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Cutting out the Naughty Bits Ruled Illegal 1329

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the people-against-goodness-and-normalcy dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Some of you may recall the lawsuit brought by several Hollywood directors against companies which edit movies for sex, language, and violence. The companies would trade consumers an off-the-shelf DVD for an edited one. Well, the CBC is reporting that Judge Richard P. Matsch has found that this practice violates U.S. copyright law, and 'decreed on Thursday in Denver, Colo., that sanitizing movies to delete content that may offend some people is an "illegitimate business." [...] The judge also praised the motives of the Hollywood studios and directors behind the suit, ordering the companies that provide the service to hand over their inventories.'''
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Cutting out the Naughty Bits Ruled Illegal

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  • Awesome (Score:4, Interesting)

    by BlueCup (753410) on Sunday July 09, 2006 @11:27PM (#15688988) Homepage Journal
    I didn't think there was any way that this would work out, but it did. I remember the first time I bought a cd from wal-mart, only to return it later because it was missing a couple of tracks.
    • Re:Awesome (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mtrisk (770081) on Sunday July 09, 2006 @11:31PM (#15689002) Journal
      What I don't understand is why Wal-Mart censors things anyway. If people don't like the content, why don't they just, you know, not buy it?
      • Re:Awesome (Score:5, Insightful)

        by dnoyeb (547705) on Sunday July 09, 2006 @11:55PM (#15689092) Homepage Journal
        They just, you know, don't buy it. Thats exactly why Wal-mart and every other 'mart' purchases censored versions. Because they care about money and not much else.

        Its a remarkable stupid situation where one company can't do something that other companies have done every day.
        • Re:Awesome (Score:5, Insightful)

          by TenLow (812875) on Monday July 10, 2006 @12:11AM (#15689153)
          It's because the other companies (such as the wal) have enough purchasing power to make the record company release a "clean" version. If the video stores in question were actually a 300 billion dollar chain, they could have just asked the studios nicely for a "clean" version and gotten it.
        • Re:Awesome (Score:5, Funny)

          by Radicode (898701) on Monday July 10, 2006 @12:27AM (#15689207)
          Haaa! Now I think I understand why the last time I bought a dvd at walmart, it was only a bunch of short clips of plumbers going to a girl's house, then some vacuum cleaner seller... I was thinking... why did my friend told me to buy that wacko movie. Now I get it! They cut out the violent fighting scenes.
          • Re:Awesome (Score:5, Funny)

            by Ohreally_factor (593551) on Monday July 10, 2006 @01:51AM (#15689441) Journal
            I think I got the same movie!

            What was the deal with the pizza delivery guy going to that one chick's house to deliver a sausage pizza? Did they ever get around to eating the pizza? My copy had that part cut out for some reason (another fight scene?).

            Still. the soundtrack was pretty cool.Sort of like that funky old rock music from 70s porn.
            • Re:Awesome (Score:5, Funny)

              by bakes (87194) on Monday July 10, 2006 @07:04AM (#15690138) Journal
              Yes, they did get to eat it: the chick shared the pizza with the pool cleaner guy. I didn't actually see them eating the pizza (apparently edited out due to time constraints) but there was part of a scene where the chick and the pool were smiling at each other and there was cheese dripping from the corner of her mouth.

              (It must have been really good pizza, they were both making 'mmmm-mmmm' sounds.)

        • Re:Awesome (Score:5, Informative)

          by jambarama (784670) <jambarama.gmail@com> on Monday July 10, 2006 @10:48AM (#15691564) Homepage Journal
          A good alternative for those who don't want their young children to see "bad" stuff is clearplay. [clearplay.com] We've had it for a while, here is how it works.
          1. Buy a normal DVD with all the "naughty bits"
          2. Get the filter from the clearplay website for that DVD
          3. Transfer the filter via USB or CD to the clearplay DVD player
          4. Watch your DVD - the filter tells the DVD player where to skip the naughty bits - no editing, just timecodes to be skipped.

