Huntsman et al & Clean Cut Cinemas et al v Soderbergh et al & The Directors Guild of America & MGM et al

Motion Picture Studio Defendants' Statement Clarifying Claims

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In this case, Two sets of entities asked a court to declare legal their methods of helping consumers avoid watching scenes involving sex, violence, or other material they find disturbing. The movie studios then sued them for copyright infringement, and the directors sued for trademark infringement. One set of defendants sold DVD players and related technologies that knew when to and automatically would hit the skip or mute button during certain portions of a movie. In an amicus brief, EFF argued that copyright holders had no right to control consumers' private viewings. By enacting FECA in 2005, Congress made creation and use of this technology clearly legal and this part of the case was set aside. The o/ set of defendants lawfully purchased DVDs, created a copy without sexual or violent content, and then would sell or rent out that copy. For every copy distributed, the companies lawfully bought a DVD. Editing a DVD for your own private viewing is pretty clearly fair use, but that wasn't at issue in this case. Instead, the case dealt with whether the companies could lawfully make the edits on your behalf. Unfortunately, a federal district court ruled that these companies were infringing. EFF filed an amicus brief with respect to these companies but offered no opinion on whether the final DVD was infringing. Rather, the brief argued that as long as making clean movies is not itself an infringing activity, the practice of making intermediate copies should be considered non-infringing as well. It's an important point, because intermediate copies are crucial to the process of creating new copyrighted works. The movie studios subsequently backed off and withdrew their "intermediate copying" argument.

This is the Motion Picture Studio Defendants' Statement Clarifying their claims.

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