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View Full Version : Unintended Effects of The Family Movie Act


Ryan-B
05-06-2005, 06:32 AM
"There's a proven market for these kinds of edits; witness what happened to George Lucas' Star Wars: Episode I--The Phantom Menace. In 2001, an alternative version of Lucas' unloved sequel, called Episode 1.1--The Phantom Edit, created a sensation among fans of the 1970s original. Created by a fan, the edited version cut 20 minutes from the film. The excisions all but deleted a dopey character (Jar Jar Binks) and got rid of several other annoyances, like Anakin Skywalker's shouts of "Yahoo!" and "Whoopee!" during the movie's pod-racing sequence.

Lucas went from amused to horrified. And the edit-happy fan--no doubt worried about getting sued--later apologized. If the Family Movie Act had been in force then, he could have been rolling in dough instead."


http://www.forbes.com/2005/04/29/cz_sf_0429clearplay.html

-Vormav-
05-06-2005, 06:57 AM
If the Family Movie Act had been in force then, he could have been rolling in dough instead.
Am I reading this right? As in, this act would make it so that others could profit by making edits of something they don't own the rights to, without any form of licensing agreement with the copyright owners? Or is that quote just a little "off"? http://cgtalk.com/images/smilies/surprised.gif

charleyc
05-06-2005, 07:56 AM
Am I reading this right? As in, this act would make it so that others could profit by making edits of something they don't own the rights to, without any form of licensing agreement with the copyright owners? Or is that quote just a little "off"? http://cgtalk.com/images/smilies/surprised.gif


Did you read the article?

'...U.S. copyright law makes it illegal to sell edited versions of Hollywood films. But the Family Movie Act says if you use software to "mak[e] imperceptible changes to...limited portions of audio or video content of a motion picture...from an authorized copy of the motion picture," you're OK. Just don't create a "fixed copy of the altered version."... '


The idea is to make it ok to create multi-rated movies available with specific playback devices. Those who would choose to push beyond the boundries would be subject to the penalties.

-Vormav-
05-06-2005, 11:02 AM
Did you read the article?
Yes. Yes I did.
The point is, if this doesn't change current copyright laws in any way (meaning people will not be able to profit from making these unlicensed edits), then how the hell do they get the statement that the creator of the Phantom Edit would be "rolling in dough"?
I was just making a comment on the article. And your post only helps reaffirm my suggestion that that part of the article is "just a little off."

But whatever. I'm just nitpicking. Don't mind me.

charleyc
05-06-2005, 11:30 AM
I see. I believe the article implies that there can be a profit from these non-fixed edits.

prixatw
05-06-2005, 11:51 AM
Aren't we just a few months away from distributing film by e-mail instead of by reel?

Doesn't that mean no more fixed copy?

charleyc
05-06-2005, 12:58 PM
I believe the term "fixed" here means a permanant source (like a DVD or movie file). The method described is more like a macro for your DVD player that when initiated makes it skip over unwanted portions of audio or video of the unaltered full version of the movie. That is how I read it anyway. There was a special on TV a few nights ago about this. Some of the directors (or maybe all of them?) interviewed were upset about this and felt it took away from their art. However, I think the opposite could be true. This act basically enables mulit-rated movies. So now when all the directors are upset that their film had to be edited down to PG-13 for maximun target audience, they will be able to release a single R rated DVD "Directors Cut" and anyone can view it as they see fit ratings wise. There would be no extra cost to the publishers so they would likely be in favor of this. I don't know...I think this is a good thing (as I am one who does not watch certain films based on content).

victor throe
05-06-2005, 08:28 PM
so, if i owned a cinema, could i take the film of starwars episodeIII and load it into premiere, make some adjustments, maybe insert some adverts for local taxis firms, and play it onto the big screen direct from the computer(thus not being fixed) and give lucas the finger when he asks for money?

