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Sony Counters ClearPlay With Its "Happy Endings" DVD Player
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NEW YORK, New York - The Sony Corporation of America has announced that it is launching a new product meant to rival ClearPlay and RCA's recent obscenity filter offering. Unlike TVGuardian and other closed-captioning-based filters, ClearPlay uses custom-built filters for each movie that edits both language and scenes, allowing sensitive viewers to watch their favorite movies without nudity, profanity, and the like. "'Happy Endings' takes this a step further," explained Sony representative Susan Pearse, "Allowing the viewer to be the writer, the director, the editor. Don't want Ol' Yeller to die? Rewrite it, then see it acted out by the original actors!"

Actors and directors alike have come out opposed to these new editing devices, with particularly pointed criticism aimed at "Happy Endings". Steven Soderbergh, award-winning director of "Traffic", accused Sony of "altering the original vision of the writers and directors, violating the integrity of the films they edit." Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen issued a statement through their agent asking their fans not to use the device on their new movie, "New York Minute", when it is released on DVD, fearing "the many improprietous scenes the devices could allow to be created."

"The movie industry doesn't understand what an opportunity this is for them," said Pearse, "People often want to see a movie, but hold back for fear that 'the kid will die' or the 'family will lose their farm', or whatever other tragedy the writer felt justified in forcing on the viewer. Now the viewer can go ahead and buy the DVD, confident that every movie will have a Happy Ending. To put it bluntly, no one cares what the director's 'vision' was," she said, pointedly making quote marks in the air and rolling her eyes, "Viewers want to see what they want to see. Less profanity? More? More car crashes? Now you're in control."

The device will be sold through retail outlets at a suggested retail price of $349. Hackers have promised to have the copyright protection overridden by the end of the second quarter, 2004.
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