Clearview DVD player lawsuit

There is soon to be a new DVD player on the market, sold at Wal-mart and a possibly a few other locations. This "fabulous" item (note: sarcasm) will censor out the parts of the film deemed inapropriate by the player/company. Whether it be muting certain seuqences or simply skipping an entire sequence, this DVD player has the ability to make Pulp Fiction viewable to a 5 year old. Though the announcement is a bit old, some new facts have been brought out and a lawsuit has followed. This story by CNN has more details [link].
But first, some thoughts on the player itself. I have deemed this player the "3rd parent." It's utterly ridiculous how lazy parents have gotten that now they will (most likely at least) pay $50 a year to let their kids watch the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. This is a disc that should never be put in front of a kid in the first place let alone viewed in any form. Besides, who decides what should be cut? Is "hell" or "damn" too much? Also, what if little Johnny gets accustomed to watching DVD's and you haven't downloaded the approapriate file to censor that new movie? You run to the store and come home to Natural Born Killers right there on your TV, completely uncut. Oops. Movies don't need to be censored, parents simply shouldn't let their kids watch these movies, period. There will come a time when they will be able to watch them and comprehend what they are seeing. This is absurd. Now, a lawsuit has been filed against this Clearplay DVD player by the Directors Guild of America. They claim their movies will be edited and changed from their original vision. I'm not sure which is more absurd: The player itself or this lawsuit. Maybe film directors don't know this, but movies have been censored for years. They must've never watched a 90 minute movie get streched into a 3-hour marathon on a major network, all censored and edited to fit into the TV time (and to toss in 2 hours of commercials). Oh, they must have missed the entire VHS era which saw their movies shown in pan & scan which doesn't quite give viewers their original vision, does it? Every day, we get one step closer to hell freezing over. Today, we took two. It will be interesting to see if the suit goes through or if the player takes off. Either case will be a travesty and the beginning of the end here in America. Then again, if someone actually believes we need something like this, maybe we are at the end.

Comments (7)

Richard Graves:

I just wanted to say that I do not allow my kids, nor WOULD I allow my kids to watch those kinds of DVD's, even if they were censored. I would be interested in the product for myself. I do not like to watch movies with filth or nudity in them. I know there are several movies out there that are good despite the filth that is needlessly there. So this product appeals to me if it really works. That's my 2 cents worth.

Great job being a parent, but I'm not sure which is worse. Needlessly censoring a director's intended vision or cropping a director's intended vision by watching it in the wrong aspect ratio. Hmm. Touch call. If you don't like movies like that Richard, don't watch them or wait for them to air on TV. Watching them on DVD or in theaters is the only way to see them as intended anymore.

Thomas Lompton:

I agree with Richard. I don't want to hear the F-bomb dropped for no apparent reason, just so that the director can make an R-rated movie. A lot of language in movies now-a-days often doesn't even pertain to what is happening in the movie. You give to much credit to directors Matt, as though they always know what is best to put into a movie.

They know what they want in the movie. They made it. Would Blazing Saddles be the same without the racist remarks? Would Pulp Fiction be the same without the language? No. Does that mean every use of every word in every movie is useful? Nope. That doesn't give you the right to edit THEIR movie. If you don't like it, don't watch it.

Lets walk into an Art museum and cover all the naked people. It offends me. Then again, I don't have a right to do that. Why? It's not my work.

Donnis Hamilton:

I walk into McDonald's and request a double cheeseburger but hold the pickles and mustard. The cashier tell me no can do. I ask him what do you mean. He says his cheeseburger is a work of art and no one, I mean no one has a right to edit his cheeseburger. If I don't like his cheeseburger exactly the way it is, he's not going to sell it to me. I tell him, that's absurd. I'm actually saving you money in two ways. First of all, I'm saving you the cost of two pickles and the cost of a little mustard. I'm also planning on returning to buy more of your cheeseburgers b/c you always allow me to edit what I want on my cheeseburger. He says not any more. You don't like it, leave! I'm left with two choices: Leave and never come back or get another sandwich. I decide I really like the cheeseburger, so what I do is buy the cheeseburger. When I get home, I take/edit off the pickles and I take/edit off the mustard with a napkin. Then, I enjoy my cheeseburger. The next time I see the guy, I tell him, I really enjoyed his cheeseburger without the pickles and the mustard. He gets pissed! He starts cussing me out and threatens a lawsuit for editing his burger. I tell him This is America, and I can edit whatever I want, and i tell him I'm going to tell others how to edit his burgers as well.

Look. Everyone has a right to make a comment. But most of what I've read isn't a consistent world view. You apply the analogy to an art museum, but it's a limited analogy at most. Matt said b/c it offends him, we should cover art in the art museum. That isn't the same thing, b/c in covering the art up, one censors it from everyone, which isn't the purpose of the clearview player. the player allows you to censor it for you. and whether you fast forward the movie through all the stuff you don't want to see or you use the clearview player, you shouldn't be sued b/c you exercised your pursuit of happiness when it doesn't involve infringing on the personal rights of others. Would Blazing Saddles be the same without the racist remarks? Answer is no, but why do you have to be the judge whether that's right or wrong, good or bad for me. Make up your mind what you think and hold yourself accountable to your own thoughts and decisions. If I want to use a device to edit out content from a movie or if I want to use a filter to edit out content on the internet but still use the merchandise, what's it to you??? The same people who say we don't have the right to judge what content we want to watch are the same people who are judging us as not having that right. In trying to prevent us from judging, they are judging us.

I'm not judging what it means to me, nor am I trying to "control" what people are watching. It's the same thing as the widescreen/"full screen" thing. It's butchering someones work. If you don't like it, don't watch it. Don't cut it up into pieces so it suits your tastes. I'm not judging anyone. I'm saying it's not for you to edit someone's film because you don't like the content.

This DVD player (which I've heard nothing about since I posted this) is charging people to censor films for them. They're chopping up other peoples work and getting paid for it. It's absurd.

The art museum example was a relevant one, given that films are art. Let's try a different angle though. What if I walked into a museum and just covered up a few sections of the Mona Lisa for whatever reason? I decide to step back and admire the work, but I covered her face. Does that still count as viewing and/or appreciating the painting? Of course not, and it's no different that cutting up a movie because you don't want to hear "damn."


To me it's not about what I think is right, it is about what God says is right. He doesn't tell us we can't watch a good movie but He does tell us to be careful what we take in. It is important. I love movies but when the directors put something in there that is not necessary to get their point of the story across, I don't want to see or hear it. In my opinion, I'm glad there is a device out there to help me in my "wholesome" movie watching. :]

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