No Nudes is Good News

Just an update on this story of a Utah video store owner who edits offensive scenes out of customers’ purchased videotapes. Here’s the link: No Nudes Is Good News

So what’s the consensus? Should big studios have the right to say what happens to their videotapes after they’ve been purchased?

Should theaters have the right to censor movies, especially if the overwhelming majority of the audience wants that censorship? How about video rentals? If I want to see a video but don’t want to see the sex scenes, should the video store be allowed to cut out offensive parts? Or are we forced to watch every movie EXACTLY as it was made to preserve artistic integrity? Come on, that argument has no leg to stand on, in light of the censorship that movies on TV get subjected to. It’s all about money, IMHO. If someone can pay the Big Studio enough money, “artistic integrity” goes the way of the dinosaur very quickly.

“Are you now or have you ever been a member of a communist dishwashing organization?”
Frank Burns, MAS*H

Wait, I don’t understand. You want to see the movie, but not the nudity? Why not just fast-forward? Or watch movies with no nudity - there are plenty out there, as I recall…

SanibelMan - My Homepage
“All right. Have it your own way. Road to hell paved with unbought stuffed dogs. Not my fault.”

Well, respect for artistic integrity is one reason not to make unapproved alterations to the work of another person. Then there is the legal right that person has by reason of their copyright. You do not have the right sell material under my name, unless it is my work. You don’t have the right to make changes in my work, and then sell it as your own work, or as my work. You do not have the right to use a movie studio brand, logo, or trademarks on material that they did not produce.

This is not just a freedom of speech case, clear and simple. This case involves the right of ownership of intellectual property. If you don’t like nudes, you can avoid movies with nudes. If you want to see the movie, you can close your eyes, or fast forward or simply turn down the brightness control until the nude scene is over. Why watch what you do not find worth watching, in the first place? Selling things that don’t belong to you is another matter all together.

If you think my movie would be better without the parts you don’t like, make your own movies, organize boycotts of mine, or try to get others to ignore my work. But my work is my property. You can produce any type of movie you feel is better, and sell that. If the market place agrees, you will be able to sell your movies. You still don’t have the right to sell my movies. If you alter my movie, and then sell it, you are violating my right to my work. You should be prepared to pay a very stiff penalty in court, and I happen to think you deserve to pay it.

<P ALIGN=“CENTER”>           Tris </P><HR>

<FONT FACE=“Webdings” SIZE=5 COLOR="#ff2400"> ** - ** </FONT> </P>

SanibelMan wrote:

Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that I only like to watch movies in the theater, so I can’t just fast-forward the offensive parts. Let’s also say that I want to watch a summer blockbuster that I’ve been wanting to see for a long time, but it has objectionable language, graphic violence, and numerous sex scenes. Am I just out of luck? Sure, I can go see other movies, but what if I want to see this particular movie? I’m out of luck, in this case.

Tris, my main objection to your argument, which is well thought out and very reasonable, is that it’s a money issue rather than an artistic integrity issue in many cases. A studio that won’t let me edit a movie and rent it out, but will let a television network edit it to their heart’s content if they offer $2 million for the rights, is exercising a double-standard. I’m not arguing that they don’t have the right to sell their stuff, I’m just saying that it’s mainly a monetary issue. The little guy can’t afford to buy the rights, and the big guy can. That’s usually the only difference that I can see in whether a movie gets edited or not.

Hail almighty Dollar!

“Are you now or have you ever been a member of a communist dishwashing organization?”
Frank Burns, MAS*H

Artistic integrity would be the operant consideration in all the cases where the author chose to deny the big networks permission to change their works. The fact that your changes are not as acceptable as NBC’s might be due to matters of artistic merit, but I will admit that seems unlikely. However, artists may choose to bend to whatever muse most inspires them, and that choice has been honored since the days of the patronage of the Noble classes in Florence, and Naples. It seems most of them liked nudes, too.

Yes, it would be a more beautiful world if the thing that made artists choose to defend their work was art’s own sake. It would be a nice thing too if the reason that people wanted to cut out the nudie scenes was because they wished to preserve a purity in their own experience of sexuality. My cynical worldview leads me to have serious reservations about the likelihood of either of those things. The argument of property rights is a lot more prosaic. It is also a lot more likely to be made by those who produce videos.

<P ALIGN=“CENTER”>           Tris </P> <HR>
“The greater the artist, the greater the doubt; perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize.”
-Robert Hughes
<FONT FACE=“Webdings” SIZE=7 COLOR="#ff2400"> ** Y ** </FONT> </P>

The Question I want answered is, Did he tell his customers he was editing the tapes?
Hell, If I rent “BoldFinger” I expect what I’m renting. Ok, that is an extreme example,
but who is someone in a video store to say what I can and cannot watch? Im legally allowed to see it, so who is he to say I cant?

“We should have as high a regard for the church so as to keep it out of as many things as possible”

Fluther Good -the Shadow of a Gunman.
Sean O’Casey

Editing the violence out of Braveheart and Saving Private Ryan?

What the f**k???

If all they want is the credits, just visit the IMDB, for pity’s sake!


The Legend Of PigeonMan

  • Shadow of the Pigeon -
    Weirdo of the Night

JohnLarrigan wrote:

No, you don’t understand. The store is only editing already-purchased copies of movies. It isn’t editing video rentals, although it is being selective of what it rents.

