CleanFilms - Rent and Buy Family Edited DVD Movies

I would love to try this out. Get something really smutty, if they offer it, and see how removing it affects the story. It would also be fun to see the quality of the editing they do.

Actually, more interesting, would be to see what they do with a truly serious film that happens to have some nudity in it.

I noticed they have "The Abyss". The most powerful scene in The Abyss is when Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio has suffocated and Ed Harris is trying desperately to bring her back to life. Her chest is exposed for the electro-shock heart-machine thingy.

I would love to see what they did with that scene.

From their FAQ:

CleanFilms' professional editors use the same technologies and techniques to edit out offensive content as Hollywood editors use in their everyday editing of film and TV content. For profanity or other offensive language, the dialogue volume is often muted, while secondary sound is kept for continuity. For scenes with nudity, sexual content, extreme violence, or extreme language, a cut edit is typically used. These edits are designed by professionals to be inconspicuous, similar to when viewing PG-13 or R rated movies that have been edited to be shown on network television or airlines.

There obviously has been some issues about whether this is legal.

Again, from their FAQ:

Is it legal to edit movies?

CleanFilms is a co-operative rental club. All CleanFilms members collectively agree to have CleanFilms purchase original, un-edited DVD movies on their behalf. Copyright law allows CleanFilms to make a backup copy of each original DVD. This backup copy can be edited under certain provisions of copyright law (Fair Use & First Sale Doctrines).

CleanFilms makes family edited backup copies of the originals to edit out content that is objectionable to its members - similar to how you might press mute to avoid hearing objectionable language when watching a movie in your home. CleanFilms always maintains a 1 to 1 ratio between edited movies and un-edited originals.

I think this stretches the idea of fair use a bit, but honestly, as long as they pay the regular fees, who gives a rat's ass? Re-editing material has a long history of producing a fair amount of creative and social commentary.

I mean, anyone who wants can edit the Bible and republish it ...

But then I thought ... what about adding scenes to a movie? That would clearly be okay under the CleanFilms interpretation of fair use.

It's a messy situation.

What about "The Phantom Edit?" That was "The Phantom Menance" recut with Jar-Jar Binks and other offensive portions removed. Of course, that was distributed illegally, but I can tell you, if they had The Phantom Edit version of The Phantom Menace available at CleanFilms.com, I would want to check that out.