A streaming platform called VidAngel, which provides movies and television shows to families with the option to filter out language, violence and sexual content, is being sued by Disney, Warner Bros, 20th Century Fox and LucasFilm. The studios claim that VidAngel does not have the copyright to legally provide this service and has not compensated them for content offered to users.
Neal Harmon, CEO of VidAngel, founded the company with his brothers in late 2013. The premise behind the company, Harmon said in an interview, is simple: families should be able to watch Hollywood films and TV shows without the worry of certain words or actions interfering with family night. Harmon created VidAngel to provide a service that would make this possible.
“VidAngel is the only way for you to filter profanity, violence, nudity and other potentially objectionable content out of popular Hollywood films on the devices you use every day,” Harmon explained.
The Family Entertainment and Copyright Act of 2005 authorizes families the ability to legally filter movies and TV shows, when in their own home. Although Disney, Warner Bros, 20th Century Fox and LucasFilm are suing the company for copyright infringement and compensation issues, VidAngel has a different idea about the reasoning of the lawsuit.
“It seems to us that Hollywood is colluding to undermine the filtering industry — despite Congress passing the Family Movie Act to make that industry a reality,” VidAngel’s Web site reads.
VidAngel has a section on their website titled “Lawsuit.” They provide updates and reasoning on the matter to their fans and supporters. The explanation of how they compensate the studios, the legality of what they are doing as well as their feelings on the true reasoning behind the lawsuit are listed there.
“We believe that the Family Movie Act will prevail and families’ right to watch filtered content will be secured in the streaming era,” Harmon said. “The preliminary injunction hearing is scheduled for October 31st, and we’re extremely confident about our case.”
The support from VidAngel users, according to Harmon, has been overwhelming and deeply appreciated: he reports that more than 30,000 families have donated to the litigation to protect filtering. Harmon said the VidAngel team remains optimistic about the future.
“VidAngel will continue to grow and thrive.” Harmon said. “There are 57 million Americans looking for the service we offer, the future is extremely bright.”
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Hayley Folk is a writer, currently studying Public Relations, in her senior year at California Baptist University. She loves fashion and beauty, sharing other's stories and promoting self-care and confidence.