I kinda have to side with Hollywood on this one...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jon Mercer, Jan 30, 2003.

  1. Jon Mercer

    Jon Mercer Second Unit

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  2. Jason Harbaugh

    Jason Harbaugh Cinematographer

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    There have been other threads discussing this topic when the lawsuits first started.

    I have a mixed view on this. In one corner I think it is wrong to edit a movie then sell it like what Cleanflicks was doing. In the other, I don't think I should be told that I can't edit it myself (not that I ever would but I would like the freedom to do it). I bought it, I gave you my money, now it is out of your hands. It is like buying a poster of the Mona Lisa and drawing a mustache on her. It isn't

     
  3. Joe Acevedo

    Joe Acevedo Agent

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    I don't want to start a debate, but...

    I think it is funny that Hollywood was willing to make a stand here to protect the integrity of the creator's original film when the original film is altered every time a non-OAR DVD is released.

    Personally, I am happy as long as I am always able to easily purchase a movie with its creator's intended content and presentation. I just think it is strange that Hollywood objects to these sort of alterations as opposed the films OAR.
     
  4. Brian Cal

    Brian Cal Stunt Coordinator

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  5. Joel C

    Joel C Screenwriter

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    I agree the argument is weak, but I don't really see why the technology is a violation of copyright law as long as it doesn't permanently change the film (like selling edited tapes).

    If the service is shut off, the movie is that same, right? All ClearPlay does is basically what my dad did when we watched movies as a family when I was younger--fast-foward through the naughty bits.

    The fact that he was fast-fowarding through the sex scene in Terminator, when I was about 10, is another matter. [​IMG] But I can why some people would want to use it, but only when the movies are obviously of a G or PG classification, but they are pumped up to PG-13 with swearing.
     
  6. JarrodK

    JarrodK Extra

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  7. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    The TV/Blockbuster versions are created with the director's full cooperation, and unless they waive that right, that's how it is period.

    Cleanflicks etc does not use anything except for their own "judgement"
     
  8. Jeff Kohn

    Jeff Kohn Supporting Actor

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    I think Hollywood has a case against CleanFlicks, because they're obviously selling derivative works. But the case for CleanPlay is different, because there are no copyright issues involved, and that's what should be at issue here. Based on the description of how CleanPlay works, I really don't see how you can argue any copyright infringement. If this device just mutes and fast forwards, then as another poster mentioned all it does is automate what parents have been doing for decades, albeit more efficiently and more accurately.

    Those of you siding with Hollywood on this issue seem to be overlooking the fact that this case could set a very dangerous precedent with regard to fair use if the MPAA wins. As I mentioned this case isn't about copyrights, it's about control; the MPAA wants to be able to dictate how you watch their product. Right now you might think it's OK because they're attacking something you have no interest in, but I can think of plenty other fair use issues that they could attack using the exact same logic:

    1) Zooming content to full screen
    2) User-recorded DVD commentaries
    3) Bookmark support in PC-based DVD players
    4) 30-second skip functionality in PVR's
    5) Compilation recordings (ie putting together a sequence of demo segments from several movies that you own)

    Hell, if you want to take their logic to its extreme conclusion, it could be used to outlaw ff/rw and chapter navigation altogether. You think it's annoying having to hit the chapter-forward key to get past those Disney commercials now, wait until you can't even do that. So don't think this is just an issue that affects intolerant prudes; it could easily set a precedent to give the MPAA complete control over your viewing experience and the ability to pretty much destroy fair use.

    And don't give me that "artistic integrity" BS, that's just a red herring. First, it has no basis in law. It's pretty easy (and very common) for people on this forum to look down their nose and accuse anybody who might want to use this technology as being neanderthals or worse, but that's just your opinion. And you know what, other people are entitled to their opinions too. If somebody wants to watch with the cuss words muted, or with the picture zoomed to fill their screen, or listening to the English dub of a foreign film, that's their right. And frankly, why do you care? It's not hurting you, nobody's forcing you to watch it, and it's not like the original isn't available for you to purchase and watch. You can think these people are ignorant or intolerant or whatever, but that's their right. Seems to me that it's not the concerned parents who are being intolerant here...

