Recent legal battles have taken a devastating toll on CleanFilms, Family Flix and other companies that edit scenes containing sex, nudity, profanity and excessive violence from mainstream movies to provide a viewing alternative for families concerned over explicit video content.
In a letter to customers, CleanFilms Chief Executive Officer Ken Roberts regretfully announced that a Colorado ruling has forced the company to close the business. The U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado sided with major film studios July 6, contending that the “mechanical editing parties” violated copyright law.
“After three long years of legal struggles, a judge in Colorado has ruled that we cannot sell or rent edited DVDs anymore,” Roberts said. “While we thought very strongly about appealing the decision, the potential costs and risks to the company, its customers and shareholders was just too great. Accordingly, we have agreed to close our doors after a brief winding-up period.”
Prior to the decision, CleanFilms countered the studio’s motion for summary judgment saying, “… not only will CleanFilms be put out of business and thousands and thousands of Americans will lose their right to watch and enjoy popular movies without being subjected to gratuitous amounts of sex, violence and profanity, but the Court will quash CleanFilms’ and the viewing public’s most poignant right to criticize the use of that material in movies by opting not to view the particular scenes in movies that contain that material.”
“I would like nothing better than to answer all of your questions and provide you with even more information,” Roberts told WND. “However I have signed an agreement that says, in part: ‘If a member of the press or any other third party inquires into the status of the Action or the dealings between the Parties in our lawsuits, you may say: ‘The matter has been settled on mutually agreeable terms, which are confidential.'”
CleanFilms offered approximately 900 edited motion pictures to its subscribers for home viewing and has received 3,000 letters from its members, many stating that without the editing service, they would not have rented or purchased the original motion pictures for viewing in their home.
Two other companies named in the copyright ruling, Play It Clean, and Family Flix no longer have valid web addresses, and a fourth company, CleanFlicks, posted a bulletin on its website: “Pending the outcome of current litigation with the Hollywood studio, this website is currently not accepting new customers.”
A message on the website of CleanEditedMovies.com reported the Arizona company Family Flix, owned by a husband and wife Richard and Sandi Teraci, has closed its film-editing business. The couple intends to create their own motion picture studio outside Hollywood.
“We will be creating blockbuster films with top-level actors. Films you’ll love, but won’t have to cover your children’s eyes or ears, or as an adult, not having to be subjected to someone else’s low standards,” the Teracis said.
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Chelsea Schilling is a WND intern based in Texas and currently in Washington.