Wal-Mart To Sell Anti-Porn DVD Player

Gretchen Gallen
LOS ANGELES –Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., the largest retail store in the U.S., went public this week with an anti-porn, anti-violence DVD player that can reportedly skip movie content that is considered "smutty" or offensive.

Wal-Mart's new DVD product, which sells for $79, is based on filtering technology provided by ClearPlay, which formerly offered the same technology for DVDs played on computers.

The DVD player comes with several filtering settings that can skip over sex and nudity, ethnic slurs, violence, or drug use, as determined by the user or parent. According to reports, the machine only filters content from movie titles that have been entered into the system, otherwise content will be viewed in its entirety.

However, ClearPlay has been in some hot legal waters lately with members of the entertainment industry for its ability to indiscriminately censor or alter copyrighted movie content. The Director's Guild of America (DGA) filed a lawsuit in 2002 against ClearPlay and other defendants in the Clean Flicks case, which is still underway in a Colorado court.

The DGA has argued that ClearPlay's technology has the potential to "change the intent of movies."

A ClearPlay spokesperson defended what is being perceived as a form of censorship as putting the choice in consumer's hands.

Well-known for its puritanical corporate ideals when it comes to taking a political stance against certain products, in 1999 Wal-Mart boycotted the morning after pill in 2,400 of its pharmacies, and then two years later, the corporate giant decided to eliminate "racy" materials from its stores, including Maxim magazine, FHM and Stuff.

Wal-Mart has also reportedly been involved in random acts of censorship against certain musicians and mainstream women's magazines like Cosmopolitan and European fashion magazine Marie Claire.

The new DVD product will be sold under the RCA brand name.