How Hollywood Suppresses Filtering

Dear VidAngel customers,

 

Some of you have asked why we filed an antitrust suit against the studios. Here’s the simple answer:

Hollywood claims we don’t pay them for their movies. But the truth is, they refuse to accept our payments. (We still pay them though. Read on.)

 

Beginning in 2014, VidAngel tried to pay the studios 4 different ways. Not only did they reject every one, but then they sued us for allegedly not paying them. So Hollywood’s like the teenage girl who keeps turning down the nice guy, then complains that he never asks her out, then sues him for copyright infringement.

Look, we love Hollywood. We’re glad they make movies. But the fact is, they seem to be working to shut down the filtering industry. Here are the 4 times they rejected our payments.

 

Method 1: Traditional streaming license

VidAngel offered to buy traditional streaming licenses from the studios, but the studios said no. We get it — why partner with such a small company? Except we also reached out through a bigger company called Google. (A cool emerging tech company. Bing it.)

Google approached the studios with a plan to add VidAngel filters to Google Play movies, potentially bringing millions of new viewers to the licensed Google Play streams. The studios turned them down almost immediately.

And bear in mind, the U.S. filtering market is estimated at over 60 million people, according to National Research Group. So if Hollywood said no, they likely either…

 

  1. Want to block the filtering industry from entering the streaming age, OR…
  2. Want to avoid money and its corrupting influence

 

For now, we’ll give the benefit of the doubt and say #2.

Anyway, we also tried…

 

Method 2: YouTube extension

We created a platform that allowed viewers to buy a movie on YouTube, then buy the filter at VidAngel and add it to the movie. We hoped to bring Hollywood more money by attracting new viewers to their content.

Then the studios told Google (YouTube’s owner) that collaborating with VidAngel was a violation of contract, and forced them to withdraw crucial tech support. All of a sudden this model wouldn’t work.

“Wow,” we said. “We admire Hollywood’s moral commitment to not making money.” It certainly explained the release of Fantastic Four.

Nevertheless, we kept trying.

 

Method 3: Buying discs straight from the studios

This time we wrote to the studios asking to buy DVDs and Blu-Rays from them directly, so our customers could buy and sell back those movies online. This model would make money for Hollywood on each title, without giving a cut of sales to WalMart.

Some studios said no. Most never responded.

“Man,” we said, “their hatred of lucre is incorruptible. No wonder they can’t afford to pay actresses the same as actors.”

So nowadays we use…

 

Method 4: Our current model



VidAngel now buys DVDs and Blu-Rays from retail stores, then sells movies directly to customers. Hollywood gets reimbursed by the sheer number of movies we buy (we spend around ⅓ of our revenue on discs). And every VidAngel movie being watched is a licensed copy. It’s literally the only legal model that doesn’t require Hollywood’s cooperation.

We felt proud of ourselves for finding a way to pay Hollywood, despite their best efforts to not be paid. Then they sued us.

 

And here’s where things really get ironic.

Not only did the studios show significant hypocrisy in suing VidAngel for not buying licenses that they refused to sell — but they also claimed that Method 4 was illegal and that Method 2 was the legal way to filter streamed movies. To which we said, “Homeboy, we tried Method 2 and you shut it down!” We’re paraphrasing here.

Hollywood also implied that they sued us as soon as they learned we were using Method 4. The truth is that Albert Podrasky, Disney’s director of anti-piracy, has been using a secret VidAngel account to monitor us for a full year! (Though we’re not sure we understand his job, ‘cause he never watches movies about pirates.) The point is, it seems like Hollywood didn’t sue till we were getting too big for their comfort.

 

Anyway, the studios’ lawsuit has made us question our base assumptions. Maybe Hollywood actually likes money, and they’ve been shutting us down because they hate filtering. If that’s the case, we respect their opinion — filtering’s not for everybody. But they should come out and admit that they hate filtering, instead of pretending the case is about money.

In short, 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. (In fact, Congress passed the law because Hollywood was trying to crush filtering.) That’s why we filed an antitrust counterclaim.

So that’s the scoop, VidAngel fans. Wish us luck in the antitrust suit. In the meantime, keep watching movies. We’ll keep you posted.

#SaveFiltering

Disney, Lucasfilm, Warner Brother, & Twentieth Century Fox vs. VidAngel

Disney, Lucasfilm, Warner Brother, & Twentieth Century Fox vs. VidAngel

117 thoughts on “How Hollywood Suppresses Filtering

  1. Fight the good fight! If you’d ever be interested in doing an interview with BYU-Idaho Radio for your plight, email me.

  2. I assert that about 80% of the movies I would never watch without a filter includes Deadpool…
    So I paid $20 for close to 1/2 a movie and about 40% of the movies sound just to watch Ryan Reynolds wear a mask the whole time and swear a lot (some would say it was well worth it)
    I think Hollywood must assume I have 2 hours to watch movies nowadays as well… so Hollywood is also against “time saving”

  3. So that’s why you guys cut ties with the youtube extension back in December without warning, when i was in the middle of filtering my favorite show. It would be nice if Hollywood would just come out and say what the problem is instead of being immature about it. Crazy roller coaster ride we have been on due to them, hopefully this all ends soon so you guys can get back on track.

