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Censorship Media Movies Hardware

Auto-Censoring DVD Player 1061

Posted by michael
from the naughty-bits dept.
Gogl writes "Those clever folks at RCA have apparently designed a DVD player that automatically scans movies and censors them to make them kosher, as it were. That means none of the naughty bits and none of those bad words either. It will be sold by Walmart for the price of $79, and what with the recent Janet Jackson 'wardrobe malfunction' this product will likely be lauded by the FCC and moralists everywhere, though Hollywood is already complaining."
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Auto-Censoring DVD Player

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  • I want (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 09, 2004 @08:47AM (#8814101)
    I want b00bies!

    Damn those dumb people, why are they taking the b00bies away from me???

    What, are these corporations my MOTHER or something now??

    • Re:I want (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Servo (9177) <dstringf@gmail.SLACKWAREcom minus distro> on Friday April 09, 2004 @09:19AM (#8814388) Journal
      Uh, they aren't taking boobies away from you. It only gives that option to those who want to see the movie, but don't care for the "naughty bits".

      I have to applaud RCA for providing this product. It will make everyone happy, if they would shut up and think for a minute..

      1) RCA makes money on an innovative product
      2) Producers make money selling more DVD's to people who would otherwise find their content objectionable.
      3) Consumers get to enjoy more movies.

      Uh hello, this is a win-win for everybody!
      • Re:I want (Score:5, Insightful)

        by 1u3hr (530656) on Friday April 09, 2004 @09:49AM (#8814681)
        1) RCA makes money...
        2) Producers make money...
        3) Consumers get to enjoy more movies.
        Uh hello, this is a win-win for everybody!

        Except the creators of the movie, who find their work has been bowdlerised without their permission. The creators (the producer at least) usually have the option of pulling a movie from a market rather than cutting it. As a last resort, if the studio overrides them, the director can pull their name from the credits to show that they disapprove of this. Creators have moral rights on their works.

        Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]:
        Alan Smithee is a pseudonym used by the director of a movie if he wants to disown it. A director cannot do so on his own, however, he has to get permission to do so from the Directors Guild of America, which has a number of rules for it, the most important being that it is only used when someone else (for example the editor or the studio) has changed the movie to something different than what the director intended.

        • Re:I want (Score:5, Funny)

          by R.Caley (126968) on Friday April 09, 2004 @09:57AM (#8814754)
          Except the creators of the movie, who find their work has been bowdlerised without their permission.

          They must be really pissed off when I skip the boring bits then.

          Not to mention all those bastards who blink during viewing!

          • Re:I want (Score:3, Insightful)

            by 1u3hr (530656)
            They must be really pissed off when I skip the boring bits then. Not to mention all those bastards who blink during viewing!

            You're missing the point, you can edit or watch your copy of a movie however you like. When you distribute that version to others, even as a "patch" to the original, you cross over a line. The director's name is still on it, but it isn't what he signed off on. If these players are sold widely (they are in Walmart after all) they could even become the way most people saw the movie; as

            • Re:I want (Score:3, Insightful)

              by DoBe (769896)
              Right this player gives you the option of seeing the movie how you wish. You still purchase the copy of the movie how the director intended. Now it is your to do with as you wish.
        • Re:I want (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Tassach (137772) on Friday April 09, 2004 @10:25AM (#8815027)
          Creators have moral rights on their works.
          That is a specious argument: define "moral" in objective rather than subjective terms.

          What is relevant is that copyright law gives the copyright owner the right to control the production and distribution of derivitive works. Making a "no-naughty-bits" derivitive of a movie for your own use probably falls under fair use. However, as with the MP-3 debate, there's a very ill-defined border between legal fair use and illegal copyright infringement.

          Directors and other artists working on a movie are usually hired by a studio or production company to make the movie. In legal terms, this makes the movie a work for hire -- copyright and creative control belong to the people who paid for it, unless they contractually gave those rights to someone else.

        • Re:I want (Score:4, Insightful)

          by hog2 (131006) on Friday April 09, 2004 @10:55AM (#8815355)
          Killfiles.
          Pop-up blockers.
          Auto-editing DVD players.
          Commerical-skip button on TiVo.

