An Immodest Proposal: Reverse Censorship

There are a number of firms that are seeking to clean up the foul language, nudity and such to be found in Hollywood films nowadays. They do it by altering the films, masking out the words and cutting the scenes they find offensive. They have attempted to sidestep the economic harm theory by selling an original of the flicks they alter along with the sanitized version, so the original studio makes money for each film they sell.

Their activities have spawned lawsuits and much controversy. Here’s a link to a story about them.

At first, I was unhappy about all the censorship that these bluenoses are doing. But then I realized that their censorship opens up a huge window of opportunity for an enterprising guy like myself.

I’ve written a number of reviews of movies and TV shows which contain bondage scenes – generally, lamenting how short and badly done they were. Ith has occurred to me that, if firms like ClearPlay, CleanFlicks and MediaMask can alter movies to suit their visions of how they should be done, well, so can I. I can just get some talented bondage models and insert explicit bondage scenes wherever I feel appropriate.

For example, wouldn’t “Single White Female” be a much better flick if, in the big scene with the lead tied to a chair by her whacky roommate, she’d been naked and had a huge rack?

I could fix that.

What about Paul Schrader’s “Cat People”? It had a pretty good nude bondage scene, but it was short and underlit.

I could fix that.

And what about the “Planet of the Slavegirls” episode of the old Buck Rogers TV show? It was completely lacking in slavegirls. I could fix that, boy howdy, I could fix that. I could include NAKED slavegirls.

So, if you’re in favor of letting groups like CleanFlicks alter flicks to suit their tastes, what about me? Don’t I get to alter films to my liking and sell them to the public as well? I can guarantee you there’s an audience that, ahem, shares my taste, or lack of it.


Nothing to add. This is my first, last, and only bump…because I really hope a fellow Doper can add to this. Great idea!

You know what would be really neat?

Making bondage porn. Seems a more effective way to accomplish what you’d like.

As long as the package is clearly marked so there’s no confusion to the consumer as what they are getting, and how it was altered, I have no problem with it.

But then I don’t get to play with the work of other artists.

The unfortunate part is I tend to find a lot of movie actors much prettier than folks in porn. So to whatever extent I might like bondage scenes in movies (it’s not a guiding passion, but I’ll confess some interest) your idea would be spoiled by the fact that it’s not really the folks I’m interested in.

Plus it’s not like movies ever do boy-on-boy bondage scenes.

What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. I don’t see how anyone could reasonably object to your proposal if they agreed with the “family-oriented” censorship already going on now.

The interesting question is how well this sort of thing might hold up in court. Could a decision in favor of “family-oriented” censorship form a precedent for adding in scenes to appeal to adults … or to whomever?

And Excalibre, I’m sure there are gay bondage porn filmmakers who could spice up a few films to your liking. I’m thinking specifically of “The Outlaw.”

Mmm. Regardless of the ethical issues regarding manipulating others art for your own purposes (one in which I’m highly skeptical on) I think given what you wish to do you’ll run into legal issues.

Say you take a copy of that damnable Britney Spears movie ‘Crossroads’ from a few years ago and manipulate it so the girls (including Britney) are constantly flashing some split beaverage and bondage work. Well and good, technically I’d assume it’s feasible.

At that point I think there are real legal issues of portraying someone (even a body double) in sexual positions without that persons consent. So if Britney doesn’t give you written permission to portray her going down on Zoe Saldana (whom I’ve never heard of) I think you’re within seconds of a nasty call from her legal team. Then bang, you’re poor for the rest of your life on civil judgements.

There’s only one slight problem-- you don’t own the rights to the flims or TV shows. Get the permission of those who do, and then knock yourself out.

Don’t forget to tune into *CSI *this Thurs-- it’s a special 90 min repeat of one of the Lady Heather episodes. If you’ve seen it, how would you rate it?

Well, the Clearplay (etc.) people have no legal right to the work, which is why some filmmakers are claiming their works are being unfairly altered.