  4. I Love Vid Angel! I grew up in a time when the local stations would filter out when they took the Lords name in vain or other foul language. My parents Loved it. Now no one filters the movies. When I found out about Vid Angel I signed right up and have been encouraging others. We now watch a movie and filter out the inappropriate language and I love it. Its about choice. Thank you for giving me an option!

  5. VidAngel Customer Support Team,

    Do you know where I can find the pirate movies? I’ve been trying to find them for a while, but haven’t had any luck.

    Thanks,
    A.

    1. Clever. Kind of. Over the internet it sounds more like a snide remark rather than a witty response. You lost points Albert, if that is your real name.

    2. Albert,

      Type “pirate” in the search field. Several wonderful options come up.

      P.S. – Can you hook a brother up with some discount Disneyland tickets? =)

  6. Help me understand something: every VidAngel subscriber ultimately pays you $1 per movie. Yet I think you say you buy a studio movie for each of those filtered movies watched. You don’t buy the DVDS for $1 each.. so I don’t see how the math allows you to make a profit. Where am I missing something?

    1. Bob,

      So every Vidangel user pays $20 for a movie but we have the option to sale it back for $19 before 24 hours. Vidangel buys all the disks and will only sell as many as they actually have at the movie vault. I have went to watch a movie before but it was all sold out, so they are doing everything right.

    2. The profit comes in buying back the movie and reselling it to others. The same disc can be resold hundreds of times if each buyer sells it back. That’s hundreds of dollars from the same $20 disc.

    3. They have to buy a copy for every DVD that is being used at the same time. So if someone sells them the movie back for $19(their $1 profit) they get to re use that DVD. But if 20 people want to watch the movie in the same ngiht, they need 20 copies. hence why sometimes the standard def or hi def versions are unavailable on any given night.

    4. How do you think Redbox is doing it, fir less than $2? Sheer numbers. Moreover, when a user doesn’t return it with 24 hours they end up automatically buying the movie for $20, so Vidangel just made some more $. Sounds like a working model to me.

  7. I hope you win! If we buy a movie, we have the right to skip over parts we don’t want to see – even if we automate that process.

  8. Why does Hollywood hate filtering? I wonder if it bothers them because it “ruins” the movies in their minds. It’s like in their minds somebody drew a fig leaf on their beautiful nude. If it’s wrong for me to filter swear words out of a movie, is it also wrong for a deaf person to use captions? Both disturb and alter the “art” from the form that the directors envisioned. Hollywood is so kind and understanding to the LGTB and disabled communities and at the same time goes for the jugular for industries that benefit families. Sigh…end rant.

    1. Well, your comment would certainly make sense if the movies were never edited. However, the movies are regularly edited. There are versions edited for the airlines, TV, overseas markets, Director’s cut, etc., etc.

      This is about control and bullying on the part of the studios.

    2. Is it because rhey work for the Devil? He did not seem too happy that you can take out the nudity, swearing, sex, etc. In fact the Devil seems pretty hot under the collar about it!

    3. Why don’t they want us to be able to filter out the garbage when most of it is put there to boost the movie from PG13 to R? There’s nothing artistic about it using the Lord’s name in vain
      It’s very telling that you can remove all sex and foul language from a movie without ruining the plot or story line.
      VidAngel is the best thing out there for viewing movies. We support you!

    4. It’s different than captions because a director generally envisioned dialogue to be used in the film, therefore captions actually enhance the impaired viewer’s experience and bring it closer to that which the director intended he/she have

  9. Not only is Vidangel the best movie service ever, bit their blogs are my favorite to read! Lots of prayers cause we have little ones and love our filtering!

    1. Hi Kimberly!! Thanks for asking. Here are your options.

      Email us at welovevidangel@vidangel.com answering the following:
      1. How important is movie filtering for you and your family, and why?
      2. Are there movies you wouldn’t watch if VidAngel filtering didn’t exist?
      3. Is the studios’ argument that if you object to the content of a movie, you shouldn’t watch it fair?  Please explain.

      You can donate here:
      http://www.vidangel.com/donate

      And/or sign a petition the good folks at Save Filtering made here:
      http://savefiltering.nationbuilder.com/

  10. I can see why they didn’t like #4. You buy the movie once for $15, they get paid one. Then you bypass DMCA restrictions and rent it out (or “sell”) a bazillion more times and they don’t see another cent.

    I love VidAngel, but I don’t see any way that business model survives. It’s surprising you made it this long.

    1. They tried all the other options first. If the studios weren’t acting like a giant trust on the market and would allow a small player like VidAngel to stream normally none of this would have happened. The whole source of the problem is that the studios refused to cooperate, and VidAngel had to get creative to get things moving.

      Hollywood… do the following. Write on a napkin a reasonable offer to Vidangel for streaming rights.

      Vidangel Write on a napkin a reasonable offer for streaming rights.

      Figure out how to work this out. Hollywood you are pissing off your customers. Stop being stupid and find a way to work with Vidangel.

