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Sanitized Movies?
Are books next?

 9:17 pm on Oct 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

Ran across this article:


Okay, I know that some folks simply won't watch a movie with any nudity, some people get upset about the language but this seems to violate infringement laws and I don't really understand how people think it is legal.

If I grabbed a copy of one of Anne Rices's novels and edited out any reference to sex and all the references to blood and then sold it as a "safe" version her lawyers would crucify me. Not to mention that even careful editing would change the entire tone of the book.

Anyone have any thoughts on this? It seems a pretty clear violation of current copyright laws, at least to me and I can foresee this treatment of someone else's work creeping into the online community.



 10:45 pm on Oct 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

Okay, I know that some folks simply won't watch a movie without any nudity

My unconscious mind attacks again... :)

Robert Charlton

 6:08 am on Oct 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

>>Are books next?<<

I think they were first... ;) Check out this article [nytimes.com] in the NY Times. (If you're not registered, you'll need to give them an email address and a password, but it's quick and non-invasive and worth doing to have access to their site).

Here's how the article starts:

An enterprising parent of a high school senior recently discovered that the literary texts on the New York Regents examinations had been expurgated. Excerpts from the writings of many prominent authors were doctored, without their knowledge or permission, to delete references to religion, profanity, sex, alcohol or other potentially troublesome topics.

The article, actually an Op Ed piece, goes on to talk about forces of censorship at work in the country, particularly in educational publishing.

Censorship of tests and textbooks is not merely widespread: across the nation, it has become institutionalized.

It created a lot of buzz when it was published in June, and actually got NY State to stop censoring material in their tests. Recommended reading...


 6:17 am on Oct 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanks, I recall that piece, in fact, I think I may have posted about it here, or someone did.

Censorship baffles me, someone changing someone's work without their permission infuriates me.


 6:22 am on Oct 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

I guess censorship is better than having the whole books burned on a bonfire...


 6:26 am on Oct 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

I think the point is to allow people who prefer not to see unneccessary sex and violence that option. Since the movie maker refuses to do this themselves someone else it going to do it. Just to be clear the original movie maker is paid full price for the movie every time. The modified movie is then resold or rented.


 7:41 am on Oct 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

>>Just to be clear the original movie maker is paid full price for the movie every time. The modified movie is then resold or rented.

Umm, someone is taking someone else's work, altering it, and making a profit on it. Not sure how that can be acceptable under any circumstance and hopefully some legal eagles will put a stop to it. If I wrote a book filled with sex and violence, and some schmoe "cleansed" it and started selling copies I'd sue until one of us was broke, :)

If the creator of the original wants to offer a "sanitized" version that's fine but I think the person that actually creates the work should have some input.


 7:47 am on Oct 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

The problem, imo, is that the movie producers refuse to do it themselves. (Despite the fact that they do specially edited versions for cable channels, tv broadcast channels, airlines, etc.)


 9:28 am on Oct 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

> I guess censorship is better than having the whole books burned on a bonfire...

I'd rather see the book burning. At least then you know what you are missing rather than have parts mysteriously disappear. Then you can do something about it...


 9:37 am on Oct 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

If they don't want to see unnecessary sex and violence, they have an option - don't watch the movie. The idea that is remotely legal or ethical I find hard to imagine.


 9:56 am on Oct 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

exactly, Small Time...I used to direct theatre and dance shows, and for fifteen years I was also a pro musician and songwriter...I feel very strongly about this

when you edit bits out of something created by somebody else you make it into a different thing...it should be illegal to bowdlerise other people's work without the express permission of the creator of that work...money isn't the point...copyright is both about the right to be paid for the work and the right to insist that the content of that work remains intact and always sends the "message" you intended


 10:22 am on Oct 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

Over 30 years we studied Chaucer's Pardoner's Tale.

There was a disceet dotdotdot towards the end where our kiddie edition had elided something not suitable for us.

Being 14 year olds, of course, we checked in a library and restored the missing lines to out texts.

Now, over 30 years later, literally the only lines of middle english I can remember (though not well enough to spell) are the ones they didn't want us to know -- the ones about manually crushing a fellow's testicles.

I don't think that was the effect the school board wanted.


 11:38 am on Oct 14, 2002 (gmt 0)

Let me guess...someone saw something they didn't want, and sued the director for including it...

My opinion is that people shouldn't look at things they don't want to. Which is why I leave my curtains open...


 8:10 am on Oct 15, 2002 (gmt 0)

I used to go to a boarding school in Africa from 16 - 18 and the Library there had quite a few books - unfortuently they used to go through the books with a marker pen blocking out any "unsuitable" passages.

Drove me nuts, I remember getting to the end of a chapter only to discove huge chunks unreadable.

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