Is VidAngel legal?

Is VidAngel’s service legal?

Yes. VidAngel offers a family-friendly alternative to traditional movie viewing by providing a service expressly authorized by the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act of 2005. That law protects your right not to be exposed to “limited portions of audio or video content of a motion picture…transmitted to [your] household for private home viewing,” provided the portions screened are chosen by a member of the private household and the content screened is from an authorized copy of the motion picture (see 17 U.S. Code § 110(11) or see excerpt of text in footnote).

Family Entertainment and Copyright Act of 2005

 

Weren’t other companies that edited movies sued and shut down?

Yes, but they were selling edited copies of movies or were deciding what content to screen. VidAngel provides a filtering tool used at your direction. VidAngel doesn’t decide what to edit; you do. Before creating its prototype service, VidAngel got a legal opinion from David Quinto, a movie/film specialist lawyer who represented the Oscars for 27 years and was named a Hollywood Reporter Top 100 Power Lawyer. Based on his recommendations and those of other top Hollywood and Silicon Valley lawyers we consulted, VidAngel designed its model to comply fully with the Intellectual Property and Copyright laws.

 

What will the studios say when they learn what VidAngel is doing?

The studios actually already know what we’re doing. Before launching publicly (during its private beta testing period), VidAngel wrote to 17 motion picture studios, describing its service and business model in detail and asking each whether it had any legal concerns or desired modification of VidAngel’s technology. None of the studios objected or requested any modification to VidAngel’s service, business model or technology. (Update 6/10/16 – they’ve now filed a complaint 11 months later rather than responding to our letters)

 

How do the studios get paid?

Before selling a movie, VidAngel lawfully purchases a DVD or Blu-Ray for every owner on its system (and stores the disc on the owner’s behalf in the VidAngel vault). The studios are compensated by the purchase of these discs.

 

Do third parties agree that VidAngel operates lawfully?

Roku, Google Play, Amazon and Apple reviewed VidAngel’s app for inclusion in their respective app stores. Each initially expressed concerns that VidAngel’s service might somehow violate the copyright laws, but after VidAngel shared its legal opinion and explained its business model, each approved VidAngel’s app for inclusion on their platforms. VidAngel is now live and available in all major app stores. Each app store shares or plans to share revenues with VidAngel.

 

FOOTNOTE EXCERPT OF 17 U.S. Code § 110 – Limitations on exclusive rights: Exemption of certain performances and displays

               Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106, the following are not infringements of copyright:

      . . .

(11)  the making imperceptible, by or at the direction of a member of a private household, of limited portions of audio or video content of a motion picture, during a performance in or transmitted to that household for private home viewing, from an authorized copy of the motion picture, or the creation or provision of a computer program or other technology that enables such making imperceptible and that is designed and marketed to be used, at the direction of a member of a private household, for such making imperceptible, if no fixed copy of the altered version of the motion picture is created by such computer program or other technology.

 

33 thoughts on “Is VidAngel legal?

  1. Our family loves Vid Angel! We hardly ever use netflix anymore. It is so nice to be in charge for once of what my children and I watch. I love that nothing slips through. We haven’t gone to the theaters in forever because even the PG-13 movies are bad. I’m catching up now-so awesome! I also love how there are good movies old and new available. We have not gone to redbox once since our friends told us about VidAngel. We love you and are so grateful for your service.

  2. I love VidAngel!!! But let me get this straight–when I click “buy” on a movie I want to watch, does someone at VidAngel actually go buy a physical copy of that movie before I watch it? Or am I totally reading that wrong? Anybody have any specifics?

  3. Sounds a little like a frivolous law suit to me. Even though VidAngel is legal, the studios will try to tie them up in court to burn their money and their will. Henry Ford knowingly helped the Curtiss Aircraft company to infringe on the Wright Brothers patents one at a time, in order to tie them up in court and break them, so that they could make aircraft whithout paying the licenses. Each patent infringement suit is for a specific infringement. So, Curtiss and Ford were wrong, but the Wright Brothers only had so much money to fight! Maybe We should send donations to the VidAngel cause to help them fight the studios.

  4. We LOVE ya’ll and support what you do!!! You’ve changed our family time and allowed us TV entertainment as a whole, instead of “kid movies” & “parent movies”– we can enjoy TV time as a unit! THANK YOU ♡

  5. This is really a sad, sad situation!

    Vidangel is a actually illegal. Do none of you, supporters, remember
    burning music and Dvd’s? Was this not illegal, and where they not
    shut down?