      1. Nice idea, but it presumes the issue is about fair compensation. Unfortunately, it sounds a lot more like it is about control. 🙁

    2. Yes, this is exactly what places like red box does, they just don’t filter. They probably pay a fee to the studios too, which apparently vidangel tried to do and they refused. That said, pretty much all of the movies we watch at least once a week from vidangel would have never been watched by us. So they made a profit there. I think there are many more people who are in the same situation.

    3. Redbox does too you idiot, Devin.

      You remind me of when the Clearplay CEO comments on articles like this.

      Clearplay decrypts content too.

    4. really it is no different than a video store or RedBox. They buy a movie for full price and then rent it out multiple times to make money. The studios have no problem with THAT business model so why is this any different?

  11. The sad part is there are so many illegal websites that people use. When an honest one comes along that enables me to watch movies I would otherwise never watch, they attack it. They will battle and battle until VidAngel doesn’t have money to fight. I try to donate here and there. I guess if VidAngel gets shut down its back to YouTube and books. Hollywood can’t have me!

  12. It really blows my mind that they are so opposed to this. Vidangel has allowed me a way to watch (and pay for) movies that I would never have watched (nor paid for) otherwise! What company in their right mind would turn down the opportunity to gain access to a segment of the market which would otherwise be inaccessible??

  13. I am sorry that you are having this problem. I loved CleanFilms years ago which had the same problem. (They had a physical copy for every edited copy they rented only to their customer base.) It leads me to believe that the studios WANT to corrupt the morals of their viewers by introducing more and more obscenity, violence, perversion and sexual content each year.

  14. I love filtering and have been using it off and on for years. However, it seems to me like you are really selling a $1.00 streaming service under the umbrella of “filtering”

      1. Heck I’d pay $2.99-$3.99 and Vidangel can keep their $1.00 and Hollywood can take the other $2.00. Just please do the right thing and keep this amazing service going.

  15. I love VidAngel. It allows me and my family to safely watch movies that we wouldn’t consider otherwise. After listening to the entire Chronicles of Narnia radio drama, we recently watched the three movies on VidAngel. We were able to filter out language and scary elements that our little people were not ready for. I hope you guys win and are able to keep VidAngel alive!

  16. This is informative AND funny! You guys need more TV shows!! I keep hoping you get the show Castle. I have been dying to watch it for years but it’s way too gruesome for me. I finally got to watch Breaking Bad. It was such a great show but I never could have watched it unedited. Good luck with the lawsuit!

  17. We love VidAngel! We will keep donating $2 when we rent a movie to help you win this battle. I know it’s just a little bit, but if we all do it we can make a big difference!

  18. 1. How important is movie filtering for you and your family, and why?
    Movie filtering is critical for my family for a number of reasons.
    – Diversity in Age: I have 5 children, ranging in age from 4 to 16 – good luck finding a movie that is appropriate for everybody! Filtering allows us to watch a movie together without having to cover the youngster’s eyes or deal with nightmares. More mature family members can always adjust the filter set when watching on their own.
    – Diversity in Opinion: What is “right” or “appropriate” for one person is not “right” or “appropriate” for someone else. The MPAA does as good as it can with the rating system, but G/PG/PG13/R is really not enough resolution to help consumers. The categorizations are so broad that I end up not enjoying many movies that I’m sure are wonderful, entertaining, and inspiring because I can’t skip some aspect that I don’t personally have interest in. When I go to a restaurant as a consumer, I expect to be able to ask the chef to hold the olives my salad – and I’ve never yet had a funny look. On rare occasions when I am told this is not possible, I don’t order it and choke it down – I simply choose something else.
    – Diversity in Choice: In many ways this is a consumer choice and privacy issue, and I hope that the agencies tasked with protecting consumers step up and weigh in on this. Why should Warner Brothers have any say in what I do with a movie that I own within the walls of my own home? It is an amazing overreach of whatever influence a studio believes it should have on what a private consumer does with content that they own.

    2. Are there movies you wouldn’t watch if VidAngel filtering didn’t exist?

    – Absolutely – we have already watched 15+ movies that had been on our “if only” list for some time. We really enjoyed them! Without VidAngel filtering, we would have not seen these movies. Going forward, our choices of movies to watch has been greatly expanded due to this technology.

    3. Is the studios’ argument that if you object to the content of a movie, you shouldn’t watch it fair? Please explain.

    – This is a ridiculous argument for a couple of reasons:
    – How do I know that I will object to a movie?: As mentioned above, the MPAA does as good as it can with the G/PG/PG13/R rating system, but there is so much more nuance and variety to movie content than 4 buckets! A four-tier rating system is woefully inadequate to describe movie content, and was developed before filtering technology was available. It is a blunt object in interpreting the rich variety in movie content. In the absence of a more accurate system, I have to guess. This has the result of me seeing FEWER movies.
    – How do I “unsee” something?: How am I able to “unsee” something that I have seen? The human mind is able to recognize, interpret and catalog an image within a few tenths of a second! Would that there were a “delete” button in our minds (or the minds of our children), but this just doesn’t exist.

