Feeds

Prudes sue for right to edit rented flicks

Movie directors not amused

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

A couple of prudes in Denver are suing for the right to distribute rental flicks with all the good parts removed. Apparently, one of the plaintiffs has some gimmick involving a modified remote control whereby viewers can select between the original and bowdlerized editions, according to a Reuters report.

"Clean Flicks of Colorado and Robert Huntsman, who has a patent pending for a new way to edit movies, filed the lawsuit in federal court, seeking a judgment that would declare it constitutional to provide edited movies to the public for private home viewing," the wire service says.

The two plaintiffs are appealing to the First Amendment, claiming that their sanitized offerings are protected speech. The idea is to get out in front of an anticipated injunction which the pair believes the Directors Guild of America was about to request.

Free speech is certainly a novel approach to circumventing Hollywood's savage copyright-infringement regime, though it would seem the only thing the First Amendment guarantees is the right of the plaintiffs to denounce the movies they would censor. Perhaps a more sensible approach would be to seek some novel licensing scheme with the copyright owners from which both sides might benefit. I see no reason why "9 1/2 Weeks" shouldn't be available in a 9 1/2-minute version for those who wish for some reason to watch it with their young children. I don't see much point to it; but then, the world is full of things I see little or no point to, so that's hardly a basis for evaluation.

However, by filing suit against the directors rather than negotiating with the studios, it seems the plaintiffs have signalled their intention to enact a mere publicity stunt, perhaps in hopes that some organized grassroots prude movement will come to their rescue and make a national issue of their little money-making scheme.

Defendants include some of Hollywood's most pampered prima donnas and heaviest political hitters: Robert Altman, Curtis Hanson, Norman Jewison, John Landis, Sydney Pollack, Robert Redford, Martin Scorsese, Steven Soderbergh and Steven Spielberg.

It should be amusing to see how quickly their legal teams can squash our enterprising plaintiffs like bugs. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
10 Top Tips For PRs Considering Whether To Phone The Register
You'll Read These And LOL Even Though They're Serious
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.