RE: VERY interesting copyright article

Henry Mattoon (
Thu, 1 Feb 2001 10:15:02 -0800 (PST)

Reply to: RE: VERY interesting copyright article
Well, yes, you certainly can alter any video you legally purchase, obviously, if it's for your own personal use. Rather like ripping pages out of a book. It's your *physical* copy. But, Jessica is right. The problem comes in whey you try to make money off this stuff, sell/rent the altered vids.

And, he tries to get around the (c) law by seemingly to say "send us your legally purchased videos and we'll take out the naughty bits." That *may* be OK, if he's editing it for your own tastes, but he cannot turn around and sell that edited copy to someone else -- that's just plain piracy, and piracy of an ever worse kind. Checkl out his "Here are the movies we offer" pages. So, he apparently has a stockpile of the "nonoffensive" versions ready to ship on the one hand; on the other, he'll take your own legally purchased vids and clean them up for you for a charge. Former is clearly illegal; latter *may* be OK if it's a one-off agreement between you and him.

In any case, I agree he's on pretty shaky ground.

Before I left for work today, the TODAY program on NBC was going to have a segment on this guy, along with I believe some (c) attorney and/or someone from the MPPA.

Maybe someone who caught that this AM can report? I just checked the website and there's nothing there yet.

PS -- I like his comment that in addition to naughty words, nudity, etc he takes out "words related to Diety." I suppose "Oh, my Lord!" would have to go. Also, any vid with a diety-like name in the title, even that George Burns groaner OH GOD!, not to mention OH GOD! BOOK II and probably the most defiling of the series, OH GOD! YOU DEVIL. Would he treat "words related to" Satan the same as those "related to Diety"?

Henry K. Mattoon
National Moving Image Database
The American Film Institute
2021 N. Western Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
323/856.7702 voice
323/856.7616 fax

Darryl Wiggers wrote:
>Where is it written that one can't alter a legally purchased copy? The
>warning on all my videos only talks about public screenings and copying.
>That's it. Besides, it's not as if he disguising what he's doing. No one who
>is interested in purchasing an unedited version would be fooled into dealing
>with this guy... >
>According to the Copyright Infringement Act of 1976 "Any person who, with
>fraudulent intent, removes or alters any notice of copyright appearing on a
>copy of a copyrighted work shall be fined not more than $2,500." That's it.
>Only the warning can't be "removed" or "altered." And you can't even claim
>fraud with Mr. CleanVideo. He spells out what is omitted... I can't find
>anything else in the Copyright Infringement Act that suggests that what Mr.
>CleanVideo claims he's doing can't be done. Can anyone?
>And let's suppose he is nailed. How is his crime different from a video
>store that sells me a "used" mangled, chewed-up video that's blurry and full
>of picture drop-outs. That video has been altered too from its original
>condition. Maybe I can get the MPAA on my local store's case...
>Personally I would never do business with Mr. CleanVideo because I want to
>see my movies unedited. But I'm not convinced that what he's doing is
>illegal, and cannot share in the drooling enthusiasm to have him drawn and
>quartered. I especially don't understand why people seem less bothered by
>corporations who lie, deceive, cheat, overcharge and steal from millions of
>consumers than a guy who is openly providing a seemingly legal service that
>his community clearly wants.
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