  19. Love love love Vidangel! Keep up the great work and, as a side note, my husband and I love the vidangel sweatshirts we got to help support the fight!! Thanks for all you do!!

  20. Hollywood does not want to give up the ability to force faulty ideology and other garbage into the lives of viewers. The question is not “filtered vs. unfiltered.” The question is “filtered vs. I just won’t watch this movie.” Get a clue Hollywood.

  21. Slightly unrelated, but I have a question about the filtering.

    How does it filter out parts, exactly? And is the movie still comprehensible? Like, say there’s a dirty sex scene, but the sex scene also includes a lot of dialogue that alters the entire plot of the movie. So would everyone watching the movie have that scene skipped and be confused about why the plot changed, or would there be some sort of summary to fill them in or something?

    1. I’m trying to envision the how the scenario you present would happen in a movie.
      Background music: Boom-chicka-bow-wow …
      Actor One: Oh baby, I love it you do that, but while we are having sex I need to reveal a plot twist that will completely change the story line.
      Actor Two: Fine, but I’m going to smoke my cigarette while you explain the plot twist, and it had better not spoil the mood for me!
      Actor One: Rosebud was the name of my sled, and my psychiatrist is really a ghost!
      Actor Two: Oh, baby!
      Background music: Boom-chicka-bow-wow…

    2. I’ve never seen any real storyline content in parts of a movie that I deem worthy of filtering.

      You can actually see a bar chart that shows you the impact of each item you chose to filter in video and audio. You can see this before you ever buy a movie.

      I’ll give you a hint though… if you are thinking about watch a movie like Straight Outta Compton with out the “f” word… Don’t bother. 😉

      But honestly, it will only cost you a buck to find out for yourself. Try it. If you feel cheated, I’ll send you a dollar.

  22. So you breaking legal license agreements is then being anti sensor? If you had actually gotten the proper license you could sensor all you want but you didn’t and now you are being sued. So how is you committing a legal crime make them the bad guy?

    That is like a robber who sues a home owner for getting injured while robbing.

    1. Burns, please see my reply to Trevor Dixon. The studios will not sell VidAngel a license that allows filtering because of their agreements with the DGA.

      1. Then that is their right. You can’t get mad at an author for not allowing you to resell their book after you tear pages out. If you do not like what a company does then stop supporting them. Don’t try to make a moral loophole that allows you to still support them and lets you still feel good at the end of the day.

        1. I disagree with that premises. Not sure about the intent of a bookseller purposefully tearing pages, but as a consumer I have the 100% right to buy a book with pages torn out if I wish. Whether there is a market for such books is beside the point and not the original author’s concern. If they were permanently removed I would be more against that because that may fall under censorship (where governments or entities become parental or “big brother” and decide their own version of reality to present to the public) and this takes away a consumer’s freedom. Either way that’s not what is happening here. The “books” are sold original and after purchase the pinpointing and page folding service is offered based on specific requests (case by case) by the customer. I have a 100% right to put underwear on a naked statue of David and Goliath if the copy of said statue I own was purchased outright and for use in my own home. Heck I can pay someone to come into my home and put the clothes on for me. That is what current law allows. Transmitting this via wire is also specifically mentioned as being permitted by law (no further streaming rights required if done for the purpose of providing consumer elected editing services). If an artist desires purity of their original ideas, they can keep them in their own private art gallery, but once an “artist” want’s to be a “capitalist” (which is fine, nothing wrong with supporting yourself with such a career) they give up some rights to have their own private and original version of the art duplicated without flaws and uninfluenced by public opinion or consumer’s demands and perceptions. Refusing this right after the item is no longer in public and now inside the privacy of a home is to violate personal freedom. An entity deciding what I can see in my own home is basically Hollywood’s own version of censorship in reverse.

  23. I love VidAngel. I don’t want to hear my Gods name used as a curse word not to mention all the other garbage that is said. Also, call me weird, but I dont want to watch people having sex either. So it’s nice to be able to block this stuff so I can enjoy the movies I buy. If they don’t like that the public is enjoying filtered movies then maybe they should add a filtering option to their DVD’s they sell. I’m sure they could do it. Streeming is very popular and I don’t think it’s going away any time soon. I feel the reason Hollywood is giving VidAngel a hard time is because VidAngel is trying to do something GOOD and that’s not what Hollywood is about. They have become so immoral. There are some movies I would NEVER watch because there wouldn’t be anything left after I filtered them. Hang in there and keep fighting for us. We appreciate it.

  24. What would happen if we all signed a petition saying we want filtered movies? We never watch anything over PG-13 for this very reason. It’s just not an option for us. Video Angel sounded like there was finally a good solution. It’s unfortunate that Hollywood don’t desire our business.

  25. That is an awesome write-up about the backstory. I was worried about your future but given those details you’ve got a legit case. More support of the cause through movie purchases coming your way!

  26. I didn’t know the “google movies”/youtube stuff had been shutdown, do you have any more information on that/what happened there or a link describing it?
    Thanks!

