A long-brewing lawsuit between content filter VidAngel and several Hollywood movie studios as reached a climactic end, with a judge siding with the studios. In a recent report from the Salt Lake-based KSL, Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros. have been awarded upwards of $62.4 million in damages from VidAngel's unlicensed streaming.
VidAngel, a service in which consumers can select various properties and filter out foul language, nudity, gore, and the like, reportedly streamed at least 800 titles from the studios, meaning they'll end up having to pay $150,000 per title in the ruling. The Provo-based startup had previously filed for bankruptcy in 2017 and are currently still going through those proceedings, meaning this latest judgment could very well be the final nail in the coffin for the company.
“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. Our court system has checks and balances, and we are pursuing options on that front as well," VidAngel chief executive Neal Harmon told KSL in an email.1comments
Throughout the three-year trial, VidAngel argued that it acted well within the laws provided by the Family Move ACt, something that lets consumers to filter certain themes from movies and television shows they view. The judge ultimately decided the tech startup violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act after knowingly "circumventing technological protection measures" to aid in their filtering process.
As of now, it appears VidAngel is still operating and available for $9.99 per month. It works by connecting your various streaming platforms — such as Amazon Prime and Netflix — and choosing which themes you'd like to filter from the end results. VidAngel has also started producing clean, family-oriented content through VidAngel Studios.