Porting this post over from Socialtext:

A few years ago, I heard about CleanFlicks, a service that would allow you to “rent” edited DVDs. I don’t watch movies with sex scenes, nudity, profanity, or gory violence, so CleanFlicks seemed like a nice idea.

I should say that their position was that they didn’t rent movies, but that their customers were asking them to edit movies on their behalf. Too fine a distinction maybe, because CleanFlicks got hit with a lawsuit by entertainment interests who forced them to shut down.

I think the argument of the plaintiffs was that the copyright holder should be the one who gets to profit from editing movies. That might have been the technical legal reason, but I tend to think some professional moviemakers just didn’t like the idea of someone tinkering with their creative product and removing certain content to cater to customers’ preferences in that way.

CleanFlicks recently reopened, offering prescreened movies rather than edited movies — possibly a good idea. These are movies that they have previewed and certified to be more friendly to those who dislike profanity, sex scenes, and other undesirable content.

Unfortunately, I can’t recommend them, as they have refused to even respond to numerous emails I have sent them about something I paid for and never received. It’s not that they contest my complaint — they just don’t even respond. That’s even stranger than the many companies with poor customer service, which we have all come to expect.

I checked out some other purveyors of edited movies and eventually settled on FamilySafe Movies, which has a good selection and reliable service.

In my search for a provider, I also found Flick’s Club (this company might somehow be associated with FamilySafe Movies, because the DVDs I receive from them often bear the Flick’s Club brand) and Hollygood Films.

AB — originally posted 21 March 2007

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