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Want to see “Kill Bill” without the four-letter words and violence ? Do you prefer watching Kate Winslet on the Titanic with her clothes on? Too bad. Four companies which have profited from bleeping, muting, editing , and otherwise altering the suggestive content of blockbuster movies before customers rent them, have been ordered by a Colorado judge to release their inventories of doctored films to Hollywood studios in the next few days because the companies are violating copyright laws. CleanFlicks, Family Flix, and other companies that retail the new versions of the movies–primarily in conservative religious communities in the South and in Utah–have cited “fair use” laws as justification for altering content of the movies, while the Directors Guild of America and other Hollywood groups have claimed that the artistic integrity of these movies is violated when they are altered by a third party.

While I certainly agree with the court ruling, the amusing aspect of this story is, for me, the unspoken hypocrisy of both sides of the fight. Studios allow their movies to be altered by a third party all of the time. Ever watch “Bridget Jones’ Diary” on a network like NBC or a thriller like “Unfaithful” on basic cable? Both movies have been edited, bleeped, and scrubbed squeaky clean of much of their racier content.

At the same time, seeing the ad for “Kill Bill” on CleanFlicks website, I am trying to imagine a scenario in which any of Quentin Tarantino’s films, no matter how they are edited, could be considered family friendly. And the Christian community in particular cannot continue to complain about a film like “Face the Giants” being given a PG rating because of too many references to Jesus, when many in that community are so quick to support the altering of someone else’s artistic expression.

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