          I thought it'd be jumpy but it really isn't. Most of the time I can't even figure out what has been skipped. Plus you can set the level of each "naughty bit" - violence, profanity and sex - from low to high. Pretty neat stuff I'd say.
      • by spencer1 (763965) on Monday July 10, 2006 @12:51AM (#15689283)
        As others have already stated, this has absolutely nothing to do with Walmart. This applies to services such as CleanFlix, which are very popular in Utah and Idaho. I am a Mormon, and I frequent Cleanflix often. Some movies are very enjoyable, but contain bits that I don't wish to see. If the mainstream want to see those bits, fine, go ahead; these services are not for them. If I don't want to see it, how does it affect you? Cleanflix allows me to rent movies that I would not otherwise rent, they are now turning away a potential customer. This does not hurt the copyright holder, they still receive the full purchase price for all the movies that Cleanflix uses. Their revenue is not altered in any way by this editing.
        • by jlarocco (851450) on Monday July 10, 2006 @01:40AM (#15689417) Homepage
          "If I don't want to see it, how does it affect you?"

          That's hilarious coming from a Mormon. If I want to buy alcohol on Sunday, how does that affect you? If I want to marry a person of the same sex, how does that affect you? If my girlfriend needs/wants an abortion, how does that affect you? If I want to have sex before marriage, how does that affect you?

          Christians are constantly pushing their views onto others and pressuring law makers to criminalize behavior they disagree with, even when it has nothing to do with them. So it seems a bit ironic that you would use "If I don't want to see it, how does it affect you?' in your defense of this.

          This was a clear case of a commercial company profiting from derivative works of copyrighted material. That's exactly the thing copyright law was created to prevent.

          • I agree with what you stated about gay marriage, etc. My religion believes that in the premortal existence, two separate plans were presented. Satan's plan, which God did not choose, was to coerce people to be righteous so that everyone could receive exaltation. Jesus's plan was that people should be free to choose: there must be opposition in all things. Some people definitely go too far into pushing their beliefs on others; in my opinion this is following Satan's plan and it is unfortunate that most pe
          • I'll attempt to answer, arguing from a Christian Liberterian viewpoint...

            If I want to buy alcohol on Sunday, how does that affect you?
            It doesn't, so shopping hours & alcohol should be unregulated.

            If I want to marry a person of the same sex, how does that affect you?
            If affects me because marraige is a social institution, by definition. If you & your partner were isolated on an island, the concept of 'marriage' would be mute. Other people (aka society) interacting with you forms part of the d

            • by zootm (850416) on Monday July 10, 2006 @06:45AM (#15690071)

              So, my answer is, of course you should be able to 'marry' any consenting adult, but you should not be able to force me to recognise your relationship as marriage.

              You've answered this from a largely (or purely) libertarian perspective, and I think your response is valid. Of course this logically implies that marriage should not be a legal entity at all, which is the main problem here.

              So this argument reduces to when does human life begin?

              That's the problem with the abortion argument, it all just boils down to that one belief most of the time. I personally believe the most pragmatic solution is to have abortion legalised, because if it is not legal it will still go on and more people will end up hurt from poor practices. That said, I'm one of those that believes that "human life" begins at birth (or thereabouts) so I'm predisposed towards legalised abortions in the first place.

              Provided you're doing it in private, it doesn't affect me at all. Doing it in front of my children is another matter...

              I don't know what your implication with this one is, but we already have laws about public indecency, and for additional protection I feel it's right that the responsibility lies with the parent.

              Agreed, and this should stop. Similarly, all forms of state coercion should stop.

              Obviously they're not going to. I think a lot of non-religious people get exasperated specifically because Christian laws seem so arbitrary to them, though, which I think is why there's so much complaint about these things in general.

        • by 1u3hr (530656)
          This does not hurt the copyright holder, they still receive the full purchase price for all the movies that Cleanflix uses. Their revenue is not altered in any way by this editing.

          It's not (just) about money. The "cleaned" movies are bootlegs, and unauthorised derivative works. You can't just reedit and publish your own version of someone else's books, movies, music, regardless of your motives. But getting back to money; if they allowed they could hardly forbid people making backups of their own DVDs, for

    • This doesn't effect places like Walmart.

      The records they carry are sanitized by the copyright holders... the labels. This suit refers to those who edit content without holding a copyright.

      For the most part, this suit effects religious nuts who have been white washing rentals.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      The service they ruled to be illegal was one that made modifications to a copyrighted work for those who owned a copy of it.

