YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

DVD player can excise sex, violence, language

Wal-Mart and Kmart will sell a filtering RCA machine, but directors' guild objects.

April 17, 2004|From Associated Press

People wanting to automatically mute the foul language in "Seabiscuit" or skip the violence in "The Patriot" have a new option: a DVD player from RCA that filters content deemed objectionable.

Thomson, which owns the RCA brand, will sell the players in some Wal-Mart and Kmart stores as well as on Wal-Mart's website starting this month even as the filtering software they employ faces a legal challenge from Hollywood.

The filtering software is from ClearPlay, which had offered it previously for watching DVDs on computers and began talking to RCA last year about a stand-alone player.

The partners are hoping the current stir over broadcast decency, spurred by Janet Jackson's breast-baring Super Bowl show, will help boost sales.

The DVD player carries a suggested retail price of $79 and will ship with 100 filters for movies such as "Daredevil" and "Pirates of the Caribbean."

Filters for newer releases are available each week through a monthly subscription of $4.95.

The Directors Guild of America contends that "it is a violation of law and just wrong to profit from selling software that changes the intent of movies you didn't create and don't own."

The DGA and studios filed suit in 2002 against ClearPlay and a Colorado store that uses its own software to decode a DVD, alter it for content, then burn a new, edited version back onto a DVD for rental. The lawsuit is still pending.

Los Angeles Times Articles