You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Don’t clean flicks

The town’s elite directors, who covet their power over “final cut,” awakened recently to an ugly realization: Some people have been quietly re-editing their movies into their own final cut, and they haven’t bothered asking permission. Needless to say, the directors are headed to court.

Understandably so. A company called CleanFlicks has decided to re-edit movies ranging from “Shrek” to “Saving Private Ryan” and sell their sanitized videos in some 76 outlets in 18 states. And it’s a growing business. Their supposed raison d’être is that they know what their people want — movies without sex or violence. “Bridget Jones Diary” has some naughty references? Snip them out. Some innuendo sneaks into “Shrek?” Zap it.

What all this entails, of course, is an outrageous invasion of artists’ rights. “It’s wrong to cut scenes from a film, just as it is to rip pages from a book, simply because we don’t like the way something was portrayed or said, then resell it with the original title and the creator’s name still on it,” says Martha Coolidge, president of the Directors Guild of America, which filed suit against CleanFlicks.

There are some fascinating legal nuances to all this. Does re-editing films run counter to the “derivative work right’ of copyright holders? A few of the Utah movie rental companies have set themselves up as co-ops whose “members” rent videos from the store that claims to own them — a weird twist on the “fair use” doctrine.

Censorship is ugly in all its manifestations, and its justification on moral grounds is bogus. If the pop culture offends someone, he is free to abstain from it. But to distort the contents of movies, books or TV shows reflects a gross misunderstanding of the nature of a free society. Hollywood should throw its support behind the DGA in its worthy cause.

More Biz

  • Gibson, Iconic Guitar Company, Said to

    Gibson, Iconic Guitar Company, Said to Be Nearing Bankruptcy

    The town’s elite directors, who covet their power over “final cut,” awakened recently to an ugly realization: Some people have been quietly re-editing their movies into their own final cut, and they haven’t bothered asking permission. Needless to say, the directors are headed to court. Understandably so. A company called CleanFlicks has decided to re-edit […]

  • David Glasser Fired by the Weinstein

    Weinstein Co. Board Fires COO David Glasser for Cause

    The town’s elite directors, who covet their power over “final cut,” awakened recently to an ugly realization: Some people have been quietly re-editing their movies into their own final cut, and they haven’t bothered asking permission. Needless to say, the directors are headed to court. Understandably so. A company called CleanFlicks has decided to re-edit […]

  • Rules Don't Apply review

    Warren Beatty Sought Wider 'Rules Don't Apply' Release Despite Grim Test Screenings

    The town’s elite directors, who covet their power over “final cut,” awakened recently to an ugly realization: Some people have been quietly re-editing their movies into their own final cut, and they haven’t bothered asking permission. Needless to say, the directors are headed to court. Understandably so. A company called CleanFlicks has decided to re-edit […]

  • Oh Seok-geun Korean Film Council

    New Leader Promises Reforms at Korean Film Council

    The town’s elite directors, who covet their power over “final cut,” awakened recently to an ugly realization: Some people have been quietly re-editing their movies into their own final cut, and they haven’t bothered asking permission. Needless to say, the directors are headed to court. Understandably so. A company called CleanFlicks has decided to re-edit […]

  • SOUTH KOREA OUTMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Actress Choi Hee-seo Looks Forward to a Promising Career

    The town’s elite directors, who covet their power over “final cut,” awakened recently to an ugly realization: Some people have been quietly re-editing their movies into their own final cut, and they haven’t bothered asking permission. Needless to say, the directors are headed to court. Understandably so. A company called CleanFlicks has decided to re-edit […]

  • The Prison Korean Cinema

    Korea's Box Office Faces a Drop in Admissions as Streaming Services Compete

    The town’s elite directors, who covet their power over “final cut,” awakened recently to an ugly realization: Some people have been quietly re-editing their movies into their own final cut, and they haven’t bothered asking permission. Needless to say, the directors are headed to court. Understandably so. A company called CleanFlicks has decided to re-edit […]

  • Andy Lo Hong Kong Writer Director

    Ambitious Filmmaker Andy Lo Wants Success in Both Hong Kong and China

    The town’s elite directors, who covet their power over “final cut,” awakened recently to an ugly realization: Some people have been quietly re-editing their movies into their own final cut, and they haven’t bothered asking permission. Needless to say, the directors are headed to court. Understandably so. A company called CleanFlicks has decided to re-edit […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content