Hollywood Punishes VidAngel For Cleaning Up Their Smut

The Federalist: Let’s say you like movies, but you don’t like human heads exploding in slow motion, having f-bombs dropped all over your living room, or women who undress for money. To watch a feature film purged of such things in ages past, you had to buy a plane ticket for the in-flight movie, or wait for the network TV broadcast of whatever you wanted to see. More recently, those who claim possession of some external moral compass have resorted to explaining why allowing pornography to ride sidecar into one’s viewing habits is actually fine.

But for a while now, there has been another way. Movie filtering got its big break with “The Titanic,” which everyone wanted to see. However, some people preferred to see it as ***anic. An enterprising video store in Utah figured out that you could cut the exhibitionism and fornication, and (mirabile dictu!) still totally understand what happens.

DVDs edited for objectionable content proved to be in demand, and providers like CleanFlicks emerged to offer consumers de-smutted copies of popular movies. But it was ostensibly artistic genius that had chosen those obscenities, stripped those torsos, and mangled those victims. The market for edited DVDs did not survive legal challenges from Hollywood.

How the Market for Cleaner Movies Grew

One company had a different idea. Rather than producing edited DVDs, ClearPlay developed a DVD player with a filtering function that cleaned up movies as they ran. There was no copying, and no altered final version. Movie studios and directors didn’t like this any better.

But in 2005, Congress passed the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act (commonly called the Family Movie Act), which protected ClearPlay’s method of filtering movies live. This allowed ClearPlay to continue developing its filtering technology. ClearPlay was later able to make its filters available for streaming movies through Google Play.

Then there was another idea. The filtering service VidAngel sold customers DVDs for $20, cleaned them up, then bought them back from customers for $19. Viewers didn’t have to receive the physical DVD to watch the filtered version, because VidAngel would stream them the copy it had made (customers could also receive and keep the purchased hard copy if they chose).

The maneuver got noticed. Prosecutors argued that VidAngel was illegally hacking digital protections coded into the DVDs (in violation of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act), making unauthorized copies of the DVDs, and streaming movies without a license. VidAngel’s invocation of the Family Movie Act was rejected on the grounds that its approach to filtering, which is of a different kind than ClearPlay’s, was not protected under the act. more here

13 Comments on Hollywood Punishes VidAngel For Cleaning Up Their Smut

  1. “Denying access to clean movies shuts out a considerable audience and all its money, which doesn’t sound like a very Hollywood thing to do—unless Hollywood really is as committed to catechizing the public in immorality as the scolds have been scolding for decades.”

    Says it all.

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  2. The problem is that these movie “filtering” services can’t change the underlying premise of the film. Removing the naughty words or blatant nudity does not make a crappy film to begin with any less crappy, the glorification of all those things we find offensive but Hollywood promotes, those still exist within the film.

    No, it’s best to not support these bastions of smut, anti-Americanism, anti-Christianity, and promoters of all things perverse.

    Many smaller film studios have figured out that family films, films supporting our ideals and our Judeo/Christian morality actually sells at the box office. We need to be better stewards of our entertainment buck and support those films that speak to our values.

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  3. I saw The Front Pagee in 1975. If they cut out all of Walter Mathau’s parts where he was uttering an expletive,his part would have been a cameo.

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  4. We haven’t had one of those teevees for about 23 yrs, we very rarely go to movies and even more rarely watch a movie from one of those internet movie providers AND we don’t watch anything over PG-13. I just don’t like Hollywood polluting my mind or giving them money.

    I prefer watching good movies presented on Pamela Geller’s website; Saturday night cinema. She finds some really good older movies.

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  5. Although I find books infinitely more enjoyable, there is no need to cut yourself off entirely. TCM, Hallmark and Freeform are just a few channels that fit the bill.

    Amazon prime has a nice list of family movies and a good alternative to Netflix (yuck, just as bad as HBO) is Pureflix;

    https://www.pureflix.com/

    A ton of family oriented movies you can stream, and cheaper too.

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  6. Just finished watching an hour long episode (of a series?) on NHK about Hayao Miyazaki during the creation of “Ponyo”. Studio Ghibli is family entertainment well worth the value. And no editing needed.

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  7. It would be great if there were a classic movie site that had a big collection of really outstanding decent movies from the past. There are so many good oldies but goodies, decent AND entertaining. Many of the best are last century movies–many in black and white, but superb. I would like to share a few for examples.

    Stars In My Crown (1950) –Drama
    https://ok.ru/video/1572299868753

    Rhubarb (1951) Ray Milland, Jan Sterling, Gene Lockhart, William Frawley — Comedy
    https://ok.ru/video/452774005390

    The Vanishing Virginian (1942) — Biographical drama
    https://ffilms.org/the-vanishing-virginian-1942/

    If anyone is interested, I would gladly post links to a few more. Some even in color!

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  8. It is ridiculous to use Titanic as a “smut” reference.
    Rose was Jack’s artistic muse.
    I thought it was done tastefully and only a total prude would object to that scene.

    Now if he had motor-boated…

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  9. The fast forward button works wonders for me…
    But at the same time, for some TV shows and other things, VIDangel actually had a streaming app that I used. I guess some of the content had to be pirated but i never downloaded any of it. Just streamed nice clean media without the smut/soft core bullshit.

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