The height of hypocricy: Studio claims consumer film-edit devices violate copyright

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dana Fillhart, Dec 14, 2002.

  1. Dana Fillhart

    Dana Fillhart Supporting Actor

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    http://www.cnn.com/2002/SHOWBIZ/Movi....ap/index.html
    This is absolutely ridiculous! The very same studios that hack to shreds some of the greatest films of all time are talking out the other side of their mouth and "backing" directors who want to stop these technological devices to allow consumers to edit out content they don't want...unbelievable!
    Yeesh! Yeah, I know it's not hot-off-the-presses news, but it's just now coming to a head, with the studios taking a more proactive approach against the tech companies that produce the software/hardware that allow such edits.
    What makes the hypocricy even greater is that these same studios were telling lawmakers just a few short years ago not to impose legal enforcements of ratings, that technology would better solve this problem than government intrusion.
    Argh, my head boils with the rage of utter disbelief at their increasing arrogance!
    While I do sympathize with the directors in wanting to preserve their vision, I believe that, so long as the devices do not hinder the distribution of the original source, the greater good to the public is served by allowing consumers to choose; let the free market reign here, too.
    There's no way the studios are on the side of directors in this case. It's a simple matter, really: It's a power struggle -- an attempt to keep firm control on what the public sees and does with their films. Anyone outside (read: non-studio-backed) who tries to offer an alternative must be quashed completely.
    I hope this case is shot down before it has a chance to set yet another terrible legal precedent.
     
  2. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    THis has been discussed ad nauseum

    These "clean" rental stores are violating the DMCA AND bootlegging tapes and DVDs. Even MORE reprehensible is that they're editing their bootlegs.

    Directors are absolutely correct that by renting/selling these tapes in their original packaging with their names attached to it is misrepresentation, and since the companies have purchased _0_ rights to these movies they're screwed. The licensing agreement on home videos SPECIFICALLY forbids unauthorized copying, and since these people are doing this for commercial gain, they're DOUBLY screwed. Also, the copies they provide most likely do NOT have macrovision or CSS< and therefore they're totally screwed in a Federal case for stripping protections

    Unfortunately, the censoring software for PCs will probably only require an overlay of "Alan Smithee" over most credits as this software requires a legitimate copy

    If they are offended by violence and swearing, then don't watch. They deserve to be sued out of existance
     
  3. Dana Fillhart

    Dana Fillhart Supporting Actor

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    And the devices that are sold separately that have special encoding information about the original-source DVDs, what about those, do they somehow infringe? You know you can go online and download software that allows you to play DVDs to skip specific preprogrammed bits of information; I believe there are companies that are trying to make DVD players with this technology built in so that all you need to do is download to the player the right "patch" for the movie you want to modify for your own private use.

    I can see your point about the resellers, but not about giving a consumer the right to be as censoring (or as stupid) as he wants to be with the (original-source) material he bought.

    Within the confines of the Fair Use doctrine of the copyright laws, a consumer has the right to do with his purchase whatever he pleases in the privacy of his own home, and pass his or her values to his children in the manner he or she best sees fit, and if there's a piece of technology that allows the would-be personal censor to do it, it is the consumer's right.

    Like online file-trading, this genie's out of the bottle, and the harder the **AA cartels try to crack down on it, the wider their problems spread.

    What makes it horrifying is seeing those arenas once cherished as personal freedoms being chipped away slowly by an over-reaching, beurocratic group of establishments. In all practical terms, there is no more Fair Use. The actions by the studios exemplified in the above article only compound further that fact.
     
  4. Dana Fillhart

    Dana Fillhart Supporting Actor

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    Jeff,
    I don't want to seem confrontational; I empathize firmly with the directors on the issue of public reselling of movies that have been modified against the wishes of said directors.
    However, it IS extraordinarily hypocritical of the studios to say they're standing behind the directors when they do this all the time! Yes, I know the directors sign a contract beforehand, but that does not invalidate the essence of the hypocricy. This is not about the preservation of some noble Directorial Vision or their rights, it's wholly about maintaining control of their material. I find their stance to be abhorrant.
    And, unlike my position on Pan & Scan (where I cannot support the consumer's wish to have his version sold along with the OAR source), I do support the consumer's (oftentimes idiotic) position to play censor in his own home, because the sale of a separate chip that skips minutes 10-20 of some R-rated movie does not in any way affect my ability to purchase said R-rated movie in its original format, now AND in the future (unlike P&S, whose sales can directly affect the availablity of OAR). In fact, this technology could in theory allow studios to focus solely on OAR from here on out, and let the chip format the movie however Joe Six Pack wants it.
    Think long about it; the technology is out there, it is being used or being further advanced, and it's not going away. In the long run, it's better to let consumers choose to use it to chop all to hell whatever film they want in the privacy of their own home, while the studios release only the director's intended version.
    Idyllic? Of course; in this world it'll never happen. But not because the consumers are wrong. It's because, in following that path, the studios lose the one thing they want more than anything else: Control.
     
  5. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    If you'll note, I did specifically say that the software that will censor it for you IS legal, I find it reprehensible but it is legal

    What SHOULD be required is that all persons who wish their names off the film if it is to be viewed butchered, the overlay function should be used to Alan Smithee them. The directors are not asked in to supervise the butchering of their films (unlike with TV and P&S versions) and that is where the line is drawn there.

    However, since CleanFlicks specifically COPIES the movies, edits them, and sells them under their own lable, they are violating amazing amounts of laws, even with the "trade-in" policy, it is illegal, and they're going to go down for it
     
  6. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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  7. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Actually most classics are on DVD uncut by the studio. Obviously, some films are edited or censored from years ago (like Stroheim's Greed), but you hardly see that happen these days.



    The studios need to win on the basis that no one should have the right to tamper with the flow of a motion picture without the filmmaker's consent. If the filmmaker is deceased or not availible, keep the damn film alone.

    Do we really need G-rated edits of Goodfellas and Saving Private Ryan? Without the full content, the films lose their purpose...

    Censorship belongs in the garbage can.
     
  8. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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    I don't see this as hypocritical at all. No matter what one thinks of the control exercised by studios over their films, they've got millions upon millions of dollars on the line for every film they finance and release. These third party companies like CleanFlicks come out of nowhere to remove things they happen to dislike; this is absolutely nothing like what studios do. Thankfully, both the copyright and trademark law make these actions illegal.

    I expect (and hope) that companies like CleanFlicks who sell and rent pre-edited films will be shut down. Companies selling software, however, will likely prevail on both the copyright and trademark claims.

    DJ
     
  9. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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