After the film's initial release, sculptor Frederick Hart sued Warner Bros. claiming that a large sculpture prominently featured in the film (on the wall of Al Pacino's penthouse apartment) is an unauthorized copy of his work "Ex Nihilo", displayed at the entrance of Washington's Episcopal National Cathedral. According to a court settlement reached in February 1998, Warner has been authorized to release an initial run of 475,000 copies of the video of the film for rental, but will have to remove or re-edit over 20 minutes of scenes where the sculpture can be seen before releasing any further video or television versions.
In the version released for USA premium cable channels (premiering September 19, 1998 on HBO) as well as later releases on home video, the following changes were made in response to the lawsuit regarding the large white statue in Milton's office: in all the early scenes in his office, the statue has been changed. It looks much like the original with one major difference - there are no people in it. Instead, it's just an abstract swoosh of white waves. This was digitally inserted by Warner's effects department, and they did what must be said is an amazing job - the overlay is completely seamless, even following the random camera motions around the office. Later at the climax, when Lomax first arrives at Milton's office for the showdown and we hear Milton's voice bouncing around the office, the statue starts swirling to life. It comes to a rest in the form seen in the original version of the movie, with all the human forms in it, as Milton makes his appearance. From that point on, the scene remains the same as in the original.
The German TV version is cut for violence. The sex scene is shorter, Eddie Barzoon's death isn't very violent anymore and Kevin Lomax's suicide is cut.
The World Trade Center towers were taken out of the background of several shots in a version made for use on U.S. commercial TV after September 11, 2001.
The UK widescreen VHS of the film is displayed in a more narrow screen ratio of 1.77:1 which does not show the full width of the picture as seen in its original theatrical 2.35:1 ratio. However, the UK VHS box set version contained a widescreen print that is in the original 2.35:1 ratio.