Amid court battle, VidAngel relaunches service to filter Amazon, HBO, Netflix

Screenshot: VidAngel

While its court battle with Disney, Fox and Warner Bros. continues, VidAngel is relaunching its service, this time with the ability to filter content on OTT services like Amazon, HBO and Netflix.

VidAngel said it has wanted to offer filtering on top of streaming platforms since its beginning, but “developing it was a challenge.” After having to shut down its core business following a preliminary injunction, the company said it had time to concentrate on finishing it.

Of course, VidAngel could spark a new round of litigation by filtering content from SVODs, but the company has its fingers crossed that Amazon, HBO and Netflix won’t sue it as well.

“We hope not. After all, we are driving new customers and new business to them,” the company said in a fact sheet describing its new service.

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VidAngel CEO Neal Harmon seems confident that his company’s new filtering system can alter the course of the current injunction.

"During the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals hearing last week, Judge Andrew D. Hurwitz asked Don Verrilli, former U.S. Solicitor General and now Disney's new attorney, about a potential alternative entertainment filtering technology that doesn't implicate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Disney responded that if VidAngel had a new system, it should present it to the District Court in order to modify the injunction," said Harmon in a statement. "We've built a new system, and next Monday we plan to file a motion with the District Court as Disney recommended."

Earlier this year, VidAngel’s request for a stay of a preliminary injunction issued on behalf of Disney, Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, and Lucasfilm was denied by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Late last year, 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.