CleanFlicks Returns as VidAngel Streaming Service


Many months back  I stumbled across a documentary called Cleanflix (about a company called CleanFlicks), which told the story of video rental stores in Mormon country (Utah) that would edit movies of all foul language and nudity. The idea was to provide an avenue for Mormons to watch movies that they normally wouldn't be able to watch. Regardless of how queer this sounds to the rest of the world, from a business standpoint it was ingenious. The problem though was that these rental stores were violating copyright laws and they quickly drew the ire of Hollywood (DGA). After a six year legal battle, the courts found in favor of Hollywood (DGA) and the stores were shut down. And that was that, until now.

The thing about a good idea is that you can't keep it down. CleanFlicks showed that there is a decent sized market for sanitizing movies for a select group, but how do you do it without violating copyright laws and a now existing legal precedent? The answer; filters.

CleanFlicks attempted to rebrand and employ filters that would skip over anything in the movie that was deemed obscene, but they disappeared in 2013. With the demand for clean versions still there one company saw the opening and created VidAngel.

VidAngel differs from CleanFlicks in variety of ways, but the most important, legally, is that you own the movie that is being filtered. To achieve this you purchase the movie you want to watch, then they implement a number of filters that you can choose to turn on or off. And they are not just general filters either, they are quite specific. You can choose to block any scene with kissing or even scenes that imply kissing but do not show it. You can even mute words with their filters, anytime time the word God is mentioned it will mute the audio.

Again, from a business standpoint this is ingenious and this is a perfect example of capitalism at it's finest, but the question that arises is 'Why?'. Not why does the service exist, but way use a service like this? Not only that but doesn't whitewashing all the movies you watch devoid them of any actual merit?

To each his own and if you want to use the service I hold no ill will against you, because in an a way this makes movies more accessible to those who would normally be forbidden to watch it. And at the end of the day more movie watching is always a good thing.

Rich Stile @TheDevilsEyes1

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