Saturday, April 23, 2005

CLEARPLAY WATCH The Salt Lake Tribune--the hometown paper of ClearPlay, CleanFlicks and several other DVD filtering companies--comes out against the Family Movie Act.

The Tribune even gets a bit snarky:

If you have not seen Kate Winslet's breasts, you have not seen "Titanic."

Those offering a gadget that omits such key moments from 1997's Best Picture and other selected DVDs are bluffing if they suggest otherwise. But, once President Bush signs the bill passed by Congress Tuesday, that company will not be breaking copyright law.

As hot and bothered as Hollywood's elite directors are about this bill, it is more farce than tragedy. It's just too bad that the long-standing collaboration of law and creativity contained in our Constitution is what's being goofed on.


The Constitution, which even before the Bill of Rights stressed the need for creators to own their works, is offended by the idea that people can profit by altering the copyrighted works of others without those others' permission.

If there is a demand for altered versions of Hollywood movies, and there is, those who alter them should get permission from the copyright holders to do the altering, as happens when movies are edited for broadcast TV or airliners.

Or they can follow the legal route that has kept Mad magazine in business all these years. They can clearly, and correctly, label their work as satire.

CONTRAPOSITIVE is edited by Dan Aibel. Dan's a playwright. He lives in New York City.