VidAngel, a company that streams censored videos, has reportedly ceased its current operations as it has failed to comply with a court order issued by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. Earlier in the month, an injunction was brought against Utah based VidAngel by Disney, 21st Century Fox, LucasFilms and Warner Brothers. The plaintiffs argued successfully that VidAngel had violated copyright laws with regard to censoring content they didn’t even pay for.
VidAngel had filed a request with the court to stay the injunction while they prepared to comply with it but the court denied their request. VidAngel charges $1 per video view and doesn’t license any of the content that they censor so that they will be able to provide what they call “family friendly” content.
A statement read before the court by the plaintiffs stated that, “Defying last week’s injunction, VidAngel continues to illegally stream our content without a license and is expanding its infringement by adding new titles. We have brought VidAngel’s indefensible violation of the injunction to the court’s attention. As the court made clear in its order, VidAngel’s unauthorized acts of ripping, copying and streaming our movies and TV shows infringe copyright and violate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.”
VidAngel CEO, Neal Harmon, said that, “VidAngel has received the court’s denial of our stay request and is complying. For the time being, movies will no longer be available for filtering. Because judges rarely grant a stay of their own orders, we fully expected the Court to rule this way, and had already commenced an expedited appeal of the preliminary injunction. VidAngel is now requesting an emergency stay of the injunction from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.”
Harmon said he hopes his site will be up and running again within two weeks if the Court accepts the company’s appeal. The main argument seems to be the copyright laws as well as VidAngel wishing to offer filtering and censoring of the content that they present at the site. The studios continue to argue that it’s about copyright infringement as an official statement from the studios stated that, “We have brought VidAngel’s indefensible violation of the injunction to the court’s attention. As the court made clear in its order, VidAngel’s unauthorized acts of ripping, copying and streaming our movies and TV shows infringe copyright and violate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. VidAngel’s filtering of content has nothing to do with the claims against it and does not excuse its illegal activities.”
Harmon responded by saying that, “We are going to fight so that families can enjoy filtered, streamed content on modern devices. We’ll take this all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary. We’re happy to pay more. We’re happy to rent more. We’re happy to pay the prices the studios want us to pay. Just give us filtering.”
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