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CEA Touts Need for 'Family-Friendly' DVDs

26 Sep, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel

In an attempt to revive interest in legislation that would give parents the right to use available technologies to “sanitize” objectionable material from their children's DVDs, the Consumer Electronics Association Sept. 26 characterized recent legal efforts by the studios as “anti-consumer.”

Michael Petricone, SVP of governmental affairs with the CEA, told a House subcommittee hearing exploring efforts by companies to sell software that allows users to edit offensive scenes and language from movies and music, that consumers should not be denied by a “narrow reading of the copyright law.”

In July, a federal court ordered CleanFlicks, Family Flix, CleanFilms and Play It Clean Video to stop producing, manufacturing, creating, selling and renting altered movies.

“The Hollywood lawsuit against CleanFlicks is a perfect example of the copyright law run amok,” said Petricone. “There is simply no reason why parents should not be able to use new technologies to shield their children from graphic sex and violence.”

In March 2005, Congressman Rick Boucher (D-Va.) co-sponsored legislation (H.R. 1201) that would give people the (fair use) right to circumvent copy protection measures (including altering scenes and language from movies) as long as they had legally purchased the content.

The legislation wasn't taken up last year by lawmakers and is currently idle.

“It hasn't been taken up by the House and [currently] sits in limbo,” said a Boucher spokesperson.

A representative from the Motion Picture Association of America was not immediately available for comment.

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