The House Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property has scheduled a hearing Thursday (May 20) to examine the so-called moral rights issues in a legal dispute between the motion pi

WASHINGTON--The House Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property has scheduled a hearing Thursday (May 20) to examine the so-called moral rights issues in a legal dispute between the motion picture industry and creators of ClearPlay, a technology that filters sexual, violent or profane scenes in films that parents might not want their kids to see.

No panelists have yet been announced.

ClearPlay technology is used on a $79 RCA model DVD player and is also available as a stand-alone model. The product is the subject of a copyright -infringement lawsuit pending in Colorado federal court.

The suit was filed in 2002 by the Directors Guild of America, including members Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg. At that time, ClearPlay was only available as a computer program.

Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., R-Wis., House Judiciary Committee chairman, has warned ClearPlay and the film industry to work out their legal wranglings or face government legislative intervention.

The DGA is citing the moral rights provision of the U.S. Copyright Act in its case against ClearPlay. The group contends that since the technology alters a copyrighted work, the result is a derivative work produced without the permission of the owner.

ClearPlay disagrees, saying its product's features are no different than the skip, fast-forward or mute functions on a normal DVD player.