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Posts tagged Well thank God

Well, thank God #5

I’ve been meaning to take note of the Directors’ Guild’s recent triumph over insurgent customers for a few days now:

A federal judge has issued final cut to studios, ruling that companies that snip out potentially offending material from movies for home viewing violate copyright laws.

Businesses that edit sex, profanity and violence out of DVD and VHS copies in an appeal to some viewers’ tastes are illegitimate, said Richard P. Matsch of U.S. District Court in Denver.

Four companies that do so must stop and turn over their copies of expurgated films to Hollywood’s major studios.

Audiences can now be assured that the films they buy or rent are the vision of the filmmakers who made them and not the arbitrary choices of a third-party editor, Directors Guild of America President Michael Apted said in a statement.

The studios and several prominent directors — including Steven Spielberg, Robert Altman and Steven Soderbergh — have been fighting movie sanitizers in court since 2002, saying that retailers such as CleanFlicks had no right to copy and distribute their own versions.

Retailers asserted that their cleaned-up copies made fair use of the movies under copyright law and that they bought one copy of the original for each modified version they rented or sold. That ensured more sales and exposure than such movies would have received had they not been edited to be more wholesome, the retailers argued.

We’re disappointed, CleanFlicks Chief Executive Ray Lines said. This is a typical case of David versus Goliath, but in this case, Hollywood rewrote the ending. We’re going to continue to fight.

As many as 90 video stores nationwide — about half of them in Utah, where CleanFlicks is based — purchase movies from his company, Lines said.

The owner of the four CleanFlicks shops in Utah County, Daniel Thompson, told the Deseret Morning News of Salt Lake City: I think it’s ridiculous that you can’t watch a movie without seeing sex, nudity or extreme violence. I don’t understand why they’re trying to keep that in there.

The dispute is about artistic integrity, said Apted, who directed Coal Miner’s Daughter.

Directors put their skill, craft and often years of hard work into the creation of a film, he said in the statement. So we have great passion about protecting our work, which is our signature and brand identification, against unauthorized editing.

— Roger Vincent, Los Angeles Times (2006-07-10): Sanitizers of Home Video Lose in Court

My God, it’s a good thing we have the federal courts there to stand athwart our DVD players shouting No! If the judicial branch of the government weren’t there to keep customers from going around watching films any old way they want–if the federal judiciary weren’t there to force Mormon families to look at boobies and guns the way the Directors’ Guild authorized them to do–then who would? It’d be mere anarchy!

The latest technological weapons may have been taken out of the hands of viewers, but it is still a dangerous world for artistes. Viewers will find all kinds of improvised devices for skipping over sex and violence. Perhaps with faith and perserverance the Directors’ Guild can convince the courts to further protect their artistic vision, by having all the fast-forward buttons in America stuck in place with super-glue.

(Hat tip to Tom Woods at the LRC Blog.)

Well, thank God #4

I just heard about this smashing victory in our glorious Crusade against Drugs this evening:

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Rush Limbaugh was detained for more than three hours Monday at Palm Beach International Airport after authorities said they found a bottle of Viagra in his possession without a prescription.

Customs officials found a prescription bottle labeled as Viagra in his luggage that didn’t have Limbaugh’s name on it, but that of two doctors, said Paul Miller, spokesman for the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

… The matter was referred to the sheriff’s office, whose investigators interviewed Limbaugh. According to Miller, Limbaugh said that the Viagra was for his use, and that he obtained it from his doctors.

Investigators confiscated the drugs, which treats erectile dysfunction, and Limbaugh was released without being charged.

The sheriff’s office plans to file a report with the state attorney’s office. Miller said it could be a second-degree misdemeanor violation.

— Associated Press (2006-06-26): Limbaugh detained at Palm Beach airport

Well! Thank God for the narcs and the customs goons. If they weren’t there to rifle through your bags and take your pills at gunpoint, who would save us from the scourge of unauthorized erections? Who would protect us from old men having boners not in their own name?