          Seems to me all 4 of these do basically the same thing, pre-edit something so the user doesn't have to see something they know they won't want to.

          If you object to this Auto-Censoring DVD player, then shouldn't you also object to the other 3 things above? The user is bowderlising the content someone else provided, without their permission.

      • Re:I want (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Hogwash McFly (678207) on Friday April 09, 2004 @10:01AM (#8814801)
        4) Parents can shift even more of their responsibility towards an inanimate object.

        So the list of entities responsible for bringing up a child and therefore liable when he gets fat, anti social and/or psychopathic now includes:

        McDonalds
        The police
        School teachers
        DVD Players

        Not exactly what I call win-win.

        All little boys want to see boobies. It's the duty of a parent to talk about this with their child, explaining that it's natural to like looking at naked flesh but that it's not the answer to everything. What's not their duty is to flip a switch on a DVD player and then sue the company when, 10 years later, poor Johnny gets confused on prom night because he is greeted with big pink round things instead of black squares that he's grown up on. My entire generation loaned eachother uncensored VHS tapes because of our childish curiosity, and my god didn't we all turn out badly? We're all going round raping girls because of that smut we watched as 10 year olds and swearing like sailors in restaurants, quick somone sue Francis Ford Coppola! This whole thing smacks of finding a problem for a solution.

        Also, can someone name me a film that has 'filthy nudity and swear words' that kids would even be able to understand let alone enjoy if this was censored out?
        • Prom night (Score:5, Funny)

          by vwjeff (709903) on Friday April 09, 2004 @10:36AM (#8815143)
          10 years later, poor Johnny gets confused on prom night because he is greeted with big pink round things instead of black squares that he's grown up on.

          If Johnny is the average /. reader he will never have to worry about prom night.
        • Re:I want (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Servo (9177) <dstringf@gmail.SLACKWAREcom minus distro> on Friday April 09, 2004 @10:44AM (#8815224) Journal
          If parents don't want their children to watch something, or find it offensive to watch themselves, why should they be not allowed to raise their kids the way they see fit?

          I don't understand why individuals are getting bent out of shape because other people want to live their life a particular way. I don't agree with a lot of things that other parents do but you know what? They are not my kids. I don't have any more right to say what your kids can and can't do than you do mine.
      • by fmaxwell (249001) on Friday April 09, 2004 @10:38AM (#8815164) Homepage Journal
        I have to applaud RCA for providing this product. It will make everyone happy, if they would shut up and think for a minute..

        Do you believe that Tom Hanks will be happy to have the atrocities of war stripped from Saving Private Ryan? Will Steven Spielberg be happy when Schindler's List is pared down so that Nazi's don't look like such bad guys? Would Stanley Kubrick, were he still alive, be glad that they are taking out the brutal, violent parts of Full Metal Jacket?

        Some writers and directors consider their work to be art and not something to be trifled with by some right-wing Mormon zealot working for Clearplay in Salt Lake City, Utah. They don't want their movie to jarringly skip over important scenes. They don't want their movies stripped of all emotional impact, adult language, and human sexuality. They don't want the viewer being left confused as to the subtleties of the motivating factors (which were censored out) that drove the characters.

        Uh hello, this is a win-win for everybody!

        That is, everyone for whom artistic vision is unimportant.
        • by gi-tux (309771) on Friday April 09, 2004 @11:11AM (#8815563) Homepage
          You are giving extreme cases where the objectionable part is the story line. Obviously you can't watch the movies that you mention and hope to get anything out of them without the atrocities and violence. That is what the movie is trying to communicate and is therefore integral to the movie.

          However, let's use another example. There is a movie by the name of "Overboard" that shows on TV quite regularly and has been edited for TV in such a way that there is limited objectionable language and a few references to sexual acts. If you purchase the DVD, the ojectionable blanguage content becomes much more noticable while still retaining the few references to sexual acts. On TV this is a movie that I don't find objectionable for my children to watch, the story line isn't bad and there are some things in the movie to generate discussion within the family every time we see it. On DVD, it is unwatchable by my children due to the language. This is the same movie and both of the movies carry the same director's and producer's names, but the impact is totally different. If I could put the DVD into a player and get basically the TV version of the movie, I would be much happier.

