Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will announce today its “Clean Version” initiative, which “allows viewers to screen the broadcast or airline versions of select Sony films, free from certain mature content.” Rather than forcing consumers to choose whether to buy the original or “clean” cut of a given movie, Sony will instead make these “edited for content” versions available at no additional charge as one of the “extras” included with the theatrical version of the films that are part of the program, purchased on iTunes, VUDU, and FandangoNOW.
Sony’s “Clean Version” project, now under way, launches with the following 24 films, all of them including the option to screen the version “adapted for a wider audience”:
- 50 First Dates
- Battle Of The Year
- Big Daddy
- Captain Phillips
- Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
- Easy A
- Ghostbusters II
- Grown Ups
- Grown Ups 2
- Spider-Man 2
- Spider-Man 3
- The Amazing Spider-Man
- The Amazing Spider-Man 2
- Step Brothers
- Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
- White House Down
For years, third-party services have sought to scrub Hollywood movies of content some movie fans find objectionable, including violence, sexuality, and profanity. Raising issues of unauthorized edits of copyrighted works — not to mention bastardized re-dos unsanctioned by the artists who actually made them — the major movie studios have long opposed most of them.
Third-party services offering clean versions of movies, such as ClearPlay and VidAngel (both based out of Utah), have been a matter of ongoing controversy. In February, ClearPlay, which worked in accordance with the Family Movie Act of 2015, allowing the service to use technology to filter certain elements out of movies — stopped providing clients with sanitized versions of new releases through Google Play, citing a “technical issue” that persisted for months. VidAngel, meanwhile, continues in a legal battle with Walt Disney Co., Lucasfilm, 20th Century Fox Film, and Warner Bros. Entertainment over its service, which the studios claim is in direct violation of the aforementioned law.
For more information on Sony’s “Clean Versions” initiative, see www.cleanversionmovies.com.
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