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Public Has Right to Skip or Mute Movie Scenes

PRESS RELEASE
June 18, 2003
Electronic Frontier Foundation Defends Consumer Rights

San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today asked a federal court to rule that people have the right to use technology to skip scenes or mute language they find disturbing while viewing movies they have obtained lawfully.

The case, entitled Huntsman v. Soderbergh, involves consumer use of software and hardware to skip scenes of sex and violence and to mute profanity on DVDs of films they have purchased.

"If I buy a DVD and want to use some software to skip or mute parts of a movie I'm watching at home with my family, I should be able to do so," said EFF Staff Attorney Jason Schultz.

EFF filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case to counter the claim of the eight major Hollywood studios that technology vendors are creating a "derivative work" of movies by allowing consumers to use software and hardware to skip and mute movie scenes. Specifically, the brief points out that copyright owners should have no control over how people choose to watch movies in the privacy of their own homes.

"The Huntsman case doesn't affect the free speech or artistic license of movie directors and studios, since they already control public showings of their films under copyright law," said EFF Staff Attorney Wendy Seltzer. "The EFF brief urges the court to reject the Hollywood studios' lawsuit and preserve the public's right to control the viewing experience of films purchased for home use."
Links:

* EFF amicus brief in Huntsman v. Soderbergh case
* Huntsman v. Soderbergh case archive
* Video of debate on Huntsman v. Soderbergh case

Contact:

Jason Schultz
Staff Attorney
Electronic Frontier Foundation
jason@eff.org
+1 415 436-9333 x112

Wendy Seltzer
Staff Attorney
Electronic Frontier Foundation
wendy@eff.org
+1 415 436-9333 x125 (office)

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