          I am sure that many other examples could be found, but this one just jumped into my mind. As to the art portion, see my post earlier in this thread. Art is sometimes carried to the extreme.

          • You are giving extreme cases where the objectionable part is the story line. Obviously you can't watch the movies that you mention and hope to get anything out of them without the atrocities and violence. That is what the movie is trying to communicate and is therefore integral to the movie.

            I could give examples where a subtlety of expression during a sex scene made all of the difference in the world or where a certain uttered vulgarity gave important nuances about a relationship or a character. A brilli
        • You would have a point - but only if the directors were forced to release the movie with objectionable scenes removed from it. As it is, the movies are whole, in tact, and uncut.

          As a viewer of said art, I should be allowed to do whatever the hell I want with it. I should be able to shut my eyes, plug my ears, place black paper over my TV screen, edit the movie so it is out of chronological order, remove the sound and replace it with Raffi's Greatest Hits, add a Pink Floyd album to the soundtrack of the mov
        • Some writers and directors consider their work to be art and not something to be trifled with by some right-wing Mormon zealot working for Clearplay in Salt Lake City, Utah.

          Then they should release their films as art, not as commercial entertainment products. They could choose only to show it in a limited set of theatres, under environments designed to most effectively convey the meaning and impact they intended.

          But if they want me to fork over my money for a DVD, they'd better get over themselves and

    • I wonder how long "Debbie Does Dallas" would run on this player? 2 minutes?

      Opening credits...closing credits.

  • Derivative works (Score:4, Insightful)

    by stinkenstein (187644) on Friday April 09, 2004 @08:48AM (#8814106)
    I think this is an unauthorized making of a derivative work, and as such should be actionable under the DMCA. As a matter of fact, distribution of this player should be as well.

    • by Shakrai (717556)
      I think this is an unauthorized making of a derivative work, and as such should be actionable under the DMCA. As a matter of fact, distribution of this player should be as well.

      Why is this flamebait?

      The parent was referring to modifying somebodies intellectual property without their permission. That is covered by the DMCA. Why do you think Hollywood hates the idea of these things? They consider themselves artists and artists don't like it when other people start changing their work. If you don't like

      • by Golias (176380) on Friday April 09, 2004 @09:19AM (#8814386)
        They consider themselves artists and artists don't like it when other people start changing their work. If you don't like it then don't look at it or watch it -- but don't change it.

        So, if I cue up just the car chase in "Streets of San Fancisco," or maybe just the rescue of Morpheus in "The Matrix" without actually watching the movies in their entirety, am I violating the rights of the artistic creators?

        If not, how is it any different if I'm a puritanical old biddy who wants to watch "Eyes Wide Shut" with a DVD player that automatically skips over the orgy scene? Or "Clockwork Orange" without the rape scenes? Granted, "Clockwork Orange" would be a very short movie if you took the sex and violence out, but if somebody really just wants to watch Malcome MacDowell extoll the joys of drinking "milk plus" for 10 minutes, that should be up to them.

        • So, if I cue up just the car chase in "Streets of San Fancisco," or maybe just the rescue of Morpheus in "The Matrix" without actually watching the movies in their entirety, am I violating the rights of the artistic creators?

          If not, how is it any different if I'm a puritanical old biddy who wants to watch "Eyes Wide Shut" with a DVD player that automatically skips over the orgy scene?


          Well, its different in the sense that you want to only watch the good bits and she's missing out on the only good bit...
      • Explain precisely what "anti-piracy measures" this device is attempting to circumvent. The DMCA, nasty little beast that it is, is not the whole of modern copyright law, and by losing sight of that fact, you're playing the part of Joe Average Slashdotter.

        Now, if DVDs suddenly started including "ButtBlaster" technology to ensure that people couldn't fast forward through the racy bits, and this DVD player had to bypass that technology, then the DMCA would be perfectly applicable.

        As it stands, this
      • by rark (15224)
        In fact, anyone who read the article would have read this:

        A Hollywood consortium, including some of Tinseltown's top directors, has sued Clearplay and others, arguing that they are abusing the films' artistic integrity.

