Mel Gibson sues CleanFlicks over The Passion

Mel Gibson sues CleanFlicks over The Passion November 21, 2005

Here’s a cute new wrinkle in the controversy over those infamous video companies that edit films without the studios’ permission: KUTV in Salt Lake City reports that Mel Gibson’s Icon Productions is suing CleanFlicks for selling and renting out a version of The Passion of the Christ that has had three minutes cut out.

For the last six years, Ray Lines has been editing the nudity, violence, and language out of films. But now one of Hollywood’s biggest stars and directors is coming after Ray’s company CleanFlicks for messing with Passion of the Christ.

Mel Gibson movie stirred up some controversy over its graphic detail of the crucifixion.

Ray believes he had the right to cut some of that violence out.

“Just cover up the knife going in, not a big deal,” said Ray.

The movie is 127 minutes long and Ray says he took out three minutes worth of the most graphic parts. According to the lawsuit, what he did was copyright infringement.

Gibson’s lawsuit is not seeking compensation; his hope is to shut CleanFlicks down for good.

Ray argues that his actions are justified because, earlier this year, Gibson himself released an even more heavily edited version — with seven minutes trimmed — under the title The Passion Recut. I don’t necessarily buy that argument, but, since Gibson evidently does believe there is merit in releasing a kinder, gentler version of his film, I do wonder why he hasn’t put it out on video yet.

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