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Last Updated: Friday, 18 June, 2004, 10:22 GMT 11:22 UK
Valenti attacks 'clean DVD' bill
Jack Valenti
Valenti was among those who testified on Thursday in Washington
Jack Valenti, president of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), has spoken out against a law legalising products that "clean up" DVDs.

The Family Movie Act would exempt from legal liability anyone using software to make "family friendly" versions.

Mr Valenti said that the wishes of the director should be taken into account.

The legislation would end an ongoing dispute between the Directors Guild of America (DGA) and companies offering DVD filtering technology.

"Our objection is simply to Congress providing legal cover to companies that want to make a profit by offering an edited, abridged version, without regard for the wishes of the director who created the movie or the studio that owns the copyright," said Mr Valenti.

He was testifying in Washington on Thursday at a hearing scheduled by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property.


Under the new law, anyone who used filtering software to remove indecent, violent or pornographic content in movies would be free from prosecution, provided the final product carried a clear disclaimer.

The proposed exception to copyright protection could have far-reaching implications that cannot fully be comprehended today
Directors Guild of America
Mr Valenti said moviemakers did not object to edited versions of their films like the ones prepared for airline broadcast by the studios themselves.

Selection of discs
The movie industry is strongly opposed to DVD-filtering technology
However, according to the Hollywood Reporter, he said they strongly opposed commercial enterprises that destroy the dramatic narrative and artistic integrity of their work.

The new legislation, introduced on Wednesday, is in part an attempt to settle the DGA's legal action, originally filed in September 2002.

Lamar Smith, the Republican congressman chairing the House Judiciary Subcommittee, said he would not call for a vote on the bill if Hollywood comes to an agreeable settlement with the technology companies offering movie-filtering products.

The DGA, however, remain firmly opposed to any attempt made to legitimise such products.

"As the creators of films, directors oppose giving someone the legal ability to alter... the content of a film that a director has made, often after many years of work," it said in a statement.

"The proposed exception to copyright protection could have far-reaching implications that cannot fully be comprehended today."

Coming soon: The smut-free DVD
08 Apr 04  |  Business
Court stops DVD-copying software
04 Mar 04  |  Entertainment
Directors fight over re-edited films
24 Sep 02  |  Entertainment

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