        By producing - without permission - altered versions of intellectual property, censors are effectively pirating directors' and studios' work, the lawsuit argues.

        Clearplay hopes to escape through a loophole: instead of making new versions of films, it argues, its technology is simply anoth
    • I disagree (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Kjella (173770) on Friday April 09, 2004 @09:52AM (#8814709) Homepage
      ...this does not do anything with the work that you're not already allowed to do. With the proper fast forward/skip & mute buttons, you could do the exact same thing already. In fact, I would consider it a lot safer since it does not modify the actual copy itself, just the presentation of it.

      Presentation is my choice. I can watch in on a b/w television, with the sound muted, or I can turn past a page in the newspaper. That does not violate any copyright law. Even the most 1984esque sections of the DMCA were designed to prevent copyright violations (including tools and information that could lead to such), not to control the presentation.

      If the presented work was recaptured (b/w, muted or missing a page), it would be a derivative work and thus subject to copyright law. But since that is not the case, the DMCA should not apply. Next thing you know, it'll be illegal to see a movie wearing shades or with earplugs...

      Kjella
  • Damn it! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Doomrat (615771) on Friday April 09, 2004 @08:48AM (#8814111) Homepage
    Stupid thing... it's censoring all of my cookery instruction DVDs. It's blocked out an apple and banana, both of the melons, and a saveloy.
  • by ThePretender (180143) on Friday April 09, 2004 @08:48AM (#8814112) Homepage
    to start the trend early.. if you were watching a DVD of that awful performance (and wardrobe malfunction) of Janet Jackson would it have captured and censored it? Probably not.
    • by skinfitz (564041)
      As it uses a database of known "naughty parts" then it is useless against anything it does not know about. If however the JJ "incident" actually made it to commercial DVD, and someone updated the database with that particular part, then yes it would catch it.

      The big question is how it will sell. If it sells really well then firstly I'll be surprised, and secondly frightened.

      I'd also love to get my hands on that database...
  • by bcolflesh (710514) on Friday April 09, 2004 @08:48AM (#8814114) Homepage
    I pray to almighty Jesus that all the gun-fighting and blood spray will be unaffected.
    • by DrXym (126579)
      As a visitor to the US, I am flabbergasted by how crass the TV output is. Apparantly it's okay to show guns, violence and gore but swearwords and nudity are out. Even the crazy channels like TBN put out violence packed junk like the Omega Code.

      What kind of fucked up system is that?

      • by argStyopa (232550) on Friday April 09, 2004 @09:41AM (#8814587) Journal
        As a visitor to Europe, I am flabbergasted by how crass the TV output is. Apparantly it's okay to show graphic sex acts but guns and violence are out. Even the crazy channels like RTL put out sex-packed junk like Wa(h)re Liebe.

        What kind of fucked up system is that?
        • by gad_zuki! (70830)
          Man, I hope youre kidding. Sexuality is natural and repressing it only helps push us into closer to complete cultural insanity.

          Filmmakers can't even make a realistic sex scene without getting the NC-17 kiss off death from the moralists.

          Kids grow up with no positive images of sex, just religious hatred. Not to mention the federal government is pushing unrealistic abstinence and downplaying the importance of condoms and birth-control.

          Who is the fucked up culture here?

          • Sexuality is natural

            Look, I'm all in favor of pornography, but let's not confuse it with a healthy expression of sexuality. Objectifying the female body on Page Three of the daily paper, or Justin Timberlake pawing at Janet Jackson's costume while singing about getting her naked by the end of the song, is not the baseline of normal sexuality that I would want my kids to pick up from the media.

            Should sexually suggestive material be allowed? Absolutely. Should it be completely unrestricted? In my op
    • As an Englandian... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MoonBuggy (611105)
      I love the way the BBC begins the article:
      American cinephiles will soon be able to enjoy their movies without sex, violence, swearing - indeed, without any of the interesting bits. (emphasis mine)
      Shows the real differences between two cultures that look, on the surface, very similar.
    • Re:As an American... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by pherris (314792)
      I pray to almighty Jesus that all the gun-fighting and blood spray will be unaffected.

      IFAIK Walmart is still selling "Vice City". Moral of the story: While saying "fuck" is bad it's ok to beat the shit out of a prostitute with a golf club.