      This ruling limits the ways in which a person can enjoy content they've legitimately purchased. Now, I know that some people are against this because it censors the movies, but I think this is bad because it gives the copyright holders too much power. Sure, this time it's the naughty bits and maybe they're just prudes not to watch it, but the same logic could, in theory, be extended
      • An excellent point (Score:3, Insightful)

        by pockyninja (987878)
        This is the reason why you cannot skip the advertisements on some DVDs now. If you've already purchased the movie, you shouldn't have to watch advertisements about it. Movie companies should take a page from computer software: "Purchase the full version to remove this ad." If you've bought something, you own it. If I want to use my copy of Top Gun to take baked potatos out of the oven, that's my prerogative.
  • by BalanceOfJudgement (962905) on Sunday July 09, 2006 @11:28PM (#15688990) Homepage
    What I'm interested to know is how this affects parents who use their DVR's to achieve the same purpose to sanitize movies for their children. Hollywood has expressed anger over THAT practice, too, which seems to me wholly unfair.
    • by jonnythan (79727) on Sunday July 09, 2006 @11:30PM (#15688999) Homepage
      Parents don't use DVR's to produce commercially sold edited copies of content published by another party.
    • I think the difference there is that you're not distributing your edited copy to the public.
    • From what I understand from this ruling, it would be illegal for me to buy a book, tear out every other page, and sell it to someone else. That's a pretty close analogy, seeing as both my actions and Cleanflicks' third-party video cutting are not authorized by the copyright holder.

      Something tells me the MPAA has an ideal court case for extending their powers, here. I mean, 99% of the population would glance at this case and declare: "Cutting the naughty bits out of movies is bad!" or "Hur hur hur, take da
      • From what I understand from this ruling, it would be illegal for me to buy a book, tear out every other page, and sell it to someone else. That's a pretty close analogy, seeing as both my actions and Cleanflicks' third-party video cutting are not authorized by the copyright holder.

        Not quite. You own the physical book. You can do what you want with it... including tearing out pages, burning it, or blacking out all instances of the word "the" if you choose. What you can't do is type the contents of the book into a word processor, remove certain sections of it, reprint the modified book, and then sell that bound inside the original cover. That's the difference.
         
        • Not quite. You own the physical book. You can do what you want with it... including tearing out pages, burning it, or blacking out all instances of the word "the" if you choose. What you can't do is type the contents of the book into a word processor, remove certain sections of it, reprint the modified book, and then sell that bound inside the original cover. That's the difference.

          Except that the copying of content to a new disc isn't what this ruling is about. That part is legal. It's the editing of the

        • by Dausha (546002) on Sunday July 09, 2006 @11:57PM (#15689105) Homepage
          "What you can't do is type the contents of the book into a word processor, remove certain sections of it, reprint the modified book, and then sell that bound inside the original cover. That's the difference."

          This is not a comparative description. For each copy of the movie these companies sell, they buy one from Hollywood. Thus, if they sell 1984 copies of Gladiator with the naughty bits omitted, then they buy 1984 copies from the movie production company first. Thus, it can be said they are only reselling the copy of the book that they themselves purchased and from which they ripped out naughty pages.

          The only difference between my doing this and them doing this is that they are conducting the same business on a larger scale.

          What is more important to Hollywood is what our society deems appropriate. If these companies become more popular, then it could be argued in court that this success means the naughty parts of these movies violate public decency and can therefore face government stricture. These standards have eroded over my lifetime, but it need not be so.
          • Thus, if they sell 1984 copies of Gladiator with the naughty bits omitted, then they buy 1984 copies from the movie production company first. Thus, it can be said they are only reselling the copy of the book that they themselves purchased and from which they ripped out naughty pages.

            It could also be said that they bought 1984 copies, destroyed them, and in their place sold altered copies. Remember, they're not buying the copies of Gladiator, they are buying a license to Gladiator, which doesn't include the
            • by OmnipotentEntity (702752) on Monday July 10, 2006 @12:28AM (#15689214) Homepage
              > they are buying a license to Gladiator, which doesn't include the right to make derivative works.

              F(*#$@ NO! They are *NOT* buying a license. They are buying a copyrighted work. You don't have to sign a EULA when you buy a DVD. You are, however, correct about derivative works (excepting works of parody) not being allowed under copyright.
          • "For each copy of the movie these companies sell, they buy one from Hollywood. Thus, if they sell 1984 copies of Gladiator with the naughty bits omitted, then they buy 1984 copies from the movie production company first. Thus, it can be said they are only reselling the copy of the book that they themselves purchased and from which they ripped out naughty pages."

