Cleaning out the garbage

Score one for the good guys. That’s Good Guys 1, Sanctimonious Bastards 0. And it’s about (expletive deleted) time.

(Sorry about that last part, folks — my editors took this column to CleanColumnzz before publication out of abject fear of its objectionable content, so just bear with me.)

As many of you may have heard, a little more than a week ago, judgment was finally handed down on the infamous case (around here, anyway) involving the companies that edited “objectionable” content out of movies and sold or rented them to paying customers.

The case, as all cases do, took for-(expletive deleted)-ing ever, but those who actually care about little things like copyright infringement, artists’ rights and such finally let out a cry of relief, as the U.S. District Court in Denver ruled in favor of Hollywood. And that means that CleanFlicks-and FamilyFlix and CleanFilms and Play it Clean Films?whatever, it’s all the same-will soon be no more. Never thought I’d say this, but I’m thrilled that we’re putting the Little Guy out of business. And for all I care they can go straight to (objectionable material deleted).

As reported in an Associated Press story, District Judge Richard Matsch said the practice of editing movies — in this case, for profit and, no doubt, a sense of pristine self-righteousness — is an “illegitimate business.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.

This kind of business has been growing in popularity, particularly in this area, for the better part of a decade. We all remember the controversy that occurred when Sunrise Family Video started editing Kate Winslet’s scandalous n***les and b***ocks out of “T**anic.”

Finally, in the year 2006, a district court has had to reaffirm what millions of people already understood — that this type of business is sleazy and under-handed beyond all comprehension. So let this be a lesson to you, folks: if unethical and unconstitutional behavior is your cup of tea, you can probably get away with it?at least for a few years. You might even make a nice bit of cash?at the expense of the principles and laws of this country, of course, but what the (bad, bad, bad word, shame on Chris Bellamy).

Of course, the purveyors of this service will still defend themselves to the death. “We’re disappointed,” CleanFlicks chief executive Ray Lines said in the AP story. “This is a typical case of David vs. Goliath, but in this case, Hollywood rewrote the ending. We’re going to continue to fight.”

That’s a cute analogy, but here’s another one: (And please, I’m a Mormon, so don’t get upset, alright?) Say Joe Schmo gets offended by the Book of Mormon. Say he finds the content “objectionable.” Does he just stop reading? No. Instead, he takes it to a specialized store and asks that all the “objectionable content” be removed. The store obliges, and sells him back an edited copy. Now?is that acceptable?

I didn’t think so.

Of course, the dedicated customers will still spout the company line and claim that the companies are “well within their rights” to edit all the f***ing and s***ing and k***ing and p***ing out of movies that they (bleep) well please. The loyalty is cute and all, but get a clue, folks. After all, a court of law already has.