      Welcome to Amerika. Please leave your common sense ideas at the border.

      • by Bluesman (104513)
        That's right!

        Because obviously the DVD player comes with a copy of Vice City. You can't buy them separately.

        And it's ok to lump all Wal-Mart shoppers and the entire company into one group, because it delays hard reality hitting my narrow-minded ideology for just a little while longer.

  • Now... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Knight Thrasher (766792) on Friday April 09, 2004 @08:49AM (#8814117) Journal
    I just KNOW there's going to be a hack out for it soon, that will enable to user to reverse the process and skip to just the naughty bits and swear words. =)
  • by shoppa (464619) on Friday April 09, 2004 @08:49AM (#8814120)
    Will this be like the web-censoring software that prohibits users from visiting the Scunthrope United [scunthorpe-united.co.uk] soccer team website, or the Essex County College [essex.edu] website?
  • Filters out the boring crap and goes straight for the neekidness and cussing?
  • great.. (Score:3, Funny)

    by patrick.whitlock (708318) on Friday April 09, 2004 @08:51AM (#8814129)
    now all my porn's gonna be more broke up than eminem on cable..
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 09, 2004 @08:52AM (#8814137)
    This is as much of a censorship story as me saying "Mozilla Thunderbird sucks as a newsreader because it lacks a good killfile".

    This is a device being sold on the market. Censorship is a word used in reference to a Government office and Government behavior. There is a difference. RCA cannot force you to use its player or punish you for not meeting its standards through capture or violence.
  • Kosher? (Score:5, Funny)

    by verloren (523497) on Friday April 09, 2004 @08:53AM (#8814140)
    "automatically scans movies and censors them to make them kosher"

    Time to throw out my copy of Babe: Pig in the City.

    Actually, it was time to do that years ago...
  • Artistic? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by the_mad_poster (640772) <shattoc@adelphia.com> on Friday April 09, 2004 @08:53AM (#8814144) Homepage Journal

    A Hollywood consortium, including some of Tinseltown's top directors, has sued Clearplay and others, arguing that they are abusing the films' artistic integrity.

    Ah, yes. The artistic integrity of, say, the excessive violence in 48 hours? Or, perhaps, the gratiuitous nudity in American Pie.

    STFU, morons. 99.9% of Hollywood's tripe is about as artistic as my ass after a binge at Taco Bell.

    If people want to screen a movie they paid to see, that's their perogative. An excellent application for this is to effectively turn a "questionable for children" movie into something that you, as a parent, feel is sanitized enough to show your children.

    Wake me up if some idiot starts mandating this technology in ALL players. Until then, this is just an interesting technology that people can choose to use if they want. Yawn.

    • by Azureflare (645778)
      Got any pics of your ass after a bin-

      ClearPlay has interrupted this broadcast to apologize for the previous broadcaster. The broadcaster of the previous broadcast has been sacked.

    • I'd agree with you but for one element. I let my son john watch "Inspector Gadget 4" on this equipment - to take out the 'questionable' parts which I assume to be a couple of instances of 'shit' being said by the baddy.

      Then little john goes off to school saying "Inspector Gadget 4 is great" to his chums. They tell their parents that 'johns dad let HIM watch it' - so they get the DVD out.

      Johns friends dad then phones ME up saying "... so you think its appropriate to watch inspector gadget fucking his arch-
    • Re:Artistic? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by argStyopa (232550) on Friday April 09, 2004 @09:53AM (#8814717) Journal
      PRECISELY.

      Nice post.

      So many Hollywood movies are gratuitously sprinkled with unnecessary swear words or the obligatory topless chick shot, just to get the R (or at least PG-13) rating. There are LOTS of movies that older kids could watch that aren't mind-numbingly vapid like "Veggie Tales", but Hollywood insists that anything with a merely G or PG rating must be empty of content as well.

      Ironically, we're back to the pre-VCR days when we are desperately watching for movies we like to come on network television - then we know at least (some of) that is filtered out.

