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Re: [dvd-discuss] clean flicks and moral rights

On 01/23/03 at 00:49, 'twas brillig and Jeremy Erwin scrobe:
> On Wednesday, January 22, 2003, at 11:21  PM, microlenz@earthlink.net 
> wrote:
> > [...] Indeed, I would contend  that if I 
> > purchase a
> > VHS tape that is NOT identical to the version shown in the theatres 
> > and has not
> > been labeled as such then a fraud has been committed upon me (e.g., The
> > Graduate as seen on TV was not the same edit as the one in the 
> > Theatre. The
> > famous shot of Benjamin through Mr. Robinson's leg is missing)
> It is a bit fraudulent. Many VHS films are shown using pan and scan-- 
> instead of the original aspect ratio. Sometimes the director or 
> cinematographer will grudgingly approve a crop job, but often this is 
> shopped out to third parties-- who crop out important visual elements. 
> This is quite apart from from the original directorial intent conceit.

	Ah, but remember the disclaimer before you shout "Fraud" in
your home theater...

	"This film has been altered from its original version. It has
been formatted to fit this screen."

	Now, most of us tend to see those sentences as connected: that
is, our minds tend to assume that the second sentence is the specific
act generally referred to by the first sentence. We tend to rewrite
the phrase as:

	"This film has been altered from its original version;
specifically, it has been formatted to fit this screen."

	However, at some point in the past I realized that this
all-too-common disclaimer is worded quite cleverly, such that it can
cover any editing at all; if you read those sentences as separate,
equal disclaimers:

	"This film has been altered from its original version."

		(full stop)

	"[This film] has been formatted to fit this screen."

	On another note, the latest installment of Clay Shirky's
newslettered thoughts contained this gem RE Eldred:

    "For the average Congressperson, the argument is simple: copyright
    is a palatable tax that transfers wealth from the many to the few,
    and the few are better donors than the many."

> (My high school English textbook included a copy of Julius Caeser, 
> minus, peculiarly, a good part of Act 1, Scene 3. A classroom is no 
> place for Bowdler.)


Ole Craig * UNIX, linux, SMTP-ninja; news, web; SGI martyr * CS Computing
Facility, UMass * <www.cs.umass.edu/~olc/pgppubkey.txt> for public key