VidAngel said it will appeal a California Federal District Court jury ruling that it pay Hollywood studios (Disney, Fox, Warner Bros.) $62.4 million for streaming edited versions of their films.
VidAngel formerly edited DVDs to create what they argue are family friendlier versions of Hollywood fare, but a court injunction caused the company to shift to filtering language and content for streamed versions on Netflix, Amazon Prime and HBO via iOS, Android and Roku.
In the face of this latest legal setback, the company's CEO, Neal Harmon sounded bloodied but unbowed.
“We disagree with today’s ruling and have not lessened our resolve to save filtering for families one iota. VidAngel plans to appeal the District Court ruling, and explore options in the bankruptcy court," he said. "Our court system has checks and balances, and we are pursuing options on that front as well.”
IVidAngel has argued that the Family Movie Act allows it to provide edited versions of video content without getting the permission of the producers of that content.
VidAngel has an ally in the Parents Television Council, which has pushed for legislation to make it clear that digital versions of movies and TV shows delivered over authorized distribution platforms can be modified to remove explicit content and that circumvention of copy protection in order to do that does not violate copyright so long as there is "no demonstrated and avoidable economic injury to the copyright owner or the authorized digital transmission provider."
Whether the Family Movie Act applied to VidAngel's content editing model was central to the fight between VidAngel and studios over its editing of digitally copied and distributed versions of the DVDs that the act does allow to be modified.