            It may seem that the two cases are the same, but they aren't. If the third party was able to remove content from the orginal disk somehow, but never
      • While you might, in theory, be violating copyright law in your book example, nobody (besides the person to whom you sell the book) will know or care. Now, if you offered a service where you tore offensive pages out of books and then sold those books to stores who want only to stock "nice" things, someone would probably start caring.

        It's like dodging copy protection (violating the DMCA) in order to make a backup copy of a game for yourself. As long as you don't start selling, or otherwise distributing,
      • It'd be more like you taking that book, photocopying it, with edits, and selling the altered version. And that is illegal - copying for your own use is fine, editing your own copy is fine, it's when your version is sold or distributed that you run into the law. Fair use essentially only extends as far as your own personal usage.

        This particular case was something of a grey area (in part because they weren't costing the movie-makers money - ie they weren't like people selling bootleg DVDs), but it's the act
        • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday July 10, 2006 @01:58AM (#15689451)
          It would be illegal even if you were to buy a book for each copy you sold. It may seem silly to many, but that's how copyright works. You would be creating and distributing a derivitive work, and you need the copyright holder's permission to do that, no matter what. Just because you bought their stuff doesn't give you that right.

          In the end, it's important that it remains that way for OSS, becuase that's what gives the GPL legal force. If you were allowed to sell s distributed work without permission, provided you legally obtained and destroyed a copy for each work you distributed, GPL software would lack any enforcement ability. People could simply get your software for free legally, and then distribute modified versions. They might have to go through the cermonial process of downloading a copy for each one they sold and deleting it, but it would all be legal.

          However, they don't have that right. Even though you give your work away for free, they still ahve to respect your copyright. Via the GPL you give them the right to distribute derivitve works, but only if they agree to some conditions (like opening their code). That they got the copy legally or paid you isn't relivant, copyright mandidates they can't distribute derivitives without permission, and your price on that permission is spelled out in the GPL.
      • From what I understand from this ruling, it would be illegal for me to buy a book, tear out every other page, and sell it to someone else. That's a pretty close analogy, seeing as both my actions and Cleanflicks' third-party video cutting are not authorized by the copyright holder.

        Sounds analogous, in the ethical, if not perhaps the legal sense.

        But, it's not at all obvious to me that such is a bad idea, especially if instead of removing pages at random you choose to remove pages so as to modify the content

    • Time shifting for home use is perfectly legal under the Betamax ruling. Hollywood can legally go screw. This ruling is designed strictly to stop non-copyright holders from adjusting content and reselling it without the agreement of the copyright holders. If a studio wants to partner with a censoring company, or do the censoring of the films themselves (which I'm fairly certain they do), they may do so.
    • What I'm interested to know is how this affects parents who use their DVR's to achieve the same purpose to sanitize movies for their children. Hollywood has expressed anger over THAT practice, too, which seems to me wholly unfair.

      This was added to the United States Code last year [gpo.gov]:

      [Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106, the following are not infringements of copyright:]

      [...]

      (11) the making imperceptible, by or at the direction of a member of a private household, of limited portions of audio

  • by zCyl (14362) on Sunday July 09, 2006 @11:29PM (#15688993)
    This reminds me of the classic question of what happens to all the donut holes...
  • by doormat (63648) on Sunday July 09, 2006 @11:30PM (#15689000) Homepage Journal
    To allow the uber-religious folk to watch movies with the bad parts cut out. Of course, this made Pulp Fiction about 30 seconds long, but oh well.

    Regardless, soon we'll hear from (R)s (and some D's like Clinton and Lieberman) about activist judges and restoring something of something.
  • by Frogbert (589961) <frogbert@@@gmail...com> on Sunday July 09, 2006 @11:31PM (#15689007)
    Nothing disgusts me more then watching or reading something I know has been censored. People should be free to consume whatever media they want to, as long as it isn't hurting anybody no one should have the right to tell me what I can and can't see. Furthermore if I created a work of art I would find it supremely offensive to have some clensing squad go over it and take out the stuff that might offend people, chances are if it offends someone it was put there for that reason. This is with the possible exception of old works that have become offensive, but in that case they should be left as they are and taken in the context that they were created.
  • but how? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rritterson (588983) * on Sunday July 09, 2006 @11:33PM (#15689015)
    I did RTFA, but it didn't mention how the practice violated copyright law. I understand the concerns of the people producing the original works. However:

    1) The works weren't sold in stores, so the only people who had them were people who intentionally wanted them. It's not like selling a ripoff or counterfeit.

