posted Nov 14, 2001

Convert Movies From R to PG13 to PG On The Fly
Content Integrity
'Trilogy Studios announced the launch of its "Movie Mask" web site - www.moviemask.com , which will eventually lead up to the release of its "Movie Mask DVD Player" and "Movie Mask Director" software.... The Movie Mask DVD Player, on the other hand, will allow its users to download a movie config file(for lack of a better term) which will have various portions of the movies to bleep/cut out depending on the rating which the person set. It can be changed on the fly while watching the video.'

In the interests of consistency, I note that the ability to download patches to movies is the same as the ability to download patches for websites, which have variously gone by the names "Website Annotation" and "Smart Tags". While there's nothing wrong with the authoring tools and personal use, distributing the modifications will likely (and correctly for a change) be seen as tantamount to distributing modified copies when (not if) the MPAA sues this company. (Unless the company aquires permission, in which case, as usual, all bets are off. All things permitted by the copyright holders are legal, of course.)

The most interesting thing to me is that back when DVDs were still just hype, we were promised this ability would be standard, and indeed, the capability already exists in DVD players, to selectively skip scenes based on the parental rating. Only small DVD players have used this ability to create multiple versions or interactive movies (basically the same technology). It's another case where nobody even knows what the demand is for this technology, because nobody's really tried it; the disadvantage of having nothing but large companies in a particular consumer space. People certainly say they want this, but will they put their money where their mouths are?

 

 

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