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My first reaction was 'Is this legal'... surely what this company is doing
violates copyright (unless they have individual agreements with and
permission from the directors, producers, and studios involved, which I
highly doubt).  Production companies routinely have in contracts provisions
for the editing of a movie if/when rights for commercial television
broadcast are sold.  These provisions almost never extend to cable or
satellite transmission.  Any editing that is done for *commercial sale*
(ie, dvd's or videotapes) is left in the hands of the production company or
studio for the life of the copyright.  In fact, there is often a tussle
between a director (who may or may not have final say over editing,
depending on their contract with the production company or studio) and the
studio when it comes time to release the film on dvd or tape (director's
cuts, special editions with additional footage, etc.).  It is highly
unlikely that production companies and directors of high profile movies
such as the ones mentioned would surrender unsupervised editing to a small
company for commercial sale of the edited product.  CleanFilms, Inc. may
have negotiated such contracts with the studios involved, but it would be
interesting to check with one or two to find out.

Indeed, CleanFilms, Inc. puts the folling disclaimer on their website (in
rather small print):

"CleanFilms provides content-edited movies for private home viewing only.
CleanFilms and its suppliers are responsible for all edits made to the DVD
movies after the original sale. The motion picture studios, directors, and
producers of the unedited version were not involved in the creation of the
content-edited version contained on CleanFilms DVDs. Accordingly, the
content-edited version of the movies which CleanFilms carries may not
reflect the intent of the motion picture studios, directors, and producers. "

All this is quite apart from the ethical question of artistic issues.  Such
editing utterly violates the director's (and script writer's and lighting
director's and set designer's and costume designer's and composer's, etc.)
intent in making the film.  If I remember correctly, Steven Speilberg made
these points much more eloquently than I when he was asked to "tone down"
Schindler's List to make is usable in classrooms.  He refused, saying among
other things that a film is an organic whole....cutting, editing, altering
the work lessens its impact and damages it, destroying the rythmn and feel
of the production.  His central concern was that the Holocaust not be
softened or its impact lessened, but his concerns are pertinent to any
artist. ("I'm sorry, Mr. Rubens, but those breasts have GOT to go.  I have
some paint and a brush here, it won't take a minute, and you needn't
bother, I'll take care of everything.")

My twenty-five cents worth......


At 09:06 AM 11/3/2004 -0500, you wrote:
>I just had a request from a teacher to order a few movies from =
>Inc. He wants Forrest Gump, We were soldiers, Schindler's list, The =
>and Saving Private Ryan, all of which fit in the curriculum and he has =
>go ahead from the principal. Apparently this is a conservative company =
>sells "Family edited movies are popular Hollywood DVD titles that have =
>professionally edited to remove nudity, sexual situations, offensive
>language, and graphic violence."
>I was wondering if anyone has movies by this company and what you =
>thought of
>the editing (my initial reaction is that Saving Private Ryan must be =
>30 min long). Exactly how much is taken out? I'm guessing language is =
>like when they show movies on TV?
>Stephanie Sweeney
>Eastern Lancaster County School District
>Garden Spot High School
>PO Box 609
>New Holland, PA 17557-0609
>Phone: 717-354-1543
>Fax: 717-354-1534
>All LM_NET postings are protected by copyright law.
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Mark Williams
Consulting Librarian
Professional Services for Conferences, Districts, Workshops
"The closest thing you will find to an orderly universe is a good library"

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