  27. Reading about the other methods you tried won me over. I wondered why you didn’t just get a license! I wrongly assumed you went with the DVD filtering method so you could increase availability and offer lower costs.

    But why do you need Google’s help so badly to make the extension work? Isn’t their API pretty stable and documented well? I liked it better when I could stream from YouTube.

    1. When we founded VidAngel, Google was planning to launch the Chromecast. We discovered during the private beta testing that we could make high definition (HD) filtered content work natively on Chromecast devices and decided to purchase them in bulk. We planned to offer them to our customers so that their families could enjoy our filtered content. To VidAngel’s dismay, and without warning, Google eliminated the Chromecast’s ability to provide filtered content when it launched its public beta test in February 2014. In our understanding, Google did so at the studios’ insistence. VidAngel was then forced to move to standard-definition (SD) content filtered through Chrome until we could invent a product that virtually all families could use. (Necessity being the mother of invention, we now own one patent and have two other applications pending.)

      When Wikileaks made Sony documents available on line, we learned why Google was forced to shut VidAngel down and send the violation of terms notice. Google’s contract with Sony contains the following provision:

      1. CUTTING, EDITING AND INTERRUPTION. Licensee shall not make, or authorize any others to make, any modifications, deletions, cuts, alterations or additions in or to any Included Program without the prior written consent of Licensor. For the avoidance of doubt, no panning and scanning, time compression or similar modifications shall be permitted.

      Search Google for “Sony YouTube VOD Agmt_JWF 03-11-11_EXECUTION COPY.DOC” for more detail.

      We also learned that all the studios—including the three major studios that thankfully refused to sue us (Sony, Universal, and MGM)—are subject to a collective bargaining agreement with the Directors Guild of America (DGA). Under the terms of that agreement, the studios may provide filtered content to be shown on television and aboard airplanes (those markets are too lucrative to pass up!) but may not otherwise permit the filtering of content. For that reason, VidAngel has counterclaimed against Disney and its co-plaintiffs alleging that their collective agreement not to permit any company to provide a service such as VidAngel’s violates the antitrust laws.

      1. Awesome! I’m thrilled that you have counterclaimed. I agree that what Disney is doing, violates antitrust laws. No double standard should be allowed (allow filter in some situations, but not others). Just because these are big corporations doesn’t give them the right to violate law.

  28. Realistically, the only way this problem with the studios will be solved is through the court system.
    It is apparent to me that the studios are not interested in coming to terms of any kind.
    If the studios based decisions purely on financial gain then they would make more Rated G movies than Rated R movies.
    To prove a point as to the studios seeming immoral intent, an F-Bomb is included in most PG-13 films simply because they are allowed one.
    To add another point, the very first word in the latest Avengers movie is a cuss word. Then to top that off, the “moral” character who condemns the use of the cuss word later cusses himself, which is a subtle way of accusing moral people of hypocrisy, planting that thought in the minds of all watching.
    I know many, many people who never use a single cuss word, even if they accidentally hit their thumb with a hammer.
    I wonder if the major studio people know one authentically moral person.
    One who would not use a cuss word in a script no matter how much money was offered.
    That may be why, besides their own seeming bias against morality and religion, moral people are presented as either hypocrites or struggling with morality.
    So, I am done previewing non-R-rated movies for later family consumption and relegating all movie watching to VidAngel.
    Back to my original thesis.
    The studios will not come to terms because, it seems to me, to them content control, which amounts to pushing immorality as far as I am concerned, trumps any financial benefit.
    The only way to prevail is to win by legal means.
    I was a clean films and family flix subscriber till they were shut down, and loved both companies.
    I bought edited DVDs after that but that put a limit on what to watch because of cost.
    I did an internet search in hopes of finding something better and low and behold I found VidAngel!
    What an awesome thing you (VidAngel) do!

    1. Free speech just protects people from getting arrested for expressing opinions and whatnot or forcibly censored by the government. So the government can’t ban books. They can’t arrest you for peacefully expressing your opinion via protest. They can’t arrest you for expressing disdain for a politician or for cursing. They can’t censor newspapers. They can’t force Hollywood to cut out cursing and sex. But let’s say you comment on a video on facebook or youtube or some other site and are replied to by some troll who speaks almost entirely in profanity. If you reported them and they were arrested or banned from the site for what they said (ignoring terms of usage contracts for a moment) then their freedom of speech would have been violated. But it’s not a violation of their rights to block them, right? That’s why the option exists. It just allows you to keep enjoying the site you’re visiting. So it’s certainly not an issue to filter out language and sex that you simply don’t want to see in a movie. You’re not forcing anyone to only watch that version of the movie or keeping anyone but perhaps young members of your family from seeing what you’ve filtered out.

  29. So I’m watching Batman vs Superman with my 9yr old son and everythings fine until Amy Adams is suddenly naked in the bathtub talking to Clark Kent. Then he got into the bathtub on top of her. It didn’t show much and if I was alone I probably wouldn’t have blinked an eye, but my son was sitting there. I never realized how much (implied here) sex is in movies until I had my son. Now VidAngel looks really good. Also, maybe I’m old fashioned but I don’t see Superman having sex before marriage. Not the Nobel character I grew up with. I guess it shows you how much Hollywood has changed.