    2) Doesn't this count as fair use. Does this mean that I can't take a song from a CD I bought and remove sections of it? Or it it because the companies were making a profit off of the derviation that it violated the law?
  • by MarcoAtWork (28889) on Sunday July 09, 2006 @11:33PM (#15689017)
    Something tells me that the director's "artistic vision" for example didn't include Bruce Willis saying ""Yippee-ki-yay Mister Falcon." in Die Hard, or "This is what happens whey you find a stranger in the Alps!" in the Big Lebowski: how is that different from what these companies were/are doing? Or is it simply a case of "censoring is ok, as long as the studio does it? The "These films carry our name and reflect our reputations. So we have great passion about protecting our work ... against unauthorized editing," line sounds a bit hypocritical, especially if the companies in question did put some sort of disclaimer (cleaned by cleanflix, whatever) at the movie beginning.
  • by bananahammock (595781) on Sunday July 09, 2006 @11:34PM (#15689023)
    Now wouldn't it be cool if you could apply this decision to Lucas for having Greedo shoot first - now that's offensive!
  • by Pantero Blanco (792776) on Sunday July 09, 2006 @11:35PM (#15689028)
    Quote from the judge:

    "Their 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."


    And from the DGA President:

    "Audiences can now be assured that the films they buy or rent are the vision of the filmmakers who made them and not the arbitrary choices of a third-party editor."


    These are supposed to show the reason behind the decision. Following the logic of the first, censorship of any sort of art would be copyright infringement. The second quote isn't even relevant. The company clearly states that the DVDs are edited; that's the whole point of someone trading an unedited one for their version!

    If the company is doing something else that's infringing, I could understand the suit, but that's not what the suers are talking about.
  • by caseih (160668) on Sunday July 09, 2006 @11:36PM (#15689031)
    Reselling altered copyrighted material is an interesting proposition legally. On the other hand, if I buy a DVD or video, I should have to right to view it however I want, and I think I should also have to right to pay someone else to edit it to my liking if I want; it's my DVD after all. Despite everything (no matter which side you take), copyright holders do not have a right to force me to view it the way they want me to. The hard part is that in order to change the DVD, I have to copy it first, which is now a felony. And I think that's the part where these companies have gotten tripped up.

    Taking this ruling farther, is it illegal if I publish an MPlayer EDL list for editing out naughty bits of a DVD? I believe Hollywood would want to make it so. On the other hand, when the DVD format was created, it was intended all along that the DVD player could apply edit codes to the video to alter the rating, supply alternate soundtracks, etc. Very little of this has ever been used in the production of DVDs, as Hollywood is the one making them in the first place.
    • Going just by classical copyright, and not the DMCA (which doesn't apply outside the US), what would stop you from copying DVDs and altering them for your own use? Likewise, what would stop a 3rd party programmer from giving you the tools to automatically remove the naughty bits? These things would appear to fall under fair use.

      This ruling would have held up under the pre-DMCA laws. It isn't primarily about circumvention, it's about redistribution and alteration without consent. The problem here was tha
  • by DAldredge (2353) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Sunday July 09, 2006 @11:38PM (#15689038) Journal
    The smart thing to do is for the EFF and other orgs to make a temp alliance with the 'pro-family' groups to have copyright laws rewritten.

    This is a chance to get more people involved in rolling back the increased rights granted to copyright holders these past few years.
  • by Raul654 (453029) on Sunday July 09, 2006 @11:39PM (#15689041) Homepage
    Result in a nutshell: If I own a DVD, I cannot pay someone to make a copy of that movie for me sans parts I might find offensive. It's not censorship, because *I'm the one asking him to do it for me*. But in yet another defeat for personal freedom (and another win for the moneyed interests), the courts have found that this is a violation of copyright law.
    • Because without this, the GPL would have no teeth. Here's why:

      What the censors were arguing is that if you obtain a legal copy of something, you've got the right to make and distribute a derivitve work from it. They said it was legal, so long as for every derivitive version, you obtained a legal orignal and destroyed it.

