According to The Hollywood Reporter, on a near party-line vote, the House Judiciary Committee approved legislation that would exempt from legal liability companies that make products for filtering purportedly offensive content from motion pictures. The Family Movie Act sailed through the committee on an 18-9 vote, despite Democratic efforts to block the legislation or include amendments highlighting problems with the measure.
Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., criticized the legislation saying it is unnecessary and will not achieve its stated goal of allowing parents to protect their children from objectionable content. "This does not empower parents to make editorial decisions to protect their children," he said. "It empowers for-profit companies like ClearPlay to make editorial decisions about what scenes can and cannot be seen."
Berman and other Democrats accused Republicans of attempting to force a settlement between Utah-based ClearPlay and the DGA and the studios. The DGA and the studios sued the company claiming that it infringes on their copyrights because the makers are cut out of the editing process.
But the bill's chief author, Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, rejected that argument. "This issue has never been about one company or one technology," he said. "It has always been about the ultimate rights of parents to limit the profanity, sex, and violence that their children are exposed to in the privacy of their own home."