      I agree with the parent poster here. Taking the swearing and violence out of Pulp Fiction is artistic butchery, but to filter out the nudity in Whole Nine Yards or Short Cuts is hardly "abusing artistic integrity".
      • by JLyle (267134)
        So many Hollywood movies are gratuitously sprinkled with unnecessary swear words or the obligatory topless chick shot, just to get the R (or at least PG-13) rating.
        I didn't get around to seeing "Lost in Translation" at the movie theater, so I rented it a few weeks ago. Was there some deeper meaning to the strip club scene, or am I right that this was another example of gratuitous nudity for the purpose of securing an "R" rating?
  • by Quixote (154172) on Friday April 09, 2004 @08:54AM (#8814154) Homepage Journal
    Maybe I haven't had my morning coffee yet, but I don't see what's wrong with this? In fact, if anything, it is a good thing! Let the morally uptight^H^H^H^H^Hstanding get this player and censor their own movies to their hearts' content. The rest of us can then watch the movies in their entirety.

    I think it's a Good Thing(tm).

    The problem comes when someone else tries to impose his/her morals on ME. By censoring DVDs at source, that is what happens. This player, OTOH, brings censoring to the destination. Great idea.

  • by RobinH (124750) on Friday April 09, 2004 @08:55AM (#8814164) Homepage
    I put a copy of Pulp Fiction into this thing, and all I got out were 13 seconds of credits! Where did my movie go???
    • Back in school, 10 or 15 years ago, I had just begun learning english.. and the english teacher showed us this movie, hiding subtitles.

      Of course at the end I had NO IDEA of what really happened in the movie. Who the characters were, etc...

      But I knew ONE thing for SURE : the f-word is the most important word in the american (maybe not english) language ;-)
  • An Absurdity (Score:3, Insightful)

    by beforewisdom (729725) on Friday April 09, 2004 @08:55AM (#8814166)
    A religious movie comes out where the producer makes up scenes that inspire bigotry and the movie is about two hours of nothing about a man being beaten to a pulp. CVS airs the superbowl, refuses to take a commercial asking people to vote for someone other then bush, but they gladly take pro bush commercials. No one complains.......hardly The majority of the 6 plus billion people on this planet have breasts and those who don't have seen them. A woman's nipple is exposed on television and the earth in the United States is shaken!
  • by DrXym (126579) on Friday April 09, 2004 @08:56AM (#8814169)
    ... buys or rents a DVD and then buys a player to selectively cut parts out of it? If you are offended that much by a movie, why rent it in the first place? If you're scared a child might watch it, then why not use the parental lock that a lot of players come with?


    Besides, it will butcher movies, not replace the content with milder cuss words like on TV. If you have ever watched Malaysian TV you will know exactly what it will do. Entire chunks of film will simply disappear leaving an incoherent mess in its place. Imagine (trying) to watch something like Pulp Fiction through it for example.


    People who buy this are idiots and following on from its DIVX fiasco it is more proof that RCA really doesn't have a clue.


    Of course something good might come out of it. If all the god bothering prudes equip themselves with one of these, it will leave Blockbuster et al with no excuse for not stocking certain titles.

  • by Professeur Shadoko (230027) on Friday April 09, 2004 @08:57AM (#8814176)
    WHY is it unacceptable for children to see people making love (fucking, if you prefer), but it's okay if they see people killing each other with firearms.

    What the f... ?
    • by ducman (107063)
      Just curious, are you implying that people killing each other "with firearms" is somehow better or worse than any other method of killing each other?
  • by mtrupe (156137) on Friday April 09, 2004 @08:57AM (#8814178) Homepage Journal
    Parents and owners of these things are simply decided what they do and do not want their familty to see. Are you saying that I must allow my young children to watch nudity, violence, and bad language or else I am some kind of fundamentalist?

    These are tools for parents, nothing more, nothing less. Last I knew parents were allowed to raise their own children. Yeah- censorship is bad, for grown adults, but I plan on censoring the heck out of what I allow my children to see. There is no freedom of speech or freedom to view anything for a 9 year old.

    Another way to look at this is as a tool of free speech. It allows parents to further control what their children see whild not forcing entire censorship. I would like to continue to watch movies as my daughter gets old enough to understand what she is seeing on the screen. Most of the time sex scenes and foul language does little to add to the story (I know there are exceptions, like Boogie Nights, for example).

