Guild joins DGA in fight against CO video store chain

The Screen Actors Guild has strongly supported the DGA in its fight with CleanFlicks, the Colorado retailer that cuts sex, violence and foul language from movies it rents.

CleanFlicks and inventor Robert Huntsman filed suit last month against 16 of Hollywood’s top helmers in a preemptive strike against an expected suit by the Directors Guild of America.

“Movies and TV programs are created by actors, writers and directors,” SAG CEO Bob Pisano said. “Central to this creative process is the protection of both the First Amendment and copyright for the actor’s role, the writer’s words and the director’s vision. Under the First Amendment and our copyright law, we can see what we want, confident that we are seeing what the creators intended.”

CleanFlicks and Huntsman argue the editing practices are protected under federal copyright law and the “fair use” doctrine.

Pisano said SAG is supportive of parental concerns, especially since thousands of SAG members are children. “The solution, however, is neither censorship nor alteration of the work,” he added. “The CleanFlicks suit is both, and for those reasons, we oppose the lawsuit and support the goal of our colleagues at the DGA in the elimination of this kind of censorship and violation of the copyright law.”

The DGA has declared the suit without merit and predicted the guild will prevail. The Writers Guild of America West board has unanimously voted to support the DGA.

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