Originally Posted by CPanther95
If it's important enough to them, they certainly could. That's what a contract is for.
And as I said, contracts don't necessarily do the job. In the US, you can exert contractual control, assuming you have the leverage to negotiate that particular point. Outside the US, film contracts are violated all the time. As I said, when you're distributing an indie film internationally, you've got to be 100% vigilant that you're not going to get robbed financially and even then, you still can't control everything. The idea that a filmmaker is going to go around suing in foreign territories every time a contractual term isn't completely adhered to is a joke and an indication that you don't fully understand the issue, which is not an insult but just a fact as there would no reason you'd know the intricacies of distributing a film.
What you're describing is the current situation where directors haven't exercised that option when they are hired. The OAR battle would be a lot easier to wage if instead of us viewers talking about the importance of preserving the "director's vision", the directors themselves would join in.
I don't know how many directors you know, but the directors fight on this issue all the time. In a world where it's next to impossible to get a job directing a feature film, is a director going to turn down a job on this issue? Of course not. It's not feasible and it's not reality.
DPs go utterly crazy over this issue but of course, they have absolutely no control over how a film is exhibited.
As far as the complexity of worldwide distribution - that isn't really our concern here in discussing HBO's policy. A simple clause in the HBO distribution contract is all that would be required.
Again, if you're Steven Spielberg or George Lucas, you can dictate terms to HBO. Most of the time, you cannot and that's why it's dependent on HBO understanding the issue and eventually making the right choice to show OAR. Plus, depending on the film and how it's being distributed, film rights are often sold in packages and not individually. That's why companies work so hard to have viable libraries.