    What just flabbergasts me, is when you are a, so called good Christian
    Family, and you want your Children, as well as yourself, to be able to
    watch movies without the bad information, you just simply look past
    the issues and what the Studio’s are stating, and get angry.

    We want, what we want, whether or not it is wrong, just to have that
    information. Funny how this always seems to be the same.

    When supporters of something illegal comes along, that you just
    love, you simply look past the facts to get what you want.

    Christian?? Hardly.

    1. When Redbox runs short of a popular title, the lackie who restocks it goes to . . . Wal-Mart to buy more copies to rent. If Redbox can’t rent each copy of the movie they lawfully purchase at least 20 times (if the movie costs $20), then Redbox loses money. Vidangel is exactly the same thing, except 1) they are streaming a lawfully purchased copy and 2) they provide software to edit the movie to suit individual tastes and 3) I don’t have to waste $1 worth of gas and 20 minutes of my time to drive down to Walgreens (the nearest Redbox). IF THEY SHUT DOWN VIDANGEL, THEY BETTER SHUT DOWN REDBOX TOO.

    2. Judy, educate yourself before spewing such ignorant nonsense. This has nothing to do with Christian families — this is about families who care about their kids.

      Now, explain this to me … when you buy a used DVD at a yard sale, should your ownership right NOT entitle you to copy/change the movie for personal use? If you can wrap your mid around this simple question, maybe you can understand VidAngel’s case: their platform is a digital yardsale of DVDs.

      1. There is a difference. Buying a movie does not mean you “own” it. It does mean you have a personal license to view it privately and not make copies of it. A person can’t actually own intellectual property unless they own the copyright and patents. Try to tell microsoft, that you buying an install disk, even a used one gives you the right to decompile the software then change it if you want and/or rent it out. A jukebox owner for example must pay a license fee to run it or risk prosecution. Even though an operator had to buy cd’s or mp3’s, an operator had a right to absorb the cost of the music, but still had to pay the fees. In comparison Redbox is a type of jukebox except it provides a means to use media in your home, but a license/royalty fee agreement still exists. Otherwise Hollywood and Blockbuster would still be around and Redbox wouldn’t be around. It is evident that Vidangel has no license or royalty agreement and that is the biggest problem.

  6. I have been a supporter of VidAngel since it’s beta days on YouTube. Please let us know how we as ardent supporters of VidAngel and it’s business model can defend our right to edit movies for consumption by our families. To the greedy movie studios: Airlines, before each seat had it’s own monitor in the seatback, showed edited movies on huge screens so don’t give me the age old argument that we are destroying your creative genius. Book publishing has been around a lot longer than movies. I buy a book from Amazon and after reading it I sell it to a used bookstore where someone else buys it and after reading it sells it to a used bookstore and on and on. The publisher is compensated one time for the book. How is that any different from VidAngels business model? Also, I hope everyone has filled out the survey’s after viewing each movie and stated that without VidAngel they would NOT have watched this movie and I hope VidAngel shares that data with the studios. And finally let us know how we can help. I am more than willing to write Congressmen and Senators, wear your T-shirts, establish grass roots support and even donate my own money to the cause. So much of the gratuitous language, sex and violence is totally unnecessary to the telling of the story. The movie studios constantly say they are only making movies the public is asking for and that simply is not true. For example, the Netflix remake of Full House has been much more successful than the highly touted award winning Amazon original Transparent about transgenders. The majority of people do NOT want trash in their homes. So wake up greedy, power hungry and controlling movie studios and allow us to edit your movies or forgo the additional revenue entirely. For as me and my house… we will not watch your unedited trash.

  7. I don’t understand why the studios care about this. From a practical point of view they are selling units to VidAngel, so why the lawsuit? I dont see how they get richer if their lawsuit is successful because those DVDs otherwise wouldn’t have been sold?

    1. There is a not-so-talked-about lobby inside the hollywood film industry. Lets say you and I are shopping our new movie script around for a studio to pick it up. If we include a gay main character in our script that did not exist previously at the request of the LGBT lobby, the LGBT lobby will negotiate a specific amount they will finance our movie for (in exchange for including their agenda’s character/plot points). If our main character doesn’t smoke marijuana, we can secure some money for our film if we include this into his/her daily routine inside our movie (at least if marijuana is a political hot-button issue enough to warrant the lobby to finance).
      So to expect the studios to remove the very things they were paid to include is naive.
      Naive only in the sense that we should expect the studios to readily welcome filtering, NOT naive in desiring a film experience void of ridiculous and harmful influence (just to be clear=)
      Soooooooooo, for the above reasons my wife and I 1)Love VidAngel and 2) expect the studios to contort and maneuver this suit for as long and hard as they can. Praying for you guys.
      Go get em!
      And by Go Get Em I mean convince them that they should receive the money you are trying to give them.

