Sunday, July 09, 2006

SHUTTING DOWN THE CENSORS

Huffington Post brought us some fine news for a Sunday morning, via the Salt Lake Tribune:

“Utah film sanitizers ordered to cut it”

“Court ruling: Deleting objectionable language, sex and violence injures artistic expression”

http://www.sltrib.com/ci_4026743

I’m tickled pink by the ruling… Screw moralists and especially moralist censors… But I’m a bit disturbed by the reasoning…

If you haven’t been following this dog, there are a few companies, most of them in Utah, which have been capitalizing on an idea started by a mom & pop video shop, Sunrise Family Video. They offered to edit nude scenes from "Titanic" for $5 for people who purchased the movie.

Well, the “I can’t look at a titty without turning to stone” crowd lined up at the door, and the enterprise took off, spawning copycat copythieves...

Needless to say, movie producers got a little hot about this…

I’d like to see the whole ruling – the Court posts its rulings but the last post is a day before this decision. If you’re interested, go to:

http://www.co.uscourts.gov/opinions_frame2.htm

All we have is this snippet from the report:

“"Their [studios and directors] objective . . . is to stop the infringement because of its irreparable injury to the creative artistic expression in the copyrighted movies," the judge wrote in a 16-page decision. "There is a public interest in providing such protection. Their business is illegitimate."”

Artistic expression… How about “it’s mine and I don’t want you to chop it up?” How about “It’s mine and I didn’t authorize you to reproduce it?”

The decision takes the form of an order to CleanFlicks, Play It Clean Video, and CleanFilms, to stop "producing, manufacturing, creating" as well as renting edited movies – and it will be appealed. Ray Lines, chief executive of CleanFlicks, said he plans to meet with his attorneys Monday to discuss the ruling, but vowed to keep fighting Hollywood. "We're disappointed," he said. "This is a typical case of David vs. Goliath, but in this case, Hollywood rewrote the ending. We're going to continue to fight."

So it’s on to the Tenth Circuit, I suppose. Too bad it’s not the Ninth… This would be a good one for them.

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