French owned RCA has announced that it will start shipping DVD players in the United States that will automatically censor offensive language, nudity, violence and other “offensive” content from DVDs that are played on the new player. This was done at Wal-Mart’s urging, RCA has claimed. Both Wal-Mart and Kmart will sell the players for $79.
The technology is based on content censoring developed by a Salt Lake City Utah based company called Clearplay. They’ve developed a database that contains time/frame data for over 500 movies and flags/marks each of the points of offensive material for every DVD in the database. The player will recognize the movie and automatically skip or “bleep” over offensive material when played. It is not known whether the devices are capable of updating their movie databases via Net connection or by other means in order to censor the new movies as well.
Clearplay — as well as several other censoring technology companies — has been sued by major Hollywood studios and directors. Directors say that such methods where a device alters a movie that they’ve created, without director’s permission, violates against their intellectual property rights and destroys the artistic vision the director has created to the movie. But clearplay makes the defense that they are not copying the disc’s, their technology is only skipping past certain parts of the disc. Not undifferent then someone fast fowarding past a part of a movie they don’t care for.
Personally I hate to hear articles like this. I hate the fact that so much of society still has issues with language and nudity. Obviously the company hails out of Salt Lake City so one can only guess this has been highly Mormon inspired.
Overall I don’t have a problem with the technology. I personally hate the fact that it exists and people want to use it. But the technology itself is perfectly legal in my opinion. The big question is “what the hell are these people even watching these movies for?” Obviously their minds are too fragile to handle the content. This is why the ratings system was installed by the MPAA. They should use it to only watch G and PG movies. Imagine popping in a Tarantino flick like Pulp Fiction and censoring it. You’d only see a few lines of dialogue and the movie would be over. What’s the point?
As far as nudity goes, that’s something that should never be censored, ever. Nudity is hiumanity at it’s most natural. No reason to be ashamed. Unfortuantely it’s often the most feared by people who censor. Lets thanks the early religious institutions for that. Instilling the concept into people’s heads that nudity or sex = evil.