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06.20.2003
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
EFF sues for right to skip or mute movie scenes

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has asked a federal court to rule that television viewers 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.

The 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 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."

For more information visit www.eff.org/Cases/Huntsman_v_Soderbergh/20030618_eff_pr.php.

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