If it’s something the user has to deliberately subscribe to - and thus there is no representation that the art matches the conception of the filmmaker or the actors’ decisions - it does sorta feel ethically equivalent to Clearplay, even though I think it must be somehow worse.

I’m perfectly OK with the courts saying no one can alter the films without the filmmakers consent. I’m just saying if the bluenoses get to play around with the films without the filmmakers’ consent, so do I. The only way I lose here is if the courts somehow find that the bluenoses can dick around with filmmakers’ work, but I can’t.

Actually, I was thinking more of set-piece scenes. I can see vanilla porn guys going with this big time – the scene you WISH you’d seen in Nameyerflick, now brought to you in XXX explicitness. Say, Casablanca. We get some uninhibited actors who look kinda, kinda, kinda like Ingmar Bergman and Humphrey Bogart. We toss in a “last night of romantic passion” scene before Rick has to let Ingmar head out on the plane. It adds so much to the final scene, knowing exactly how much they loved each other the night before, and just how flexible Ingmar is. Sigh.

As has been pointed out, neither do the ClearPlay/MediaMask people.

I liked it, not so much for the bondage scenes, which weren’t all that sexy, and weren’t all that much of them, but for the interplay between Grisson and Lady Heather. Lotta sparks flying there. I wish they’d developed that subplot more.

Ah, but you don’t need the right to copy or distribute others’ work if you don’t copy or distribute others’ work.

What you do is create a script with added sequences that, given the original dvd, will play the scenes in a particular order and splice in/overlay elements on top of the original footage. It wouldn’t be illegal (or immoral) to watch part of the movie, pause it, watch the bondage scene you like, and then unpause the original movie. So how is it immoral if you have a process that automates it?

Well, I’d say both attempts to alter copyrighted material are wrong.

Yep, I agree 100%. I suspect we’ll be seeing Lady Heather in future episodes.

Oh, I didn’t actually address the substance of Jonathan’s post. If you put in set scenes, you could have a little cue that … like the ones they used to put on 35mm films to let the projectionist know it was time to change the reel … and that would let people know the next scene was a fake, if the changes in lighting, decor, appearance of the characters, etc., didn’t clue them in. Since you’d be marketing the film as having added scenes, you’d probably have a pretty good defense against the charge of trying to make it appear Britney had done something naked when she didn’t intend to.

I might also add that a market for such films could offer up extra opportunities for aging actors and actresses. Say, Britney is around 35 and nobody wants to hear nothing from her. Her fortune was spent on shiny paper and fancy swizzle sticks. But she has a shot at getting more money, because she has a standing offer to do “additional scenes” for Crossroads.

Could work out well for everybody, except the directors.

Well, I doubt it would even work out poorly for the directors as I feel certain you’d have to license the original film to do something like that.

And if Britney, aged 35 says ‘go ahead…give me a cut’ then by all means go ahead.

But note there’s a difference in what occurs with the ‘clean up’ folks and what you propose. The clean up folks don’t put new material in the work. They remove. You, on the other hand, wish to expand a work. I feel certain (but wouldn’t mind hearing from a legal-type) that would require a much more careful legal examination.

:smiley: I, personally, would love to see a body double for the girl in The Fifth Element, walking from place to place wearing not much of an outfit, the one consisting of orange bands. :smiley:

P.S. How would this work? Two Dvds, one of which pauses the other, and plays the inserted scenes? A memory card? On-board memory, onto which you pre-load the needed scenes?

I do not see why altering a film one way is not altering it, but altering it in another way is altering it, as a practical matter. I will grant you that legal decisions often are radical departures from common sense.

In my above example, it is quite clear. The physical copy is not altered, you would simply be showing films of nekid people, on a diffrent reel , dressed as the ones from the film you just saw. The fact that the projectionist has a physically whole copy of the film says that the film isn’t altered. Sure, the patrons might refer to the film shown as an “altered copy”, but that doesn’t make it true.

Come to think of it, you are the OP. Surely you have noticed this in the thread. If this is a whoosh, please say so. :confused: