PROVO, UTAH—The online entertainment platform VidAngel will be forced to stop offering filtered-content of Hollywood films and TV shows, as the 9th Circuit Court has upheld an injunction on the site’s online distribution of such titles. In a press release, VidAngel says that it will now comply with the injunction, but is urging its supporters to call members of Congress or support other grassroots campaigns.
VidAngel’s goal is to allow users to access filtered-content through streaming. However, Hollywood studios believe that the company is violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to do so, circumventing security measures on DVDs and Blu-Rays that it does not have licensing rights to.
Back in December, the U.S. District Court of California issued an injunction on VidAngel’s distribution of studio content. A few weeks later, Disney, Warner Bros. and Fox claimed that VidAngel was violating the injunction, continuing to offer filtered-content to users, including for DVDs and Blu-Rays that had been released after the injunction. The 9th Circuit Court has now upheld the injunction, requiring VidAngel to remove its filtered-content.
In a press release responding to the court’s decision, VidAngel believes that the injunction and action by the studios is an attack on the 2005 Family Movie Act, which they claim lawfully empowers parents and families to filter content.
“Congress passed the Family Movie Act in 2005 because Hollywood had sued every company that offered content filtering for private, in-home viewing,” said VidAngel CEO Neal Harmon. “Today, a small group of Hollywood studios, led by Disney, is using the legal process to try and render that law meaningless.
“We are asking our supporters to call their members of Congress and urge them to update to the Family Movie Act new language that cannot be misconstrued in court, making it even clearer that filtering is absolutely legal in the streaming age.”
Harmon says that VidAngel’s will now appeal the case, going as far as the Supreme Court if necessary, but also urges supporters to go to the grassroots campaign #SaveFiltering by visiting SaveFiltering.com.