    1. That will never change! The fact that he’s 9 now doesn’t matter. I’m 25 and I’m still horrified when I’m just trying to watch a new movie with my mom and a sex scene breaks out. I can tell that both of us are sitting there frozen trying to play it off like this is no big deal, but at that moment I suddenly want to be ANYWHERE in the world other than in that room lol. We then don’t watch a movie together for a good month or so and then only watch a movie we’ve seen before and know is ok. Filtering seems like an excellent solution and gives me hope that I might be able to go back to watching movies with my mom when we visit on the weekends 🙂

  30. Interesting…. Regarding the Google Chrome plugin “Method 2: YouTube extension”… ClearPlay still streams Google play movies, so it is still possible…

    It’s not as easy as the direct streaming method, but it works and the streams are fully licensed. Unless ClearPlay has some patent on the method they use, then VidAngel could have been streaming via google play to this day and would not have been sued, albeit they have have needed to modify their plugin, or create a video player like ClearPlay, which is totally feasible.

    “5a. We stream movies from Google Play. Log into your Google Account to confirm the rental/purchase of the movie you want to stream.” — https://www.clearplay.com/p-453-streaming.aspx

    1. Yes, we actually implemented that method before ClearPlay.

      When we founded VidAngel, Google was planning to launch the Chromecast. We discovered during the private beta testing that we could make high definition (HD) filtered content work natively on Chromecast devices and decided to purchase them in bulk. We planned to offer them to our customers so that their families could enjoy our filtered content. To VidAngel’s dismay, and without warning, Google eliminated the Chromecast’s ability to provide filtered content when it launched its public beta test in February 2014. In our understanding, Google did so at the studios’ insistence. VidAngel was then forced to move to standard-definition (SD) content filtered through Chrome until we could invent a product that virtually all families could use. (Necessity being the mother of invention, we now own one patent and have two other applications pending.)

      When Wikileaks made Sony documents available on line, we learned why Google was forced to shut VidAngel down and send the violation of terms notice. Google’s contract with Sony contains the following provision:

      1. CUTTING, EDITING AND INTERRUPTION. Licensee shall not make, or authorize any others to make, any modifications, deletions, cuts, alterations or additions in or to any Included Program without the prior written consent of Licensor. For the avoidance of doubt, no panning and scanning, time compression or similar modifications shall be permitted.

      Search Google for “Sony YouTube VOD Agmt_JWF 03-11-11_EXECUTION COPY.DOC” for more detail.

      We also learned that all the studios—including the three major studios that thankfully refused to sue us (Sony, Universal, and MGM)—are subject to a collective bargaining agreement with the Directors Guild of America (DGA). Under the terms of that agreement, the studios may provide filtered content to be shown on television and aboard airplanes (those markets are too lucrative to pass up!) but may not otherwise permit the filtering of content. For that reason, VidAngel has counterclaimed against Disney and its co-plaintiffs alleging that their collective agreement not to permit any company to provide a service such as VidAngel’s violates the antitrust laws.

  31. I have used vidangel over and over for movies I never would have watched without filters. It’s so much better watching movies this way! My family and I watch far more frequently than we used to as a result. I have donated and will continue to do so to help with legal issues. I’m so tired of Hollywood taking away my right to watch a movie without sex and profanity!

  32. We completely stopped going to see movies in theaters rated R because ot the offensive language and content. Until I found VidAngel, we wouldn’t even attempt renting one by DVD or streaming. This service is awesome! Click, filter, watch! Keep up the fight against the studios. We need more studios to produce films that are less offensive and don’t confuse foul language for true wit. Who knows if Hollywood would take a look at the filter data, they might even be able to make clear choices on what’s the bar for acceptable. Thanks for giving people the right to filter! This is my freedom of speech!

  33. Hollywood has a shameful anti-filtering history going back decades. The movie industry is liberal and libertarian on social issues, but puritanical and authoritarian in enforcing what they see as the “right way” to enjoy their work. Reasonable requests tend to be met with prejudice (what’s up with you religious nuts?), defensiveness (nothing wrong with movies as they are!) and lazy stonewalling (go watch another movie — this one’s not for you).

    I hope that this time around the studios have the good sense to settle before this becomes a major political issue. The last thing they want is for politicians to get more involved, and for positions to be entrenched even further. They should neither demonize nor make a martyr out of Vidangel, which really is a wonderful company trying hard to do things the right way. They should instead acknowledge that they have some share of the blame for the way things have unfolded, and then move on and cut a deal. Charge Vidangel what they charge amazon, or make a deal like the one they have with Redbox, or whatever.

  34. There’s a lot of movies and shows that I completely avoid because of the degrading content that seems to be so prevalent in media nowadays. I don’t like crude humor, sex scenes, nor foul language. I don’t want that stuff in my head. I just recently found about vidangel and I am super excited to get started. It means there’s so many movies I can finally watch!
    Vidangel, I believe in what you are doing. It means so much to families and to people like me.
    Also, I’m with Michael Patterson. I’d even be willing to pay slightly more if some settlement were reached where the Film Industry gets an additional profit each time a movie is viewed if this were to get them off of Vidangel’s case. In any case, whatever happens I fully support Vidangel’s cause.
    Vidangel’s argument seems perfectly legitimate to me, and I think it injust that the Film Industry is trying to drown them out of business.

