VidAngel Asks Investors / Supporters to Call Members of Congress to Aid in their Legal Battle
VidAngel has been slapped down once again in its ongoing legal battle with the big movie studios.
VidAngel, a video on demand service that uses an interesting workaround to keep movie rentals inexpensive while applying its profanity/nudity/violenc scrubbing technology, raised over $10 million in a Reg A+ crowdfunding round. It took VidAngel only 28 hours to raise $5 million. The funding closed at over $10 million. The investment crowdfunding campaign took place in the shadow of the lawsuit – a battle the founders are determined to win. But the company lost the first major salvo as a federal judge demanded they shut down their service in December.
VidAngel ignored the judge’s request while continuing operations from December 12 through the 29th. The company had filed for a stay on the preliminary injunction. It didn’t work out in their favor and the judge has now fined them $10,000 after declaring VidAngel in civil contempt. Today, VidAngel is completely shut down.
The Hollywood Reporter quoted Disney’s attorney, Kelly Klaus;
“I’ve never seen a party flout an injunction in this way.”
Klaus was of the opinion VidAngel wanted to keep operations going during the lucrative holiday season.
VidAngel CEO Neal Harmon issued a statement:
“Congress passed the Family Movie Act in 2005 because Hollywood had sued every company that offered content filtering for private, in-home viewing. Today, a small group of Hollywood studios, led by Disney, is using the legal process to try to 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 with new language that cannot be misconstrued in court, making it even clearer that filtering is absolutely legal in the streaming age.
“We are disappointed by today’s decision, but remain optimistic about our long-term prospects on appeal. Until our appeal is decided, we regret that VidAngel will not be able to offer filtered content. We continue to be grateful for the massive outpouring of support from across the country.”
VidAngel also asked supporters to visit the web site SaveFiltering.com to sign a petition.
The crux of the disagreement has to do with the way VidAngel sells its services. Users may “purchase” a video for $20 and then stream the content. Once they have viewed the film, users may resell the video for $19. Thus you only pay $1. VidAngel apparently maintains an actual repository of DVDs that corresponds with their film library. The studios call it blatant copyright infringement.
In an earlier update, VidAngels told supporters not to be too concerned. They have now raised $10 million which may end up being used to “continue this fight all the way to the Supreme Court.” VidAngel stated, “we are very optimistic that we will win the legal battle!”
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