Further reading:

Well, thank God #3

You can rest easier tonight knowing that our august solons have taken it upon themselves to warn us about one of the great dangers threatening our nation:

City of Shaker Heights, OHIO – ( Jan 17, 2006 ) Following a health trend that appears to be brewing up all over the nation, Mayor Judith Rawson has signed a proclamation for the City of Shaker Heights that addresses the issues regarding caffeine intoxication and dependency.

In the proclamation the Mayor is calling upon all Shaker Heights citizens, public and private institutions, business and schools to increase awareness and understanding of the consequences of caffeine consumption.

The proclamation also spells out many dangers of caffeine abuse such as heart disease, pancreas and bladder cancer, hypoglycemia, and central nervous system disorders. By getting the word out about the serious dangers of caffeine, Mayor Rawson hopes to prevent a substance that can pose a significant hazard to health and longevity.

— I-Newswire (2006-01-18): Mayor Judith Rawson Declares March National Caffeine Awareness Month

Well, thank God, says I. Now that we have a bipartisan caucus of legislators running behind us all, shouting You’ll put out an eye with that thing!, what better follow-up than for the Executive branch in our great republican experiment yelling, You’ll stunt your growth! at us all from across the kitchen?

(Hat tip: Matthew Bryan (2006-02-20): What, No Appeal for The Children?)

Well, thank God #2

In the latest news from the world’s greatest deliberative bodies (thanks to Catallarchy 2005-12-02), Texas Republican Joe Barton has continued his diligent work to promote a conservative agenda and protection of individual rights by finding another unregulated industry for the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee’s tender ministrations.

College football is not just an exhilarating sport, but a billion-dollar business that Congress cannot ignore, said committee Chairman Joe Barton, a Texas Republican. Barton’s panel is separate from the House Government Reform panel that tackled steroids in baseball.

So Barton and the committee he chairs will be convening a Congressional hearing next on the compelling State interest of what ranking system collegiate football teams should use to determine the national championship.

The committee announcement called the hearing, scheduled for next Wednesday, a comprehensive review of the BCS and postseason college football.

Too often college football ends in sniping and controversy, rather than winners and losers, Barton said. The current system of determining who’s No. 1 appears deeply flawed.

Well, thank God, says I; it’s about time. If the State doesn’t provide a final arbiter to disputes over who the #1 college football team in the United States is, how will we avoid chaos?

Further reading

Well, thank God.

In politics today, the world’s greatest deliberative bodies, under the principled leadership of conservative Republicans, have taken another decisive move to halt a grave and gathering threat to your safety and mine through the benign influence of the therapeutic State. You can rest easier tonight knowing that the federal government will protect you from the dangers of unregulated color contact lenses:

Contact lenses that can change brown eyes to blue, and a host of other colors, would have to be dispensed through eye-care professionals under a bill on its way to President Bush.

The legislation puts cosmetic and novelty contact lenses under the regulating power of the Food and Drug Administration, even in cases when the lenses don’t correct for poor vision.

Rep. John Boozman, R-Ark., who was an optometrist before becoming a lawmaker, said the action comes just before a spike in sales that occurs when Halloween shoppers look to add colored contacts to their costumes.

With Halloween upon us, it is important that we bring attention to the fact that colored contact lenses are being sold without any instruction on how to safely use them, he said in a statement after the House passed the bill on Wednesday.

The legislation, already approved in the Senate, would require people to see an eye-care professional to get fitted for the lenses and to be instructed in their use and care. Customers could purchase the lenses from their eye-care professionals or through online vendors.

Optometrists have warned that misuse or sharing of contacts lenses can lead to infections, abrasions, allergic reaction or blindness.

— BusinessWeek 2005-10-27: Bill would regulate colored contact lenses

A lot of libertarians like to say that Democrats want the government to be your mom, and the Republicans want the government to be your dad. I don’t know if that’s right, but the sight of a bipartisan caucus running behind all of us, shouting You’ll put an eye out with that thing! does tend to obscure my view of the shimmering glory and tremendous seriousness of government in the public interest.

Maybe it’s just my fuzzy vision, but sometimes I have trouble distinguishing these guys from a bunch of bellowing know-it-alls who can think of nothing better to do with their time than boss other people around, and pat themselves on the back over and over again for doing it.

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