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September 19, 2002

Clean Flix- Will Liberals Embrace this Techie Hack

Most online techie liberals embrace Napster and other tech hackers looking to give consumers more choice in how to use creative works in innovative ways. Well, one group of entreprenurs have been selling altered Hollywood films with all the sexual or violent content edited out at a push of a digital button. And Hollywood is protesting.

There is already a law that prohibits selling a modified version of a movie, but what will the law do with DVD software that leaves the movie intact on a disc, but gives consumers the option to skip over or modify scenes themselves? Seems like a basic individual right.

An interesting aspect of the case is that it is likely to turn conservative soccer mom types into IP rebels promoting the right to hack creative works for individual fair use. Look for some interesting political coalitions in the near future.

Posted by Nathan at September 19, 2002 09:50 AM

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Interesting. This one seems like a no-brainer to me. Although (as you point out) matters of choice are the salient issue, what will propel the idea's political force will be its "family values" cache. Dems will pile on quickly, Lieberman leading the way.

Posted by: TT at September 19, 2002 10:20 AM

I really don't think that there are that many soccer moms clamoring for this product. This is more of a Pop Warner-football mom or go-kart-mom issue.

Posted by: Jake at September 19, 2002 11:53 AM

i'm in show biz (marginally) and i find no problem with the concept of this product. it's much like fast=forwarding a video tape over the scary parts. once bought (or rented, i suppose) a flick is pretty much the consumer's to consume as they want to.

maybe hollywood is afraid that, like the "phantom edit" of star wars movie fame, some nobody from podunk will take a so-so story and make an infinitely superior product, thus putting all us "show biz professionals" to shame (well, not me, i don't have much say so. i just stand where they tell me and say what they write).

Posted by: skippy at September 19, 2002 09:40 PM

What is the difference between this and what people watch on ABC,CBS,NBC after they dub over the swearing and cut the nudity.

Posted by: bill at October 8, 2002 09:34 AM

The difference legally is that the studio owners of the film have agreed to the editing for television. The issue is whether copyright owners have the right not only to financially benefit from a film but also to control how it is presented to the public.

Posted by: Nathan Newman at October 8, 2002 09:42 AM

Hey, I think that if Hollywood knows people WANT edited movies, they'd start providing them to the general public. Maybe we just need to make our voices heard. I'm doing a paper on this, though, and I thought I'd ask if anyone minds me quoting this page. You guys point out some good aspects.

Posted by: Flixer Fan at October 15, 2002 01:08 AM

I agree that Hollywierd should just do it themselves if they don't like it. The technology is there, let us pick what rating we want to watch. They are still making the money, probably even more because it opens up a given movie to be seen by those that wouldn't watch it because of its bad content. Hollywood likes to put in meaningless sex scenes that don't add to the plot, Titanic- case and point, Point Break- what did the topless girls running around the house during the police raid add?

Posted by: Go Clean Flix at February 13, 2004 02:20 AM

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