Per-Anders
05-06-2005, 08:39 PM
imperceptable changes it states, and no fixed copy of the new version. that means that the theatre could edit out certain content/shorten certain scenes etc, but not add anything to the movie, and not redistribute the edit (as that would involve making a fixed copy). they woudl still have to pay lucas for every screening, the original copyright holder retains copyright regardless of these changes.

opus13
05-06-2005, 08:40 PM
so, if i owned a cinema, could i take the film of starwars episodeIII and load it into premiere, make some adjustments, maybe insert some adverts for local taxis firms, and play it onto the big screen direct from the computer(thus not being fixed) and give lucas the finger when he asks for money?

if i understand the bill correctly, the compensation structure doesnt change. you still have to kick back the royalty fees, muhc like blockbuster renting out a movie. they make money, but they have to compensate the license holder. hence, the guy could have rented out his 1.1 edit and made some dough after kicking back some to Lucas, Inc.

richcz3
05-06-2005, 09:21 PM
EDIT: there's a proven market for these kinds of edits;
The article is only stating that there are people who want movies that are tailored to their needs. In no way does the newly signed act allow for copying, editing and reselling of movies. It does support the sale of software or devices that can can imperceptively edit the movies content.

charleyc
05-06-2005, 10:27 PM
so, if i owned a cinema, could i take the film of starwars episodeIII and load it into premiere, make some adjustments, maybe insert some adverts for local taxis firms, and play it onto the big screen direct from the computer(thus not being fixed) and give lucas the finger when he asks for money?

Also, the edits can only be subtractive...no inserting anything. The methods for doing this, it seems to me, is in pre-programed altering for a playback device designed to play the "fixed" media rather than capturing a film and making edits from there. The Act is entirely ment as a tool to lower the rating level of a movie. Anything beyond that could probably begin to be legally comprimising. I think the Star Wars EP1 example is a good example of the grey area. I have not read the act itself, so I cannot say who ultimately holds others responsible (seems like it could be a hard thing to track) but I imagine if it falls in the MPAA or any related organization they will not hold back when the line gets crossed. A good example of what this could be like outside of effecting the rating would seem like the difference between the regular theatrical release of SW EP2 and the IMAX version. Both films told the exact same story, but one what a good bit shorter. The subtractive edits were nearly imperceptable (although perhaps a bit more pleasing :) ).

BigJay
05-07-2005, 01:43 AM
So it seems I could invent a projector that I could feed a G rated timing script for the movie into it and play Saw and it will chop out all the naughty bits... leaving, what? the credits.



Seems like good intentions but watching loonie toons over the years get more and more chopped up drove me nuts. They went from 15 minute shorts to quick 1 minute scenes in between other cartoons... That is the only thing I can see happening to movies in the future. Complete butchering of perfectly good movies never meant for kids to see.



I understand based on moral reasons some people are offended or don't want to be exposed to certain imagery. Wouldn't it be better to just not watch a movie than to cut out the offending parts? It kind of reminds me of my nephew who decided to not eat pork then buys bacon flavored fake bacon… I guess what I am asking is why watch the movie at all?

charleyc
05-07-2005, 02:58 AM
So it seems I could invent a projector that I could feed a G rated timing script for the movie into it and play Saw and it will chop out all the naughty bits... leaving, what? the credits.

Yep



Seems like good intentions but watching loonie toons over the years get more and more chopped up drove me nuts. They went from 15 minute shorts to quick 1 minute scenes in between other cartoons... That is the only thing I can see happening to movies in the future. Complete butchering of perfectly good movies never meant for kids to see.



I understand based on moral reasons some people are offended or don't want to be exposed to certain imagery. Wouldn't it be better to just not watch a movie than to cut out the offending parts? It kind of reminds me of my nephew who decided to not eat pork then buys bacon flavored fake bacon… I guess what I am asking is why watch the movie at all?

I pretty much agree with you. I personally would not use this to allow my children to see R rated films. There are many films out there that I would not care to watch even if they were rated G, not that they could be (like Saw, Pulp Fiction, or such films) but you get the point. Morally the very substance of the films are objectionable, so no amount of editing would make it better for me. But there are a number of films out there that only have small, irrelevent deviations of offensive material. For these I think this is a good option.

t-man152
05-07-2005, 03:21 PM
I cant wait to see "Saw" the PG version. hooray.

plan 1 of the plan complete
next people will be allowed to edit out content that has religious over or undertones
then take out some sort of animal that people dont like.

then eventually rated R movies will be illegal because some kids might have access to them. and as we all know parents shouldnt be responsible for their kids the people who are responsible for them are adult video game makers, adult movie makers (not porno), and TV show makers.

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