Sony Pairing Select Digital Movies With Edited Versions8 Jun, 2017 By: John Latchem
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment unveiled its "Clean Version Initiative," which will give consumers the choice of watching family friendly edited versions of certain films purchased through iTunes, Vudu and FandangoNow.
The program will launch with 24 films, which will include the broadcast or airline version of the movie as part of the bonus material included with the theatrical cut at no additional charge.
The issue of sanitizing movies has long been controversial in Hollywood, with third-party services such as ClearPlay and VidAngel running affoul of studio legal departments by offering to remove content intended for mature audiences, such as violence, sexuality and profanity, on behalf of consumers. Such unauthorized edits skirt copyright laws and are seen in some circles as an artistic affront to the filmmakers who created the movies in the first place.
A federal judge in December granted an injunction against VidAngel's filtering software in a lawsuit brought by 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., the Walt Disney Co. and Lucasfilm. VidAngel contents its service is legal under the Fair Use Doctrine, which provides for a secondary home video market, and the 2005 Family Movie Act — which allows a consumer to digitally censor store-bought content for private use in the home. After vowing to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, Utah-based VidAngel in January was found in contempt of court and fined more than $10,000 for continuing to provide its sanitizing service in violation of the court order.
Sony Pictures' move is seen by some industry watchers as the studio's attempt curb such editing, while at the same time monetizing cleaner versions the studio already creates for broadcast television and commercial airlines. More information about the Clean Versions Initiative is available at CleanVersionMovies.com.
Titles included in the first wave include:
• 50 First Dates
• Battle Of The Year
• Big Daddy
• Captain Phillips
• Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
• Easy A
• Ghostbusters II
• Grown Ups
• Grown Ups 2
• Spider-Man 2
• Spider-Man 3
• The Amazing Spider-Man
• The Amazing Spider-Man 2
• Step Brothers
• Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
• White House Down