      Ok so perhaps you think that's fair but now let's take the fantasy world where that's the case. I'm form EvilCorp and I want to use Linux for my product but I don't want to hand out my modif
  • An Alternative (Score:5, Insightful)

    by OYAHHH (322809) * on Sunday July 09, 2006 @11:41PM (#15689048) Homepage
    At,

    Least in the USA we are "relatively" free to innovate.

    What somebody needs to do is to devise a DVD player that can read a file delineating where the objectionable parts are on the particular DVD. Once the bad parts are known to the player the player simply skips them.

    People who want to view the unedited version are happy and those that don't desire to see whatever content can be happy as well.

    The original content on the original DVD is not altered in any manner. Copyright is protected.

    Religious groups could then produce the "files" to correspond to their own needs and distribute these files via the Internet. The files are uploaded to the special DVD player...

    It's basically the same as having Adblock installed in Firefox. You simply delineate what you don't want to see and Firefox delivers what you do want to see. No one is sueing Firefox for eliminating advertisements.

    Should be the same for objectionable DVD content.
    • Re:An Alternative (Score:5, Informative)

      by masterzora (871343) <masterzora@@@gmail...com> on Monday July 10, 2006 @12:07AM (#15689140) Homepage
      Sounds familiar...

      Oh, yeah, http://www.clearplay.com/ [clearplay.com]

      • I've got to get one of these just for the comedy value.

        Seriously.

        Apparently, I can selectively filter any combination of the following:

        Violence

        * Brutal and Gory Violence
        * Strong Action Violence
        * Disturbing Images

        Sex and Nudity

        * Sensual Content
        * Crude Sexual Content
        * Nudity
        * Explicit Sexual Situations

        Language
    • Re:An Alternative (Score:3, Interesting)

      by JimBobJoe (2758)
      What somebody needs to do is to devise a DVD player that can read a file delineating where the objectionable parts are on the particular DVD.

      Actually, I believe that all DVD players can do this, as this feature was built right into the DVD spec (and as the spec was being developed/marketed, there was a general belief that this feature would become commonplace.)

      The problem is not the players, its the content makers who decline to take advantage of it.
  • by andphi (899406) <phillipsam@gmail. c o m> on Sunday July 09, 2006 @11:42PM (#15689052) Journal

    The Court also handed down several companion rulings:


    First, that closing one's eyes or looking away during commercials, previews, gratuitous violence, sex, or nudity is an abridgement of copyright as it results in a derivative work without the consent of the copyright holders.


    Secondly, that because going to the bathroom during the boring parts (and the court in no way implies that there are boring parts in Hollywood movies) also results in the creation of a derivative work, it is also forbidden by law.


    Thirdly, that because some persons have been known to talk over or about the soundtrack, dialog, or events of movies, thus creating an unauthorized derivative combination of commentary and the original cinematic release in violation of copyright, movies may only be watched by persons without mouths.

  • To be clear... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RyanFenton (230700) on Sunday July 09, 2006 @11:43PM (#15689057)
    To be clear, this is NOT a ruling against censorship in any way. This is a ruling that one cannot use the motives of private censorship to in any way go against copyright laws. They'll have to sell their 'services' to the (mostly) corporate owners of the rights to works, rather than directly to customers or retailers.

    A fairly appropriate ruling, in the context. But this does mean that when a more automatic method of censorship comes around, then new forms of censorship shouldn't face these same legal barriers. They just have to be blind to which naughty bits and sounds they're covering up, fresh each time, so they're not producing a 'derrivative work' in a saleable form.

    Ryan Fenton
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 09, 2006 @11:48PM (#15689071)
    Any now for your viewing pleasure. Some naughty bits.

    B*m
    T*ts
    Kn*ckers
    Semprini
  • by Brian_Ellenberger (308720) on Sunday July 09, 2006 @11:58PM (#15689110)
    Don't approve of this action just because you think it only hurts a bunch of "right-wing Christian zealots". Remember fair use! There was a one-to-one copy sold with each of these DVDs---the original and the edited. The filmmakers did not lose one dime, and in fact made money with each copy sold.

    So if we are to argue that, if you bought something you have the legal right to do whatever you want to it (Fast Forward through commercials, play on a Linux box, rip to a hard drive), then you cannot allow Hollywood to start acquiring new rights for their so-called "artistic vision". Otherwise, you will find yourself unable to fast forward through scenes (or commercials) because that would violate the "artistic vision" of Hollywood.

