LOS ANGELES: Last week, the Director's Guild of America (DGA) and Colorado-based video-rental chain CleanFlicks ignited a publicity wave over whether Hollywood has the right to object to third-party companies removing certain material from films.
This week, Utah-based ClearPlay, a company that manufactures software to "skip" over objectionable material on DVDs, is facing a PR battle to remain part of the media coverage while distancing itself from competitors like Clean-Flicks, whose practices may be deemed illegal.
"From a PR standpoint, the task at hand is to make sure our client's correct leadership position is put out there while carefully differentiating them from the other technologies that may be more open to legal pursuit," said Ink PR's Dick Grove, who represents ClearPlay.
Grove said Ink PR was planning to help ClearPlay announce a DVD player with its software included from a major manufacturer later this year, but the DGA affair forced the company to hire PR help immediately.
Rather than permanently change a DVD, ClearPlay technology acts as a filter, allowing viewers to rent the film from any store and watch it with the filter in place or in its original form. For example, a filtered version of recent video release Panic Room would exclude the liberal lacing of profanities. Some other services physically remove scenes from copied versions of DVDs and videos.
Along with highlighting that technological difference, Ink is also charged with positioning ClearPlay as a business endeavor, rather than as a moral or religious effort, as are some of the other services.