What’s Next for VidAngel?

Hi VidAngel customers,

 

As you may have heard, a federal judge asked us to take down our movies. But don’t panic yet! Here’s what happens next.

 

  1. We’re asking the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for a stay of the preliminary injunction. If we are successful, the movies will likely be back up within 2 weeks.
  2. We’re also appealing the preliminary injunction to the 9th Circuit. If that’s successful, the movies will likely be back up in a matter of months.
  3. If neither of those efforts is successful, remember that we have $10 million in the bank to continue this fight all the way to the Supreme Court. We are very optimistic that we will win the legal battle!

 

Here’s how you can help:

 

  1. Watch and share the video below about why we believe VidAngel is legal.
  2. Go to savefiltering.com to sign the petition.
  3. Keep checking in until our movies are back up (and in the meantime add your favorite titles to your watch list).

 

 

Thanks so much for your support.

Love,
VidAngel

 

 

FAQs:

 

Why Can’t I Watch VidAngel Movies Right Now?

All movies are currently unavailable while we comply with the judge’s preliminary injunction. However, we are asking a higher court for permission to put all movies back up until the merits of the preliminary injunction are decided. If we are successful, we hope to have the movies back up by approximately January 12th.

In the meantime, you can continue to add your favorite titles to your watch list, so they will be ready for you once they return to our site. And although you can’t currently watch VidAngel movies, you can still read the filter listings for specific movies to make informed choices in your movie-watching.

 

Can I still watch movies with VidAngel?

We hope to have our first 3 VidAngel exclusives The Last Descent, The Abolitionists, and Life on Bitcoin up and running very soon. Over the next few months, we will continue to add new titles. Keep an eye out for updates.

We are also asking a higher court for permission to put all movies back up until the merits of the preliminary injunction are decided. If we are successful, we hope to have the movies back up by approximately January 12th.

 

What does this mean for my credits?  Will they be refunded?  

VidAngel credits never expire. Here’s what you can do with them:

  1. Wait until our movies are back. We’re asking the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals for a stay of the preliminary injunction. If we are successful, the movies will likely be back up within 2 weeks. Please stay tuned. And remember your credits are not at risk. We have $10 million in the bank from our recent investment round, so we can refund you at any time.
  2. Watch exclusive VidAngel content. Even though VidAngel is temporarily unable to offer movies, you will soon be able to view our VidAngel Exclusive content. Our first 3 titles – The Last Descent, The Abolitionists, and Life on Bitcoin – will be available very soon. In the next few months we will have an ever-growing list of titles available. You will be able to rent (not buy!) those titles using your credits.
  3. Cash out your credits. If you would like your credits refunded immediately, we’ll be disappointed but will make it happen. We hope, though, that you will choose option 1 or 2, and continue to stand with us to show the courts and Congress how very important our filtering service is to you.

 

How can I help?

Currently the best ways to support VidAngel are:

  1. Sign the #SaveFiltering petition at www.SaveFiltering.com
  2. Share our “Is VidAngel Legal?” video with your friends to help get our message out. (Video found in blog post above.)
  3. Watch the movies that will very soon be offered exclusively on our site (and generously tip the creators so VidAngel can bring in more titles!)

 

What does the preliminary injunction do?

To implement the preliminary injunction, VidAngel has to take down the movies while the court decides whether our service is lawful. We will not know the court’s decision until we have gone through trial and the entire appeal process.  We are also asking the many, many studios that chose not to sue us to permit us to continue to filter and stream their movies for the duration of the appellate process.

 

What percent of the current VidAngel movie library is affected by the lawsuit? Which studios are involved?

53% of titles are owned by the plaintiffs (Disney, Warner Bros., Twentieth Century Fox, and Lucasfilm). However, if we are unsuccessful in getting a stay of the injunction, we will not offer titles from ANY studios until the court has ruled that we have a legal right to do so. We expect to receive an answer by approximately January 12th.

Because the vast majority of studios have not challenged VidAngel’s service, we are reaching out to them to ask whether they would object if we make their titles available while the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decides whether the issuance of injunction was proper.

 

I currently own several movies from VidAngel. Am I able to continue to watch them with the filters I want?

The good news is that you still own your movie. The bad news is that we can’t currently stream it to you, but we are asking a higher court for permission to do so through the appeals process. We expect to receive an answer by approximately January 12th.

In the meantime, you may request that any disc you own be shipped to you (a processing fee of $5 per disc applies to this service). Or you may wait until content filtering becomes available again as the result of a stay of the decision on our appeal. Please note that because we are not allowed to make copies of filtered content, discs sent to you will be unaltered and thus unfiltered.

 

What is the status of the antitrust counter suit against the studios?

