Several Hollywood studios, including Paramount, Warner Bros., MGM, Disney, Universal and Fox, have filed a lawsuit against DVD sanitizer Family Edited DVDS, Inc. and are seeking a permanent injunction to stop the company from altering movies to be free of objectionable content and distributing them to consumers as family-friendly.
The lawsuit was filed in Arizona District Court against Family Edited DVDS and its head John Webster.
The lawsuit claims infringement of copyrights and seeks permanent injunction against Family Edited DVDs.
According to court documents, the defendant picked Oscar-winning films like “The Hurt Locker,” box office hit “Iron Man 2”, “Prince of Persia,” and the critically acclaimed comedy “Date Night,” and altered them to be free of objectionable content.
Furthermore, the plaintiffs have alleged that the defendant is selling its films in DVD-R format, which they say strips away copyright protection measures and makes them “highly vulnerable to further unauthorized copying and other forms of infringement.”
Family Edited DVDS is the latest movie re-editing company to be attacked by the Hollywood studios.
Seven years ago, Hollywood battled CleanFlicks, CleanFilms, Family Flix USA and Play it Clean Video and in July 2006, a federal judge had ruled that sanitized DVDs constituted an infringement on the copyrights of the original films and ordered the defendants to turn over their inventory. At the time, the defendants had vowed to appeal, but they never did.
Under the provisions of the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act, which became a law in 2005, manufacturers of special DVD players with content filtering ClearPlay technology and their users are exempted from copyright liability for skipping objectionable content. The technology allows users to seamlessly skip over or mute undesirable content such as profanity, graphic violence, drug and adult-related content, all in real time.
However, the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act does not allow re-distribution of altered DVDs.
Meanwhile, the website of the defendant remains inaccessible.