    Anyway, just my two cents-- there is no reason to freak out here. RCA and Walmart aren't trying to censor what you are allowed to see, rather, they are providing parents with a tool that will help us to raise our children as we see fit.
  • Dear RCA... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 09, 2004 @09:02AM (#8814227)
    I would appreciate a version that can remove all scenes with Ben Afflick in them.

    Sincerely,
    J. Lo.
  • this is the stupidest (happy mountains) i have ever heard of in my whole (dancing kittens) life

    what (singing birds) thought this (rolling hills) up?

    if you don't like the (grazing deer) movie, don't watch the (blooming flowers) movie!

    cutting it up into sanitized (falling rain) pieces is akin to giving yourself a (bubbling brooks) frontal lobotomy

    i just don't understand the (belching volcanoes) censorial instincts of some pinheaded (churning lava)
  • by dr_dank (472072) on Friday April 09, 2004 @09:09AM (#8814292) Homepage Journal
    a DVD player that automatically scans movies and censors them to make them kosher

    I only buy movies prepared under rabbinical supervision.
  • Why not? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mjh (57755) <markNO@SPAMhornclan.com> on Friday April 09, 2004 @09:20AM (#8814392) Homepage Journal
    Look I understand if you don't want to buy one of these thing, that's fine. But why is the fact that this is available on the market make this a censorship issue?

    Some people don't subscribe to HBO because they don't like the things that are shown. Are they censoring HBO? Well, I guess if you twist the meaning of the word "censor". But is it unreasonable? Of course not! An individuals right to decide (for themselves) whether or not they want to view something isn't censorship, it's freedom of choice.

    As far as this particular device, if you don't like it's feature set, don't buy it. But, who's being the censor if, because you don't like the feature set, you prevent someone else from buying it?
  • What I want (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cyranoVR (518628) * <cyranoVR AT gmail DOT com> on Friday April 09, 2004 @09:25AM (#8814434) Homepage Journal
    I want a DVD player that takes a regular PG-13 movie and adds back in all the naughty bits that the MPAA board made the filmmakers edit out to avoid an R rating.

    That would rock.

    Finally, I'd be able to sit through entire viewing of Steel Magnolias with the wife!
  • by jocknerd (29758) on Friday April 09, 2004 @09:26AM (#8814445)
    I'd love to see it. It might just blow up the player.
  • Good idea (Score:4, Interesting)

    by kjdames (588423) on Friday April 09, 2004 @09:28AM (#8814464)
    At the risk of sounding old-fashioned (which I am) or prudish (which I am), I think this is a great idea. I now visit kids-in-mind [kids-in-mind.com] to check out EVERY movie before I rent it - it gives details about every bit of sexuality/violence/profanity. As a concerned father of two pre-teen children, I don't want them watching the smut that Hollywood passes off for entertainment.

    It seems like every film director feels compelled to throw in a sex/nude scene, and the film will be rated R, but only for "violence".

    Case in point: the movie Basic, starring John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson. I liked the movie, billed as a "military suspense thriller." What I didn't like was a scene near the end, apparently during a Mardi Gras parade, where a completely topless woman was shown from the front. What the hell? In my opinion, that's not appropriate for my boys to be watching.

    There are many good movies out there that barring a few scenes, would be perfectly acceptable for my children to watch. A device like this should allow my family to watch and enjoy these movies.

  • by niall2 (192734) on Friday April 09, 2004 @09:38AM (#8814544) Homepage
    So whats the censorship here. I can take a black magic marker and get rid of all the bits of my books I dont like. Thats not censorship. So whats the hoopla here about buying a device to do that for movies that I own. Thats not censorship. Thats me using my things the way I want to.
  • by Rai (524476) on Friday April 09, 2004 @10:00AM (#8814789) Homepage
    One that auto-inserts naughty clips into movies.

    You and the Mrs are watching Armageddon and boom! Liv Tyler boobies.
  • by bedmison (534357) <808@musGINSBERGic.vt.edu minus poet> on Friday April 09, 2004 @10:01AM (#8814792)
    The studios should accept this for what it is: A marketing opportunity. All they need to do is start selling the airplane versions of films on DVD. If they start selling more than a few of these players, that ought to be a signal to the studios that there is a market out there for "clean" versions of their films.

