Majors ready to start labeling altered pix

Member companies of the Motion Picture Assn. of America are ready to begin voluntarily labeling films that have been colorized, formatted for homevideo or edited in other ways, per MPAA prez Jack Valenti.

The MPAA topper made the announcement in a letter to Rep. William Hughes (D-N.J.), chairman of a House judiciary subcommittee.

“We are ready to start voluntarily applying these information labels now, and to enlist non-MPAA companies to do the same,” he wrote. MPAA will unveil the new labels soon, a spokesperson said.

In his missive, also sent to other members of the Judiciary Committee, Valenti reminded the lawmaker of an earlier pledge to resolve the film industry’s dispute over labeling if possible so Congressional action could be avoided. “I am ready to redeem that pledge,” he wrote.

The labeling plan would inform consumers about adaptations for the homevideo market, commercial aircraft and TV, he said.

The letter, a spirited beginning to the new Congressional term, noted that MPAA companies previously placed the issue before the Creative Rights Standing Committee and requested it to examine the labeling proposals. “To our dismay, the Directors Guild would not even discuss (them),” he lamented.

Valenti reminded the lawmaker that “some of those on the other side are determined to ignite a showdown in Congress” and compel members to vote on the issue. That’s because the subject continues to be linked to a drive by directors for “moral rights” legislation, Valenti wrote.

He said MPAA is eager to meet and discuss its labeling scheme.

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