    Remember folks---it is all about control. Hollywood wants all the control. We cannot surrender even the smallest bit of it, because as soon as we do it establishes legal precedence.

    And as for their pure "artistic vision", they regularly violate it when they make full-screen movies, TV versions, and rereleases of the same movie every 10 years.
    • Don't approve of this action just because you think it only hurts a bunch of "right-wing Christian zealots". Remember fair use! There was a one-to-one copy sold with each of these DVDs---the original and the edited. The filmmakers did not lose one dime, and in fact made money with each copy sold.

      Fair use would be you making a backup copy, puting the one you bought into storage, and using the backup. This is fair use. Heck, even taking a film that you own, making a copy and cutting out scenes you don't lik
  • by peacefinder (469349) <alan...dewitt@@@gmail...com> on Monday July 10, 2006 @12:02AM (#15689126) Journal
    This actually might be good news over the next few years. A large and key bloc of Republican voters (the Christian right) is going to be very, very annoyed about this ruling. If they start supporting copyright reform in a big way because of this, substantial changes might be possible for once.
  • Not ClearPlay (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ottffssent (18387) on Monday July 10, 2006 @12:06AM (#15689134)
    I was curious to see if TFA mentioned ClearPlay, a company we heard about on /. a while ago that markets custom DVD players that read not only the DVD but also a database that categorizes the content on popular movies, allowing you to program the player to skip scenes of sex or violence or whatever bothers you. The company seems to still be in business, but apparently they're not popular enough to keep these custom DVDs out of the market. The effect is the same, but without the copyright concerns.

    I seem to recall the /. comments at the time being fairly negative, but to me it seemed like a pretty good idea. I don't really like censorship in any form, but it's hard to argue with something as voluntary as buying a whole separate DVD player to keep your kids from seeing the naughty bits, if that's what gets your goat.
  • by technoCon (18339) on Monday July 10, 2006 @12:27AM (#15689209) Homepage Journal
    If memory serves, when networks broadcast movies on television, they take out the naughty bits. Since Hollywood is anxious to preserve the artistic integrity of its product, they'll no doubt take this court ruling to the television networks and forbid them from censoring said naughty bits. Right?

  • by TheFlyingGoat (161967) on Monday July 10, 2006 @12:41AM (#15689258) Homepage Journal
    I understand where the movie companies are coming from in terms of copyright... they don't want people taking a DVD, adding additional clips/features/menus/etc, and selling that for a profit. Then again, I don't really understand why they have an issue with that. They're getting just as much money from each DVD sale, so it's not like they're losing any business. In fact, they're probably gaining business from those people who wouldn't normally buy a certain movie due to violent/sexual/etc content, but will if they get an edited version of the movie.

    As for the directors and producers that claim their artistic vision was impeded upon, they sure don't have an issue with those movies being modified in the exact same way for broadcast on network tv. All they care about is the large amount of money the networks give them.

    So, what this really comes down to is the movie studios wanting complete control over their works, which I'm surprised to see much of the Slashdot crowd backing up. Seems it's better to hate "the red states" than to hate the MPAA.

    Now that that those are taken care of, where do Microsoft, the Kansas Board of Education, America, Republicans, sports, and current music stars fit in? ;)
  • Hollywood Babylon (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Detritus (11846) on Monday July 10, 2006 @01:48AM (#15689432) Homepage
    I think I'm about to overdose on the stench of hypocrisy emanating from the DGA. These clowns have no problem with distributors and television networks hacking their masterpieces into kibble, to fit in more commercials and eliminate the naughty bits, but if someone in Utah does it, it's an attack on their so-called "artistic integrity"? To mutilate an old joke, we know they are whores, they are just haggling over the price.
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Monday July 10, 2006 @04:44AM (#15689841)
    What would remain? A plumber going to the house of a young lady... next scene he goes home. A traffic cop pulling a young lady over... next scene she drives on.

    I can already see the ad for it: 100 of the best porn movies on one DVD!
  • this is bad (Score:5, Insightful)

    by m874t232 (973431) on Monday July 10, 2006 @04:45AM (#15689845)
    I don't like people who "scrub" movies, but I still think this ruling is bad. For millennia, art has progressed and evolved by taking some prior artist's work and modifying it, often in ways that the original artist didn't agree with. Except for possibly receiving financial compensation for a limited time for each copy created, artists should not have the power to control what happens to their creations after they have released them to the public.

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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