As you probably are aware, there were two movie news stories to make national headlines this week. Pirates opened bigger than Spiderman — ho-hum — and a group of directors successfully sued a company that makes “clean” edits of Hollywood films for family audiences. While I agree that studios forcing directors to make ‘airline cuts’ of movies represents a greater threat to artistic freedom than somebody making Titanic Mormon-family-values-friendly at the behest of someone with Mormon family values, I wouldn’t go so far as to call the DGA, the Director’s Guild of America, a theocracy:

Instead of a top-down culture in which you take whatever The Creators deign to shove down your throat and you will like it, bitch, a growing number of movie fans actually believes that culture is a conversation. A conversation in which one can say, “Yeah, but what if it were like this instead?”

Cue a steady stream of urine running down the legs of the Scared Sixteen, who believe their careers depend on the helplessness of their audience.

Nobody on the free-culture side of this issue has ever threatened these filmmakers’ right to release their movies as they see fit. But that doesn’t matter to the filmmakers. The Scared Sixteen believe that allowing audiences to see other versions in addition to theirs, even if these versions are clearly labeled and fully compensate the original copyright holder, somehow causes them harm. Their point of view positions these filmmakers as gods — beings whose vision is so pure that expressing a competing vision is literally a crime.

Brian Flemming: Partial victory for the Scared Sixteen (emphasis his)