    Personally, I would never have any interest in using a CleanPlay device, but I can understand why some people might, and I respect their right to do so. It doesn't hurt me in any way, and you know what, it doesn't hurt Hollywood either.
     
  9. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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    Although I am no fan of censored films, I have to side against Hollywood on this.

    1. As Jeff points out, the vendor is not committing any copyright violation.

    2. If some customers infringed copyright with the aid of the device (e.g., recording and then selling the output), that wouldn't provide grounds for outlawing it. (See the Betamax decision.)

    3. If you say that letting people fast-forward violates the DMCA, my response would be that this is yet another reason to repeal the DMCA. (One of the latest DMCA absurdities: a printer vendor is claiming that compatible third-party ink cartridges violate the DMCA by breaking the "technological protection" that a cartridge uses to gain access to the printer.)

    4. There's no freedom of speech issue. To illustrate: Bush has the right to give a State of the Union address. You have the right to hear or read it all, but you also have the right to pay attention to just parts of it. His right to speak, and your right to hear what he has to say, does not give him a right to force you to listen. Likewise, directors and studios have no right to control how you experience purchased content in your own home. If you choose to skip the dirty words, or skip the inappropriate ads, they may not like it. They may be correct in calling you "artistically incorrect". But it's a free country.

    5. If a director's contract with a studio calls for the studio to respect the director's artistic vision, the studio's responsibility begins and ends with the content of official releases. Directors shouldn't expect studios to offer them something (control over customers' lives) that the studios have no right to give.

    6. This device is less threatening to the availability of the directors' preferred version of films than studio-supplied clean versions would be. (Especially if the studios did clean-version-only releases, the way they do MAR-only releases.)

    7. TV sets with a 4:3 aspect ratio are KNOWN to be a major contributing factor to the release of MARred discs. The studios have not asked the courts to outlaw sales of 4:3 TVs. Yet ([​IMG])
     
  10. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  11. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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  12. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  13. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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  14. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  15. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Producer

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    As ClearPlay is essentially a program that fast-forwards and mutes for you (also does masking), if you are claiming the product is illegal, you are either claiming fast-forwarding and muting are illegal or automating the process is illegal. Both arguments seem ludicrous.
     
  16. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  17. Eric Meske

    Eric Meske Stunt Coordinator

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    You guys are ignoring the bottom line: Money. The studios are upset because people are making money off of their movies. The studios are paid handsomely for Airline/TV edited versions.

    Don't believe for a second that the studios give a crap about "artist's rights" and "director's integrity." In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if some of the major studios are working on their own "CleanFlicks" type service right now. There's obviously a market for these edited films, no matter how wrong I may think it is, and when have the studios ever turned down a chance to make another buck?
     
  18. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    ClearPlay will be found legal under Nintendo vs Galoob, unfortunately. So long as the original disc is used, and its content remains unaltered, they will not succeed in stomping them

    Cleanflicks because they pirate the movies to create their versions, will die horribly.

    Personally I think these people should be made to watch these movies whole, the way they're meant to be seen or not at all. If their wittle fewings are hurt by naughty words and a little blood, then they should go back to kindergarten
    and grow up
     
  19. David Rogers

    David Rogers Supporting Actor

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    Editing discs, wrong.

    Selling a special player that uses a seperately loaded "script" to dynamically skip/fast forward a commerical DVD for a specific viewing purpose, I'm okay with that.

    Would never effin' do it, but am okay with those who want too.

    Actually, I would effin' do it. I have some movies that are really only partly fun to watch, so I could get a script that would auto play only the fights from Blade I or only the action/effects from Episode I. Etc...
     
  20. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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    It may be the case, however, that manufacturing a DVD player with a built-in ClearPlay filter is a violation of the DVD technology license agreement needed to manufacture players. I've read that a requirement of the license agreement is that the output not be modified by the player. I'd love to see what a standardized license agreement looks like in order to see if this is true (and to what extent - presumably the downmixing of a DD 5.1 track to 2.0 isn't an unallowed modification). Anyway, if it is true, the Icebox DVD Player may violate the license agreement and ClearPlay and/or ICE Systems could face a contract violation suit.

    DJ
     

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