Letter to the Editor: Editing for Personal Preference

By By Bryan Embley and By Bryan Embley

By Bryan Embley


After the tasteless mudslinging, Chris Yeates eventually got to his point in his Sept. 26 column, “If You Can’t Beat Them, Just Co-opt Them.” He claimed that selling edited versions of movies was illegal and unnecessary. He cited the recent lawsuit filed by the Director’s Guild of America and recklessly exaggerated the number of editing firms. The issue is just not that simple.

The lawsuit has two parts. First, selling edited films is a breach of copyright law and is therefore illegal. Point conceded. Second, the film companies seek to outlaw software that allows consumers to edit their own videos. This question obviously appeals to the first amendment.

Editing videos for private use should not be illegal. Whatever I purchase belongs to me. I can and will do whatever I want with it. If I buy a newspaper with the sole purpose of wadding it up to start my fire, who cares? It may not have been the editor’s first idea, but that is what happens. The newspaper company still gets its money, right?

If I can edit my own movies, I will purchase, edit and view many movies which I would not consider otherwise. I have my movie and the creators have their money. What’s more, the creators now have more money than they would without the editing possibility.

I do not want sex and violence in my videos just like I do not want pickles and peppers on my sandwich. I promise not to touch your video or your sandwich. But, I will pick the sex and violence out of my movies and the pickles and peppers off my sandwich as much as I please.

Yeates passed an uninformed judgement on a complex issue. Maybe that is why he used so much vicious misinformation to fill an empty column.

Bryan EmbleyJunior, Communication