“Are you now or have you ever been a member of a communist dishwashing organization?”
Frank Burns, MAS*H

I should have added, the store is only editing already-purchased videos, and then only by the customer’s specific request that the tapes be edited. It’s not editing every movie in its showroom and then renting edited movies to unsuspecting customers.

thanks for clearing that up, snark

Krusty Opinionated told me to use American Swear words. so I will.

“Bite Me”

These people must be living in some alternate reality. I just love this quote:

“With ‘Saving Private Ryan’ you know it’s about war and war is terrible but you just don’t need to see the bodies blowing up to know that it happened,”

Yeah, like, if you take out all the death and violence and stuff, WWII doesn’t seem all that bad.

The bottome line is that unauthorized modification and distribution of another person’s copyrighted material is illegal. It couldn’t be more plain and simple than that. The difference between the video store and network TV scenarios is that the artists have discretion over what compromises will be made when dealing with the networks. If the artist feels that certain scenes are essential to the technical content of his/her movie they can choose not to allow distribution in a modified state when dealing with the networks. The artist has no such control with the video store. Of course, an artist might be more likely to compromise his/her artistic integrity if there’s large numbers with dollar signs involved… as in your typical network TV deal…

Except: if you purchase a copy of a tape, you’re free to copy it, and edit it, for your personal use. You just can’t sell or rent your copy, show it to large numbers of people with or without charging admission, or otherwise try to make money off it or pass it off as the original work. Etcetera.

It seems that that’s what’s happening here: the customer is purchasing a copy of the tape, and the video store owner, acting as the customer/purchaser’s agent, is editing it on the customer’s behalf, once the customer owns it.

Regardless of one’s opinion of the practice (and, given the particulars, I can’t see why it’s any of my business), it sounds as legal as church on Sunday to me.

Can someone explain how to implement these ideas on a practical level? If a person closes their eyes or turns down the brightness, how to they know when the objectionable scene is over? And fast-forwarding simply speeds it up, but does not really solve the problem at all.

Kudos to this editing guy.

I agree with RT.

[RT?.. RT, get up… Quit kiddin’ around, man… Hey, somebody call a docor!]

::choke, gasp, splutter::

Oh, my heart!

Some brandy, somebody!

::gradually recovers and composes himself::

Isn’t this one of the signs of the end-times? :wink:

This reminds of WalMart’s policy of selling “cleaned-up” versions of music recordings. Of course it’s different in that they get them from the recording companies themselves; it’s not like WalMart edits them after receiving them from the supplier. All about money, like Snark said.

Like RTF and Lib, I think this guy has found a clever way around around the legal issue.

As a former Utah resident, I’ve encountered the Majority Juggernaut ™. I intend no offense at all, Snark, but SLC was a bit of a change from North Carolina. :wink:

The Wardhouse next to my place fo work used to have weeklt movie nights with G-rated films. Most of the time the movies started out G, but a few were airplane versions or other edits.

I guess I don’t mind it too much. I mean, unless they get into legal trouble I’ll assume they’re not breaking the law. I think the “artistic vision” argument doesn’t hold water–whose artistic vision is it? The actors’? Director’s? Other director’s? The several producers’? Hey, most every film released has been hacked and re-hacked so many times it bears no relationship at all to the original screenplay.

I do have one big problem with editing movies, however. Seems to me that the Mormon and Baptist groups (singling these out only because they seem to be the most vocal about it) who are editing movies are actually condoning the violence, sex, and nudity in the movies. IMO, if they truly wanted to “clean up” Hollywood, they wouldn’t spend any money at all on films containing objectionable material. Instead they bail with the morally weak argument, “oh, we’ll just edit it because it’s such a good movie otherwise.”


Well, fast-forwarding through most “objectionable” parts does have its humor value! :slight_smile:

I’d thought of several good reasons for concurring with the apparent majority opinion. Then I read the link in Snark’s OP. And it made reference to Titanic.

Amanda is 7. She is bright as a pin, very grown up and has great disdain for dealing with “those kids” (her 3 and 5 year old brothers), and her parent’s eclectic tastes in movies. She was told she could not see Titanic (the reason being the nude scenes). Her Uncle Mike, a bit more liberal than her parents on such subjects, let her see it, and she shared with me that she’d gotten to watch it, and loved it. She felt the nude scenes were just worth giggling over: “What’s the big deal about them getting undressed?” were her exact words. So no real harm was done. But I’m confident her parents would have had no problem with the version cut as Snark’s link suggests.

In short, there are legitimate grounds for having both Bowlderized and intact versions. With a little effort, I could come up with examples of several films where sex, while not exactly gratuitous, was not central to the plot, where a kid that parents did not want exposed to visual depictions of sex would enjoy with movie quite well sans sex scene.

Most of the points I wanted to make have already been made, so I’ll keep my points concise.

  1. Once I buy it, it’s mine. If I want to cut out sex and violence, it’s up to me, as long as I don’t sell it and represent it as the original work.

  2. If Wal-Mart et al want to sell edited versions of the video or album, that’s between them and the copyright holder. To this day, I’m still wondering where the rubber gloves went from my copy of Animal House, or the word “perdition” from The Wrath of Khan.

  3. For those of you bleating about artisitc license, remember. There’s no requirement for a retailer to sell anything that doesn’t meet its specifications, and no law that requires a producer to make changes just to get placement with that retailer. It’s all commerce, folks.