HOLLYWOOD — The Writers Guild of America West has strongly supported the DGA in its fight with CleanFlicks, the Colorado retailer that cuts sex, violence and foul language from movies it rents.
Clean Flicks and inventor Robert Huntsman filed suit last week against over a dozen of Hollywood’s top helmers in a pre-emptive strike against an expected suit by the Directors Guild.
“We are astounded that a company would target some of our country’s most esteemed directors in a misguided effort to claim a right to alter artistic work for commercial exploitation,” WGAW prexy Victoria Riskin said. “In the name of corporate profits, this company has altered the creative works of writers, directors, performers, cinematographers, editors and all of the crafts that create films. They now are personally targeting these directors to assert a right to continue that exploitation.”
CleanFlicks and Huntsman argue that the editing practices are protected under federal copyright law and claimed they have a First Amendment right to excise foul language, sex and violence from videos destined for private use. The Clean Flicks suit asserts that trademark and copyright laws allow “fair use” of protected material, and personal use is included in that interpretation of “fair use.”
In response, the DGA declared the suit without merit and predicted the guild will prevail. The WGAW board unanimously voted to support the DGA.
Riskin said she supports the right of consumers to choose films that meet personal standards, and urged customers of CleanFlicks to consider the rights of artists.
“The premise of artistic rights was fundamental in the founding of our country and must not be exploited in the name of profit,” Riskin added. “Whether the artist is a novelist, painter, sculptor, architect, journalist, photographer, dancer or works in any of the creative media, we must continue to stand for the right of freedom of expression and the importance of protecting that expression.”