Sony’s announced plans to release edited “clean” versions of their films alongside digital downloads has certainly ruffled a few feathers. The plan was announced earlier in June and immediately faced criticism from filmmakers and fans who wondered why it was happening in the first place. Seth Rogen was one of the earliest to criticize the studio, pleading with Sony to not to go through with the plan. Now it would seem that the trouble has expanded beyond just individual filmmakers, with the clean movies landing in the path of the Directors Guild of America.
For the Guild, the decision is more than just an affront to the creative decisions of filmmakers. By choosing to release the edited films, Sony is allegedly violating the DGA’s contract with major studios according to Variety:
“Directors have the right to edit their feature films for every non-theatrical platform, plain and simple,” the DGA said. “Taking a director’s edit for one platform, and then releasing it on another — without giving the director the opportunity to edit — violates our Agreement. Throughout the years, the DGA has achieved hard-fought creative rights gains protecting our members from such practices. As creators of their films, directors often dedicate years of hard work to realize their full vision, and they rightfully have a vested interest in protecting that work. We are committed to vigorously defending against the unauthorized alteration of films.”