Federal Judge: Sanitizing Movies is Illegal

Illustration for article titled Federal Judge: Sanitizing Movies is Illegal

We Gizmodians like our gadgets shiny and our movies uncut, but lots of folks want to censor movies, cutting them up the way they see fit. But a federal judge in Colorado sided with the Directors Guild of America, saying no, third parties can't edit and then re-release movies with the naughty words removed. He chewed up and spit out prude-infested companies such as CleanFlicks, CleanFilms and Family Flix USA, telling them they can't sell or rent these "cleaned-up" movies any more.

Rightfully so. These movies already had one editor. That job was done by a trained professional. As a director, the whole idea of some hack editing my work and then re-selling it makes my skin crawl. If someone doesn't want to hear certain words or phrases, the movies containing such language are well-marked. They can simply choose not to watch those movies.

Justice is done. The judge said it's up to the moviemakers to decide what's in their content. CleanFlicks plans to appeal that ruling. To those who want to censor movies, cleaning them up for their own prudish devices, here's a choice phrase, specifically edited just for them: fuck you.


Sanitizing movies illegal says judge [ars technica]

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Movies that are edited for TV are done so at the behest of the FCC, and normally these movies are shown on broadcast television where anyone can see them for free, and with permission from the filmmakers.

The difference here is that there are several companies making a market off of editing films and then reselling them at a profit.

Sure you can adjust the bass and treble of a song, or what size TV you watch a movie on, but you can't go in and rewrite the lyrics, nor can you edit the content of the movie without permission.

If you want to make marks on prints of famous paintings at home that's fine but you cant make a living selling statuettes of David with his junk lopped off.

Oh, and to the line "Why shouldn't people be allowed to consume the art in a form that is more acceptable to their sensibilities?" ...

If you are offended by it, don't partake in it. There's no editing, no changing, no filtering necessary. The MPAA has already screened and rated the film based on content so that you can make the decision to watch or not.

Why bother editing the words or content in these movies anyway? It doesn't matter how many times you change Fuck to Fudge, it doesn't matter how many seconds of footage are trimmed so you don't Actually see some graphic bit, the point is still there, the intention is still there, you KNOW what happened there, and at the end of the day THAT is what should be offensive. If that's the case, then you shouldn't be watching that type of movie in the first place.