  35. This is no different than Paramount’s attack on Star Trek Fan film makers. I wish this service was available from the day my son was born. Every movie I ever loved growing up with, also contained completely inappropriate content that my family didn’t know to filter and it caused me life-long, detrimental harm. Hollywood is never held accountable for the harm they cause, creating misnomers about how the real world works. If I were to guess, I would believe that over 80% of children from the 80’s suffer from sometimes crippling postmodern confusion and depression because of just how misleading and deviant the content of our movies were – and the American culture today is evidence of that fact. And, while I’ve been cautious to manually filter a lot of that material from what my son sees (learning to turn away, talk about what ‘reality’ is, etc.), some movies are just out – because even the themes (which can’t be filtered) are inappropriate. This isn’t just a tool for families that actually care about their children – it’s a tool everyone should use. My son’s school showed the kids “Taken” as a form of health education. Taken? Really?!? I REFUSED to watch that myself or allow that show to be played in our house – so to find out that the school showed it to him – well … let’s just say that he’s not in that school anymore (or any of the others that think that’s appropriate). I am careful about what I publish or say in my blogs anymore because I’ve been hunted down for speaking out of turn (and I don’t care if you believe that or not) – so I know that they don’t like being exposed for what they are. The truth is: Even Disney is infamous for its ‘accidental’ inclusions of sexual content and references. Only an idiot who just refuses to see the truth would believe otherwise (since the evidence is as plain as the nose on their faces!). Sadly, Hollywood has become so ingrained in our culture that a lot of people do not understand that it’s fake – for real. You can read the statistics on it. People believe what they’re being told to do – and what they’re being sold. While people are to be held accountable – there’s a lot to be said for a 60 year brainwashing over an entire culture that makes the effects on the entirety of our society somewhat frightening (again – please – don’t believe me – look it up for yourself). Hollywood is selling sex to our kids. Sex sells. Mix sex and violence and it breaks down healthy boundaries and causes a need for more (that’s basic psychology 101 and drama triangle stuff). Hollywood and pop culture work closely together to create ‘status’ for our children (just like they did back in my day – leading to bullying, shame, and self-loathing), and the goal is simple: to keep the people wanting more so they can fit in. Hollywood and television piggyback on drama. Everything you see on news and television is drama geared to keep people watching because it plays on fears. The more you watch, the more sex and foul language they throw in, the more it cripples your natural filters, and the outcome: advertising. For example: Hollywood plays movies that make beautiful people getting sex (from kissing onward) and gives you ads and commercials (in film and TV), that demonstrate how ugly we are without their products. In turn, we keep watching, trying to not only live vicariously through others (drama triangle basics), but to see if we’ve met the beautiful criteria and there’s ‘hope’. This is not new. This has been taught to college marketing and media majors for more than 30 years! If Hollywood has the audacity to show those anti-pirating commercials (you wouldn’t steal from your grandmother … so why would you steal movies … blah blah blah) – it’s about time someone turns this around on them. They’ve stolen the youth and innocence of our society for more than 40 years, in trade for nothing more than a few dollars. They’ve blasted us and abused their ratings system, violating our family trust and sanctity for more than 40 years. They’ve openly lied about the Emmy’s, the Oscars, reality shows, and other television for more than 50 years – and all for money. Hollywood has collapsed family values and religious values – and for what? To take their place … and those families who turn to Hollywood are lead like lambs to the department stores to buy – to work – and to buy again (really – this is taught in college … EXACTLY that way … I don’t even have to make this up!). Hollywood branded floor cleaners as mouthwash, used guilt to modify our entire culture to invest in jewelry as a substitute for love, and has stood on our backs to the point that it has lead to a massive decline in moralistic values (think about it – what you see on television, in the news, and on the STREETS – not ok 20 years ago!). You can think that’s hogwash all you want – or you can actually take the time to research it (ie. Google, or as so well done, the joke above, about Bing). It’s time that the people have an opportunity to not be treated like sheep and use the free will God gave us. It’s time to rebuild some family values – otherwise – this culture will collapse and there will be no one left to watch their movies. Greed and power are self-perpetuating … and self destructive. Neither has ever withstood the test of time – and it’s not going to change. I will stand behind Vid-Angel. I have sent links to over 300 people now, hoping to introduce them to this service (thanks to the Daily Signal for covering the Vid Angel story so I could learn about this). I will make sure that every family I ever meet knows that there are choices – and this is one of them! Thanks for this service and staying strong in the fight!

  36. Kind of Ironic that it would be Disney and Lucasfilm leading the fight AGAINST trying to keep films family friendly. I bet once Walt is unfrozen he’s going to do a bunch of firing from the top down. Go Vid-Angel!!!