    Or better yet, maybe they will make better movies. I don't have any problem with films that have sex, violence, etc, if it makes sense to the story. But there is a whole raft of crap that is stuck in films because the "filmmakers" don't think we as an audience will stay focused on the film without someone on screen using "F***" in all of its grammatical forms every 10 seconds. Its unnecessary and shows a lack of creativity on the writers' part.

    When Hollywood actually starts doing something artistic again, then maybe I'll give "artistic integrity" thought again. Since most of the stuff that comes out now is remakes of films done 30 years ago ( and mostly the earlier ones are better...I give you the Marky Mark Planet of the Apes as a prime example of just because you can doesn't mean you should. ), I hardly think that it requires much artistry to remake something that has already been done. A decent painter could reproduce the Mona Lisa with paint by numbers, but that doesn't require much artistry.

    • But there is a whole raft of crap that is stuck in films because the "filmmakers" don't think we as an audience will stay focused on the film without someone on screen using "F***" in all of its grammatical forms every 10 seconds.

      I keep seeing references to this kind of thing in the comments, and I can't think of any (and certainly not many) films were it was obviously gratuitis. Could you give some examples?
  • by jarich (733129) on Friday April 09, 2004 @10:17AM (#8814942) Homepage Journal
    Isn't what Linux is all about? Choice?

    This gives the consumer the choice... sounds like a good thing to me.

    You don't like it, buy another model for yourself.

  • by Musashi Miyamoto (662091) on Friday April 09, 2004 @10:26AM (#8815036)
    Im amazed at how many readers here jumped on this decrying censorship and claiming all sorts of DMCA violations. This "censorship" is almost definitely going to be an OPTION for parents to edit what their kids see.

    This is a feature of DVDs that should have been available from the beginning! Why is it that I can't select the "clean" or "edited for tv" version of a movie from the main dvd menu? Sometimes I want to allow my kids to watch a movie, but only the edited version so they don't have to see any gore or gratuitous sex. This should be an option on every DVD player. It looks like it only edits around 500 movies... If they were smart, they would make something like a CDDB for movie edits. That way, a central database can store all the edits, and you can download them as you get new movies. Something like this could probably be done with MythTv.

    You should be lauding this as an long overdue advancement of the technology.

    • by Ondo (187980) on Friday April 09, 2004 @11:36AM (#8815877)
      This is a feature of DVDs that should have been available from the beginning! Why is it that I can't select the "clean" or "edited for tv" version of a movie from the main dvd menu?

      It is a feature of DVDs, it's just not on the menu. You can set the parental lock feature on your player, and the discs check that to either show an edited version or simply refuse to play.
  • by CreatureComfort (741652) * on Friday April 09, 2004 @11:12AM (#8815578)

    I expect this to fly off the shelves into every god-fearing Xtian home in the U.S. until...

    Mel releases 'The Passion' on DVD and this player will only show the opening and closing credits.

  • by Animats (122034) on Friday April 09, 2004 @01:39PM (#8817295) Homepage
    Has anyone figured out the ClearPlay "filter lists" yet? The Internet player for PCs downloads them via the Internet. What does the standalone player do? Can you create your own filter lists? For example, could you express the "Star Wars Phantom Edit" (the one that deletes that Jar Jar characte) as a ClearPlay filter list? This has potential.
  • by photon317 (208409) on Friday April 09, 2004 @01:49PM (#8817409)

    The blurb tries to make it sound like they invented something magical, but they didn't. Basically, a company called ClearPlay has humans that watch popular movies, and makes a note of all the "bad" audio/video spots in the movie. They make a big censoring list, and the player IDs the movie against that list and skips the parts the ClearPlay guys said to skip. The database of movie titles is at about 500 so far, which is far, far short of the number of DVDs at your typical rental store. The mentioned Janet Jackson incident, which was live TV, and has nothing at all to do with cencsoring your DVDs.
  • by tregoweth (13591) on Friday April 09, 2004 @03:27PM (#8818892)
    I can't wait until The Passion of the Christ comes out on DVD and becomes a delightful five minute romp.

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