Federal appeals court upholds injunction against VidAngel’s streaming service

Posted at 2:48 PM, Aug 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-24 16:49:25-04

SALT LAKE CITY — A federal appeals court has rejected VidAngel’s request to overturn an injunction blocking the Utah-based movie filtering service from operating one of its services.

In a ruling handed down on Thursday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the injunction which prohibited VidAngel’s popular subscription streaming service and effectively halted it last year. But the Provo company said in a statement it did not apply to its latest filtering service.

“Today’s decision has absolutely no impact on VidAngel’s current service, we remain open for business,” VidAngel CEO Neal Harmon wrote. “While all of the legal back-and-forth plays out, we know our customers are grateful to still have a way to protect their kids and filter harmful content. 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.”

VidAngel was sued by Warner Bros., Twentieth Century Fox, LucasFilm and Disney, accused of copyright violations. VidAngel’s original service allowed subscribers to filter nudity, language, sex and violence from films. VidAngel insists it has done nothing illegal, because customers physically own the disc used in their online-service.

A federal judge in California ruled against VidAngel and granted the studios’ request for an injunction. VidAngel appealed.

“VidAngel’s interpretation would create a giant loophole in copyright law, sanctioning infringement so long as it filters some content and a copy of the work was lawfully purchased at some point. But, virtually all piracy of movies originates in some way from a legitimate copy,” the 9th Circuit Court panel wrote in its opinion.

VidAngel attorney Peter Stris said in the company’s statement they were evaluating the decision, but the company has vowed to take the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary.

Right now, VidAngel offers another type of service that filters things on existing streaming services like HBO Go, Netflix and Amazon, with the exception of films by the studios suing it.

Read the 9th Circuit Court’s ruling here: