Studios Win Ruling Over Family-Friendly Filters

Aug 24, 2017  •  Post A Comment

The Hollywood studios scored a key legal victory Thursday when a federal appeals court ruled against a service that provides family-friendly versions of movies.

Reuters reports that the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals let stand a preliminary injunction against the Provo, Utah-based startup VidAngel, which offers sanitized versions of programming filtering out profanity, sex and nudity, violence, and alcohol and drug use.

The ruling went in favor of The Walt Disney Co. and its LucasFilm unit, 20th Century Fox Film Inc. and Warner Bros. Entertainment.

“U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte in Los Angeles had found that the studios were likely to prevail on their copyright claims, and absent an injunction suffer irreparable harm such as lost revenue and damaged relationships and goodwill with licensees,” Reuters reports. “The decision was a victory for Hollywood in its long fight against alleged piracy.”

In a statement, VidAngel CEO Neal Harmon said: “On the legal front, we are just getting started. We will fight for a family’s right to filter on modern technology all the way.”

Reuters adds: “VidAngel buys DVDs and Blu-ray discs containing movies and TV shows, ‘rips’ decrypted copies to computers, and streams sanitized content to customers for as little as $1.”

One Comment

  1. I think the central issue here is not the elimination of offensive content per se but rather the purchase, rip and stream model.

    Other than obtaining the television/airline versions of these films I don’t know how VidAngel could work around this model.

    However it’s a bit ridiculous for the industry to believe they are suffering significant losses to piracy in this manner when they don’t even bother to issue take-down orders for their films available on YouTube or Vimeo.

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