The judge heard arguments on the counterclaims Monday, Dec 19th, and said he hoped to issue a ruling within 7 days, but we have not yet received any ruling.

 

Have you started a petition to save filtering?

No, but a family from Florida started a petition at http://savefiltering.com. It has already received over 100,000 signatures.

 

Has Netflix been approached about licensing/including filtering?

Yes. Their agreements with the studios do not allow them to permit content to be filtered.

 

If the lawsuit results in the ability to license streaming how much would watching a filtered movie cost?

In that case, the studios would set the price at which they sell the licenses.  We hope to negotiate agreements that will allow us to offer filtered streaming prices comparable to those charged to watch unfiltered movies.

 

Can you sell/license your filtering function to the other companies who already have streaming services/agreements?

We attempted to do that but the studios’ license agreements prohibit distributors from allowing it. The major studios have never consented to allow anyone to stream filtered content.

 

Will it be possible to market the filter software to allow everyone to edit their own movies?

Our goal is to build a system that will enable you to create your own tags for filtering your movies.

 

Please explain how ClearPlay has been able to provide filtered content through Google Play? Is it doing something different from what VidAngel attempted to do in its early days?

VidAngel’s approach in 2013-14 was similar to ClearPlay’s current approach to streaming. VidAngel filtered Google Play content that customers could watch using the Chromecast streaming device.  As we prepared our filtering technology for launch, our Chromecast app was shut down and YouTube sent a cease-and-desist letter saying the service violated YouTube’s terms of use. VidAngel believes the terms-of-use agreement can also be invoked to end ClearPlay’s current service model, meaning that the studios can shut down ClearPlay at any time.

In contrast to VidAngel’s filtering method, the ClearPlay method is not able to filter high-definition (HD) content. It does not have apps for Roku, Apple TV, FireTV, Android, or iOS, and is unavailable for a large selection of movies. Additionally, the ClearPlay method does not permit the filtering of closed captioning, even though offering closed caption is mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act. VidAngel believes that it is close to achieving the filtering of closed captioning using its present technology.

VidAngel was founded to stream filtered HD content to families to watch popular movies on any device of their choosing. No other service is currently able to do that.

 

If the current business model gets shut down by the courts, could you follow a modified method without the VidAngel Sellback model?

Under the current injunction language, selling DVDs and Blu-rays and streaming them filtered (even without sellback) would still not be possible. The studios would like the court to hold that movies cannot be filtered without their permission, with or without sell-back and with or without streaming. The studios have never given anyone permission to filter movies for private, in-home viewing. They will not consent to allow VidAngel to filter content unless the appellate courts agree that our service is lawful or they decide to compromise in the face of our antitrust counterclaim.

 

Why doesn’t VidAngel try to settle out of court and obtain the licensing to stream and edit the movies?

We have repeatedly asked all the studios for licensing agreements. Although we believe our current business model is lawful under the Family Movie Act, obtaining licenses to stream filtered content would provide significant benefits to our customers by allowing them to avoid “out-of-stock” notices and watch streamed filtered content at the same time as streamed unfiltered content becomes available. Having such a license would make life easier for us, too.

All but a few small studios turned us down. Of all the studios, 4 chose to sue us. Some of the studios that chose not to join in the lawsuit have told us that they would be happy to negotiate a license to allow us to stream filtered content if they could do so. However, they are prevented from doing so by their current contracts. We hope the litigation will make that collaboration possible.

 

Will you ever offer subtitles for those of us who are hard of hearing?

Absolutely!  Subtitles are already in development.

 

If VidAngel loses the battle to protect its current business model, does VidAngel have a business model that will allow it operate successfully?

Our intention/goal is to defeat the lawsuit. December 12th’s ruling was the first battle in a long war we believe we will win. We hope that content produced by VidAngel Studios and filtering content that has lost copyright protection will enable us to operate a successful, albeit smaller, business.

 

Aside from the goal of stopping VidAngel from streaming movies, what’s the end-game for the Studios?

The studios are very motivated to keep directors happy, and historically directors do not like filtering. We believe the 4 studios suing VidAngel are trying to appease the directors and will likely continue to do so unless and until VidAngel’s rights are validated by the courts or by Congress.

 

If the lawsuit goes all the way to the Supreme Court, what is a realistic time-table for that process?

It will likely be a 3-5 year process to defend our service under the Family Movie Act all the way to the Supreme Court.

 

Would you ever consider licensing more independent and or foreign films?

Yes. Please submit your film to VidAngel Studios for review.

 

What kind of content will VidAngel Studios produce in regards to quality and type (shorts, TV series, movies), and will this content be released theatrically or streamed from VidAngel’s website exclusively?

