“We will aggressively pursue an appeal and take this case to a higher level where we have always believed we will ultimately prevail.”
Yesterday Federal Judge Andre Birotte, Jr. granted the studios’ request for a preliminary injunction against VidAngel.
During the preliminary hearing VidAngel argued that it was in the public’s interest to protect every person’s right to watch filtered content, and issuing a preliminary injunction would undercut that right. In his ruling, Judge Briotte said that this argument “strongly relies” on the claim that VidAngel is “the only filtering service under the (Family Movie Act) that supports streaming digital content to mobile devices, tablets and smart TVs,” then cited ClearPlay which offers a similar service. “the public interest can only be served by upholding copyright protections and correspondingly, preventing the misappropriation of skills, creative energies and resources which are invested in the protected work,” Briotte said. “Accordingly, the court concludes that a preliminary injunction is in the public interest.”
So unless VidAngel gets the stay of injunction they are seeking, they will need to remove all of the studios’ movies from the VidAngel library.
Which is a real bummer. But it is not the end. As my lawyer husband just reminded me, people lose preliminary injunctions and go on to win cases all the time. And even if VidAngel ultimately loses this first case against Disney, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, and Lucas Film, they are prepared to take their case all the way to the Supreme Court thanks to the $10,000,000 raised during their mini IPO.
As VidAngel CEO Neal Harmon explains, “Hollywood studios have followed a repeated pattern in their decades-long campaign to put movie filtering services out of business by seeking a shut-down decision in trial court. Previously, such a decision has signaled the end of the legal battle. As such, while we are extremely disappointed — for the countless people who rely on our service regularly to enjoy movies using filters — our customers have given us not just the mandate to fight this battle all the way to the Supreme Court, but the financial resources as well. We will aggressively pursue an appeal and take this case to a higher level where we have always believed we will ultimately prevail.”