  37. We used to wait 3 years for a good R rated movie to be put on broadcast TV – why? Because they filtered it. I ww would then record it to watch when it was convenient for us. VidAngel allowed us to watch these when they came out on DVD rather than wait 3 years. We love it. We would not watch the unedited versions, period.

  38. A classic example of why filtering is a good idea is National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. It’s a very funny movie. I would imagine that almost everyone has seen it on TV at least once. Even though it has a few risqué parts, the TV version is probably suitable for *most* families (although “your mileage may vary “.) However, the “real” version, on DVD, is a different story. As anyone who has seen that version knows (besides some potty talk from the young girl after coming upon Clark (Chevy Chase) fantasizing about his yet-to-be-built pool) about 10 minutes before the end of the movie, and for no good reason, he drops the F-bomb . It was completely unnecessary, added nothing to the movie and made it unsuitable for a lot of people to watch. And the beauty part of it is – if you’ve only seen the TV version and now have it playing on your DVD player with a roomful of little kids, you’re in for a big surprise…

  39. My little family hasn’t tried VidAngel yet but we will after we move to our new house. We love to watch movies together but hate the language and sexual content that run rampant in films. Our kids are little but we don’t even want that kind of crap in our home. Go VidAngel! We support you and hope you win so we can enjoy your awesome service!

  40. Ugh! Here they go again….ruining a good thing. We have movie marathons as a family using vidangel. Most movies I never would have watched especially with my children.

  41. hey screw hollywood. they seem to not understand that nowadays people have other options, them and cable companies. one day they will put their heads out of the sand and realize everyone has moved on.

  42. Our family Loves VidAngel. There are movies we would have never watched unless the filters were there. Especially, some with our 10 year old. It’s a shame that some film makers think constant foul language and sex sells to all audiences. Well, I’m hear to say that it doesn’t. Thanks to VidAngel, we have watched more movies this year than in the past and plan to keep that trend going as a family. Keep fighting the good fight, we are still watching VidAngel and supporting the ability to have filters.

  43. You provide such a valuable service, for the first time I and my family can watch films which are supposed to be family or young person friendly without a stream of blasphemy or sudden expletives!

    Thank you so much for standing up for our rights.

  44. We are obsessed with Vidangel! We often have 3 different laptops going with different filtered shows so the little kids get to watch their favorite, the big kids their favorite and my husband and I our favorite. We watch at least 1-2 vidangel shows per day!! We LOVE Vidangel!!?

  45. So the movie companies will let airlines and network television broadcasters make money from showing edited copies of their movies, but you’re not allowed to provide the same service? Fascinating.

  46. Greed and pride are so blinding. Remember when there where lots of battles with the RIAA about 15-20 years ago about music and MP3’s? Well they lost – and music and streaming has forever been changed. If you ask me, if Hollywood had any brains, they would embrace this model, make filtered versions, let streaming services stream them for even more money, and leave VidAngel in the dust. I’m really surprised they don’t do that. It’s astounding they are fighting this battle.

  47. So, when I learned about the lawsuit, I spent some time reading both sides of the argument. I’m an advocate for movie filtering and enjoy your service. I think your ethical position would be stronger if you published with your streaming how many copies of the dvd have been purchased and were diligent about not streaming any more than that number at a given time. When I check digital books out of the library, they have a waiting list; if all the copies have been borrowed. If you are technically “selling” and then “repurchasing” than you should make sure people know you are not selling any quantity greater than you already own. Just my two cents. Good luck.

    1. Hi there! We actually do have “sold out” text that appears on movies where every copy is currently owned. When you go to purchase a sold out movie, there is no way to purchase it. When some movies are in high demand we let you know and give you the chance to get a free movie for choosing a different one that night. 🙂

  48. Didn’t Disney hide sexual innuendos into their cartoons during the 80’s and 90’s? And now they’re trying to sue you for filtering? Sounds like conspiracy to me.

  49. You go guys! I’m rooting for you!
    without services like yours, I would have never seen the matrix or terminator, or shawshank redemption! c’mon hollywood! grow up!

  50. AI wrote a screenplay and shopped it throughout Hollywood and they weren’t interested BECAUSE it didn’t have sex. One agent even said “who’s going to believe two dating teenagers aren’t having sex?” Why do I get this impression that nobody here gets THAT HOLLYWOOD LIKES FILTH. News Flash: They may just not want your wholesome endeavors to sidetrack their love for filth. In my opinion, Hollywood is a cesspool, they’re the devil. Vidangel the angel. What did Cain do to Abel? It’s no more complicated than that, but I guess it takes knowing how corrupt Hollywood is.

  51. Well, there were a lot of movies me and my family were able to watch with Vidangel. Now we’ll have to find a place that has only the G and PG family movies movies now. And it was mostly because of the language…what a shame.

  52. I was so excited when I found Vid Angel. I don’t like swearing, sex and especially don’t like blasphemy in movies. And there aren’t many movies these days that don’t have all three in abundance. Even the milder movies have blasphemous remarks through the movie. So to have a streaming site that I can filter out these three amigos was exceptionally good news to me. I really hope and pray Vid Angel win the battle to stay available. Bless you all

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