  8. Shame on Disney! Of all the studios to have a problem with making family-friendly movies, Disney had to be one of them?!? Vidangel is a genius program of LEGAL movie purchasing that satisfies a HUGE demand among the American public. I fully support them and if they need to call in any consumers as witnesses, I would gladly testify!!

  9. I think it would be good for both sides to pause on the lawsuit and instead work out a business deal that would be fair for both sides. VidAngel could stop buying useless discs and just spend the money on licensing like other movie vendors. The studios could stop worrying about the editing and be happy with the extra business they weren’t going to get otherwise. I think that if both sides looked for a win-win instead of trying to point fingers and fight, then all parties could walk away with happy customers and more sales. As a customer, I would pay the same for a VidAngel rental as I would for a rental from any other vendor that rents movies. I might even pay slightly more (but not an outlandish amount more) since the filtering is a extra feature that you don’t get anywhere else.

  10. I read through all the legal arguments on the lawsuit page. It looks and sounds like its all legal to me. I am not a lawyer, but multiple lawyers were consulted before the VidAngel startup and now that the lawsuit has started. (To make sure it is legal)
    We really enjoy watching movies and have been so disappointed time after time that we couldn’t watch a particular movie because of the language, sex etc. when the theme of the movie seemed good to us.
    We are so grateful to have this wonderful alternative. Needless to say, we have been watching, on average a movie a day since we subscribed to VidAngel. It has been an exciting time for us as a family!! Spread the news about VidAngel to your neighbors, friends, relatives and churches. They will be as excited as we are to enjoy “clean” movies. Thanks VidAngel!

  11. I love your company; it has everything I have ever wanted in a movie service. It gives us and our kids opportunities to watch movies we would have never watched otherwise and at a really good price point as well and it has also been very easy and convenient. I agree that if Red Box can do it without getting permission from copyright holders then this company should be allowed the same under this model.

    I have to admit I was skeptical at first of the legality because of your ability to stream a large selection of movies for only a $1 each and became more doubtful after learning about the DVD to stream model your company uses because of how similar models were shot down in the past. (This was before the lawsuit started.) It is interesting to learn about how the legality of it comes through the Family Entertainment & Copyright Act and how that provides the defense against the “unauthorized DVD circumvention” thing in some other Digital Copyright law that came out earlier.

    We are really hoping you make it through this lawsuit successfully and are wishing you the best with everything. I’m glad you’re picking the best to represent you because you deserve the best. Good luck!

  12. Our family tried to continue to go to movies but it got to the point where Hollywood/Disney had to keep shoving their FOWL or lack of standards at us. It makes no sense. They could make a movie, without F bombs for example, and a lot of people would watch (those who care and those that don’t care about F bombs) but Hollywood purposefully express their nasty standards and don’t care about ours. I know everyone doesn’t act that way at home, using F bombs for example, but I’m convinced the “Disney Family” and Hollywood does. NEVER have I heard a person say, “I’d go see that movie but I heard it has no F bombs” or “That was a great movie except there were no F bombs.” I say Hollywood and the Disney family are simply exposing their nasty behaviors they practice in their own homes and feel comfortable because they assume we’re all as FOWL as them. We used to have faith in Hollywood and Disney providing wholesome family entertainment. But they’ve been a constant disappointment for years. I agree, they don’t want extra money just part of the available money. We use to go to movies and buy movies, but rarely to none for some time now because their lack of awareness of how to entertain. But now we have Vidangel. Thank you Vidangel for buying legally and making available the means to filter according to my family’s standards without affecting others. I will continue to inform others of Vidangel, not to try to convince them to watch by my standards but so that they can watch according to their standards whatever that may be. Again, thank you.

  13. I love Vid Angel. People can watch movies and not be embarrassed by the content. I don’t think the studios care about the licensing fees (which Vid Angel tried to pay) they don’t care about family values.

  14. We feel happy that we can watch a movie without anxiety or worry about what it contains! We don’t like swearing. We don’t like immorality. We love our children and our ability to choose what they view. We love vidangel! Thanks for fighting this! It is a worthy battle to fight!

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