too!”

  58. When the BBFC or TV companies alter films while it may not always be agreeable it is done to accommodate published guidelines that most people understand and can look up if they don’t.

    These people are making arbitrary cuts to suit individual taste, that’s very different. If you allow them this on the ground of taste you open it up for them to do it on the grounds of Religion and politics, that’s very unhealthy in my opinion.

  59. Hey John,

    Again you cannont alter the works of others witout their permission. Museums or any distributor or seller cannot be simply given Carte Blanche to do what they may with material that is given to them.

    Imagine if your doc was distributed a thousand different ways without your consent. Destoying the integrity of your work. Your message would never be consistent. THAT WAS NOT YOUR INTENTION. THE SAME WAY IT WAS NOT LEONARDO TO VIEW HIS WORK WITHOUT THE NIPPLE BEING EXPOSED.

    And remember the studios owned the rights to those movies before they gave them to the televison stations. THEY WERE AWARE OF THE CHANGES AND GAVE PERMISSION. EVEN IF THE DIRECTOR WAS NOT AWARE OF ALTERATION…THAT’S THE PRICE FOR NOT OWNING THE RIGHTS TO THE MOVIE. THEY CAN FIGHT IT LEGALLY BUT THAT IS ALL…THEY USUALLY DO NOT OWN THE COPYWRITE.

    WHAT THIS COURT DID WAS STOP PEOPLE FROM RANDOMLY ALTERING WORKS WITHOUT SEEKING PERMISSION FROM OWNERSHIP. IT SHOULD NOT BE UP TO THIRD PARTY DESCRETION.

    AGAIN HOW WOULD YOU FEEL IF 2ND OR THIRD PARTIES ALTERED YOUR DOC BECAUSE THEY FELT YOUR MOVIE WAS SIMPLY UNINTERESTING? AND SOLD IT AS SUCH? WAS THAT YOUR INTENTION TO ALLOW ANYONE TO ALTER YOUR DOC SIMPLY TO SATISFY THEIR OWN WISHES? WITHHOUT YOUR PERMISSION?

  60. John,
    Here is the thing. I saw the doc that some news station did on this issue a coule of months ago and I was equally torn on the subject. Ultimately, this is what I came up with.

    They are not just cutting out the sex scenes but also the “overly violent” ones too. Now who is to decide this? If you think about it, how different would the movie “The Passion of the Christ” be if they cut or editied the tourture scenes? VERY differnent. But that is what the director intended, his ‘vision’ if you will. People work too hard on movies to have some private company do what they like with the film AND RESELL IT. That is the key, they found a way to make a easy buck off somebody elses hard work (and making a movie is hard work, John can atest to that). And if it wasn’t about making money and it is really about the moral values… then take that money and create an idependent studio called “Clean Flicks” and make clean movies for the clean audience.

    Messing with somebodies work is just not justifiable no matter what way you put it. Would it be alright to put a pair of boxers on “Michelangelo’s Statue of David” because you can see his penis and it is vulgar? NO. The world…, no, America needs to grow up; men have a penis and women have a vagina and sometimes they make them touch!

    If there is such a demand for these “clean” movies then it should be left to the studio/director ect. to make the call and make them themselves.

  61. Hey Mr stay puff,

    The STUDIOS arltered the movies for televsion. It was their material and their works so they either gave permission to have them edited by the television stations or they did it themselves.

    BUt you cannot have 2nd or 3rd parties altering works at their own descretion simply to accomodate their own tastes! Or the tast of others!

    What would be the point of creating anything if what you wanted to be seen or heard or worn or felt could constantly be changed!? By anyone!? Anytime!?

    Imagine If the Grapes of Wrath, Catcher in The Rye, or The Crucible were altered, their ideas or truths could never be universally shared…the intentions of the writes would never reach a universal audience. The works would never be properly discussed.

    Imgane that.

