Clean Flicks

Has anyone rented a “Clean Flick”, those movies that are altered to remove any nudity, sexual content, etc. - I think the idea started in Utah (big surprise) by some knucklehead who was disturbed by Kate Winslett’s body in Titanic. But I think that they are available all across the country now. There’s a lot of flack here in Hollywood about the legality of such actions.

Just curious if anyone has seen one of these. I find the whole idea bizarre and typical of “holier than thou” groups. How do they
fill in the gaps, there must be some heavy duty editing involved.
The clean edition of Monsters’ Ball must be about 10 minutes long.

Until they released the DVD version, the only copies of Day of the Jackal I’ve seen (on VHS) were all somewhat edited. It’s a little surprising, really, since all they did was cut out a brief bit of nudity and some profanity.

I’ve heard that Wal-Mart specializes in “sanitized” DVDs, but the ones I’ve bought there don’t seem to have been edited.

NPR (National Public Radio) recently carried a story on Clean Flicks, which has filed a pre-emptive lawsuit (???) claiming the cuts it makes to the films it provides are legal, and not copyright violations, as many directors believe.

I don’t have a lot of sympathy for the Clean Flicks people.

I have no problem with CleanFlicks. I think it is nice service for those who don’t wish to view all the nudity, profanity and violence in some films.

I don’t think they are taking a “holier than thou” attitude. They are just wanting to view some good movie material without some stuff they might find offensive.

Why can’t they just get the airline version and call it good? Directors and studios allow those to be shown so I think that would be a better option than retailing their own editing.

As I understand it, the problem with Clean Flicks isn’t their views on sex and violence, or that people might buy their movies thinking it’s the original version. The problem is that they’re taking a copyrited movie, copying (most of) it, and selling it, AFAIK without paying royalties to the creator. That’s copyrite infringement, and should be illegal.

My video of The Shining was edited. It was sold as the normal video, not “clean”. I then saw it on TV- and realised that it was edited. Some things, I suppose, made since. But others- I kept thinking, “why did the Studio edit that?”

No, that’s not how it works. They are conscious of the royalties issue, so they work it like this: Customer buys a standard, unedited VHS copy of Titanic. Customer sends the unedited copy to Clean Flicks. Clean Flicks tapes over the “bad” original with their cleaned-up version, and sends the tape back to the customer. That way royalties have been paid.

BTW, copyright infringement and royalties are two separate issues. It is possible to violate one without violating the other.

I’m afraid that I have to state that I strongly disagree with that sentiment. This is a very slippery slope here, and not one that I think we should be on.

It has been stated more eloquently, but the fact remains that if you find a particular film/book/piece of music offensive, the better choice is to not expose yourself to it.

Let’s not kid ourselves here. What we are really talking about is censoring art.

Oh, come on. Censorship is when the government makes anything but the “clean” version unavailable. This is marketing popular movies to a sizable segment of the population that otherwise wouldn’t buy them.

Agreed. I don’t like what Clean Flicks is doing either but it does raise the question of where the artist’s right not to have his or her work bowdlerized without his or her permission ends and where the right of the purchaser of that particular piece of work to do what he or she wants with it begins. Right now, I could buy a tape of Titanic and, if I so chose, either watch it in its uncut form, take it to someone who’s technically proficient so he can edit out the “objectionable” parts (which, for me, would be much of the movie’s trite dialogue), or bust it open and turn it into party streamers. It’s my choice and I should be able to exercise it without having the police, FBI, and Jim Cameron crashing through my door to turn me inside out.

Here’s why it’s illegal, and why are going to get a smackdown in court.

The director alone holds final say over what the movie is. But TV edits movies!, you say. That’s right, and they do so because they have a contract with the movie studio. And if the director doesn’t like that, he/she can protest. Michael Mann lobbied to have his name removed (and replaced with “Alan Smithee”) for the network TV version of Heat, which he felt cut so much from the film that it was no longer his work, but that of someone else.

The legality comes in because these places are profiting from the service. If it was one person editing their personal copy of a movie, I doubt they would care what that one person did. It’s the distribution, and especially the profiting, from this act that is wrong.

“Sizable” segment of the population? If the demand for this kind of video was really that high, Hollywood would make them. Trust me.