I’ve been meaning to blog about this ever since I saw Joshua Steimle’s excellent post on the court ruling against CleanFlicks, CleanFilms, Family Flix USA, and Play It Clean Video. The skinny of it is that U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch ruled that the distribution of edited movies (which have been scrubbed of objectionable content) violates copyrights. Here were his words:
“This court is not free to determine the social value of copyrighted works. What is protected are the creator’s rights to protect its creation in the form in which it was created.”
Now don’t get me wrong, I agree with the ruling, but I can’t help but find the case, brought to the the table by the Directors Guild of America (DGA), utterly despicable. Why? Because any other industry would offer its customers what they want. There’s definitely a market for sanitized videos, and studios could easily serve that market with their own self-sanctioned sanitized versions. But they don’t. Studios could offer alternatively rated versions on the same CD at almost no additional cost. But they don’t. Studios could enter into some kind of licensing agreement with film sanitizers. But they don’t. The very least Hollywood could do is turn a blind eye to the film sanitation industry –after all, these companies bought legitimate copies of each movie and are only using edited copies to reach a valuable market segment that Hollywood refuses to accommodate.) But they don’t.
Why do they do none of this? It’s because Hollywood hates you. Unlike any other industry on the planet, it doesn’t want to give you what you want, even though you’ll pay extra for it. Instead it wants to jam profanity, graphic violence, and sex down your throat and the throats of your children, whether you want it or not. Any option (legal or not) to view a film without Hollywood’s insertion of mind-numbing filth undermines it’s evil control of content and culture, and that’s the issue here.
Of course, the DGA claims it’s a different issue:
“Audiences can now be assured that the films they buy or rent are the vision of the filmmakers who made them and not the arbitrary choices of a third-party editor.”
My response: “Thank you from protecting me from those malicious sanitizers! My children will finally be protected from accidentally viewing a nudity-free ‘Titanic’! Thanks to your bitter reluctance to give your paying customers what they want, society can finally rid itself of the harmful effects that occur when children aren’t exposed to graphic violence and soft porn on a regular basis. Again, thank you Hollywood for looking out for me and mine!”
Obviously I’m pretty ticked about this. I’ve got a lot more to say about it, but this rant is already getting too long. For now let’s just say this: Hollywood and the DGA must not want you to be happy with their product. Put differently, the studios must value other interests or agendas more than you and your money. And if you’re not willing to be a full participant in Hollywood debauchery, the studios (even Disney) will hold you in contempt, even claiming that they are protecting you from products that you seek out and buy at a premium. In short, the film industry wants you to be unhappy.