  62. I think the whole thing reeks. If you want to be a damned weenie about a few swear words and the occasional flash of boob, then you’ve forfeited the right to watch anything rated above PG. Don’t they know those swears and boobs (even bush if you’re lucky!) are integral to the plots of these films! The delicate interplay between characters, the subtle use of subtext and theme, the dynamic use of image as metaphor – none of these things are possible if Samuel L Jackson can’t say motherfucker once in a while.

    This is like cyclists who ride on the pavement: if you want to ride a bike, get in the damn road and take your chances with the rest of us!

  63. I see what you’re saying 1138, but there is an inherant flaw in the way you put it.

    For instance, your example of the Mona Lisa. No one here is suggesting changing the Mona Lisa. No one.

    The proper analogy would be to say that one museum would like to show a copy of the Mona Lisa with the exposed nipple removed (work with me here). It is not being passed off as the original Mona Lisa. The Origianl is still on display somewhere else.

    No one is being forced to see this altered Mona Lisa. As a mtter of fact they have to go out of their way to see it… and it is advertised as being an altered version.

    Mr. Stay Puft brings up a good point. This is done for TV ALL THE TIME, and yes it’s done without the directors input or approval.

    Remember 1138, I’m not saying i disagree with the position you’re taking. I’m just saying you’re incorrect to say there isn’t 2 sides to this story.

    Cheers.

  64. Those companies shouldn’t exist and the they should not be tampering with the works of others…even if there is a audience out there to rent. An audience does not justify the tampering of someones individual works. If the persons or person who created deemed it OK to allow the works created to be changed for to appease a different audience, that would be fine. But 2nd or 3rd parities should not be allowed to tamper with projects or works of arts when they were not given permission in the first place.

    Imagine if a museum decided to alter the Mona Lisa because the painting offended some people. Should a museum also be allowed to alter the masterpiece to accomodate the audience who were offended? Should art galleries be allowed to alter works it recieves?

    Should a writer be have his manuscript edited for different audiences by different book stores?

    Should Theaters be allowed to alter movies for different audiences?

    Should clothing stores be allowed to alter designers clothing for people who might find them to revealing!!!

    If people were alloswed to simply alter works at their descretion what would be the purpose of having artists? Since his or her works would never maintain it’s true intentions or integrity!! The message would continually be changed!! Just for the sake of catering to some people who are simply offended!!??? Gimme a break!!!

    What those companies did was censorship pure and simple. What they did was dangerous!! If a court decided that what they did was right, then any matetial could be altered in anyway without the consent of the creator at anytime by anyone!!

    There is no side to this story John. What they did was wrong…no if’s and’s or but’s about it!

    If the artist lost his ability to maintain the integrity of his works what be the point of creating!? Art is meant ot provoke, stimulate and even offend!!

    Imagine John if someone altered your docomentary because some video store thought it would better suit some other audience! Wouldn’t you be pissed!!? Without your permission???!! It would ruin what your film was trying to say and ruin the point or points of your film!

    What those people did to those movies is an example of the simple and long battle of freedom of ideas.

    And I am not interested in having my ideas censord as long as it does not endager the lives of others.

  65. Movies are edited for broadcast television all the time, sometimes by the studio, sometimes by the network. I don’t see this as any different. We are talking bootlegging or piracy are we?

    Frankly if Hollywood had any brains at all, they would make available themselves editted versions of their films. It’s a good business decision, one that I see as a win-win situation. And they don’t lose credibility with the artistic community, because the decision to include T&A or the f-bomb is a commercial one, rarely a creative one.

  66. I personally dislike censorship. Up until a few years ago in the UK you couldnt buy a Bruce Lee flick with the nunchaku in and the box never stipulated that it was edited. I realise that that was the BBFC and these are smaller independant editing companies, but its the same thing. As long as the difference is clearly marked I guess its ok, but it must be clearly marked. Even now they sell The Toxic Avenger in a heavily edited cut and dont specify.

  67. Absolutely not! A band can’t sample another’s music without permission. Isn’t this similar. They are taking the parts of the movie they want and ditching the rest.

    The only way this should be allowed is if the studios and the director have say in the redit. This way they can ensure that the cuts aren’t abrupt and mess with continunity.

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