Editing movies: CleanFlicks really does violate the law

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    CleanFlicks, and a few other similar companies, lost. The courts have said they have to stop manufacturing, selling or renting edited movies.

    To many here in Utah this feels like a moral defeat. After all, CleanFlicks customers only wanted to protect themselves and their children from violence, nudity and profanity in movies.

    While this may be admirable, CleanFlicks methods were misguided. First of all, they violate copyright law.

    Suppose someone took this very editorial and took parts out, either changing the meaning or eliminating key points. Then suppose they published the edited version and made money off of it. The editorial board would not be happy and would have legal standing against the saboteurs.

    The directors involved in the lawsuit feel this is just what CleanFlicks has been doing to their intellectual property.

    While the copyright issue is certainly important, the more pressing question regarding edited movies is whether taking a few swear words and a sex scene out of an R-rated movie really makes it OK to watch.

    For some movies maybe editing really does make a difference, but so many movies, regardless of their ratings, have dark and immoral messages that simply can?t be edited out.

    It is a mistake to think that a movie is OK to watch simply because some company took the ?objectionable? parts out. It?s also a mistake to let editors at some company decide what is objectionable.

    There are plenty of good movies out there and it?s every individual?s responsibility to decide for themselves what they will watch and what they won?t. Good people may differ on exactly what is acceptable, but that?s OK.

    We?re all just trying to do our best. We can make these decisions for ourselves, without CleanFlicks violating the law to make the decisions for us. After all, we all have skip buttons on our DVD players don?t we?

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