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Hollywood Studios Kill 'Family-Friendly' DVD Service (Exclusive)

The Hurt Locker
Jonathan Olley – © 2008 Summit Entertainment

A coalition of Hollywood studios has scored a victory against a company that has been marketing and distributing films stripped of objectionable content.

In November, ParamountWarner Bros., MGMDisneyUniversal and Fox filed a lawsuit against Family Edited DVDS, Inc. and its leader, John Webster, with claims that the company took such movies as Iron Man 2, The Hurt Locker, Prince of Persia and Date Night, altered them, and was distributing them to consumers as "family-friendly."  The studios alleged that by selling its films in DVD-R format and stripping away copyright protection measures, the company had violated copyright laws and made them susceptible to further infringement by pirates.

The parties have come to a settlement. 

According to the terms of the agreement, Family Edited DVDS has agreed to pay $274,000 to resolve the claim. Per the agreement, a judge has also permanently enjoined the company from further distribution of unauthorized edited versions of its films.

It's not the first time Hollywood has gone after so-called "sanitized" DVDs. The studios successfully shut down Cleanflix in 2006, an effort that led to an interesting documentary that played the Toronto Film Festival in 2008.