VidAngel’s request for a stay of a preliminary injunction issued on behalf of Disney, Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, and Lucasfilm has been denied by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
This is the latest development in a legal battle brewing between VidAngel, a video service that offers versions of studio films with the adult content filtered out, and a slew of Hollywood studios.
Last month, California Federal Judge Andre Birotte Jr. granted Disney's request for a preliminary injunction against VidAngel pending trial. At issue is VidAngel’s method of selling DVD copies of films to customers and then offering streaming versions of the edited films, a practice which the court determined violates studios’ copyrights.
After the block of his company’s request for an emergency stay in order to continue selling filtered films, VidAngel CEO Neal Harmon again fired back at studios for allegedly ignoring the Family Movie Act and “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,” said Harmon in a statement. "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."
While VidAngel dukes it out with the studios for the right to distribute edited versions of their films, the service is trying to hedge its bets by launching an original content operation.
In a video posted to the company’s Facebook page, Harmon detailed his company’s plans to fill its customers’ demand for wholesome entertainment. VidAngel Studios will begin creating original content in early 2017 and planned to release three independent original films in December.