Initially we will offer stand-up comedy, behind-the-scenes views of the lawsuit, and licensed content from independent filmmakers.  Those projects can be completed using our current resources without harming our legal defense.

 

Network television edits movies (or at least they used to); wouldn’t VidAngel fall under the same rights?

Those edited movies shown on television receive director sign off and, along with the filtered movies shown on airplanes, are expressly allowed by the collective bargaining agreement all the major studios have signed with the Directors Guild of America.  VidAngel’s filtering is different because the studios and the DGA do not permit filtered movies to be watched by families at home. That’s the key difference.

 

Will VidAngel be sharing my personal information with any of the Hollywood studios who are involved in the lawsuit?

No. VidAngel will not be sharing any personally identifying customer information with anybody. The current lawsuit only involves VidAngel as a company. There is no contention that VidAngel customers have done anything wrong.

31 thoughts on “What’s Next for VidAngel?

  1. What if I bought a movie last night, didn’t get a chance to finish watching it…and now I can’t. Will I get charged daily to keep it to watch the end if you work things out or should I sell it back? If I sell it back today, can I get a refund because I did not actually get it for 24 hours?
    Thanks

  2. My family just heard about this just a few hours after watching Storks on VidAngel. We love you guys and hope you win! Keep Fighting!

    All swears at the studios!!

  3. Just got Vidangel around a week ago and really appreciated the wonderful service. Before I would only go to Redbox and would be really limited in what I could watch. I am a conservative Christian, and most of even the PG movies contain bad words and blasphemies that trouble me. Vidangel is a real blessing, and my family and I will pray that the court rules in your favor.

  4. You rock, VidAngel!!! We’ll hang on to our credits and see this through with you!!! We’re praying you win the overall lawsuits and get the stay on the preliminary injunction!!!!!

  5. The studios are expressing that they don’t care about their customers even a tiny bit and feel like we should be forced to listen to/watch things we find offensive?

    Our family has boycotted all movies from those four studios who filed the lawsuit. We feel like expressing outrage and continuing to give them money makes your voice essentially muted. That means there are some anticipated films we’re missing, but since they only care about the dollars, it’s the only way we have to express our disappointment in companies who claim to make family entertainment but don’t even attempt to consider the families’ opinions on what is and is not appropriate entertainment.

    On behalf of those who enjoyed your vision for years, Walt, it’s hard to see that vision trampled on by families everywhere. RIP, Mr. Disney.

    1. Absolutely right. They’re showing their disdain for us. We’re not going to hate back. However, we can refuse them our money. Everyone who cares about parents being able to protect their children (which is not just conservative Christians) should band together. They’re happy to sell their products in countries that oppress people. They’re only willing to crush us, because we don’t stand together. Someone who knows how to get things like this started should start a national movement to boycott these studios.

  6. My bio: I am new to VidAngel and an investor. I love the product and stand behind you guys.

    My question is: (Maybe you have had someone already ask this) Why does vidAngel require at least 1 filter. Could the company sell/buy back movies to the customer in your streaming fashion without requiring filter but “offer” the service as optional? Wouldn’t this basically fall under the same as Redbox or NetFlix with newer releases and vidAngel “offer” Integrated remote-like features of mute, skip…etc via the filtering techniques you have always offered? Just a thought. Again I apologize if this has already been asked.

    1. I second Shawn’s comments. As an entrepreneur and father of two small children, the concept of VidAngel is amazing and I stand behind you guys.

      I would pay extra to add your “auto filtering” options to my streamed movie experience. This feature alone would make me a loyal fan to use VidAngel over Redbox, Netflix, iTunes, etc. I already skip through scenes and content manually that I find inappropriate for my children, as a paid option, I (as the consumer) have made the decision to have the convenience of your service do it for me.

      I really hope you win fighting this lawsuit, or find some other way to offer and keep your filtering services.

      1. Hopefully you guys get a stay of injunction and don’t have to get dvds, though part of me doubts that because of DMCA. Though I really hope I’m wrong and you do get a stay of injunction.

  7. I would love to see VidAngel lead a protest against these companies. For example, “Vacation anywhere but Disney or Universal Studios”. Massive letter writing campaign. A published list of movies coming to market from these studios involved in the lawsuit so that I know what NOT to go see in the theatre.

  8. We LOVE VidAngel and love being able to protect my family!! It’s time the studios entered the 21st century. Keep up the good fight!!!

  9. We really appreciate the Vidangel service. It’s too bad most people don’t know about this service or even see its value. I sincerely hope you win in court.

  10. I’m like every other user: my $18 credit is in the kitty for the court fight. If I could increase it to $50 or $100 to make those funds available for the battle I most certainly would!

  11. We miss you, Vidangel! Keep fighting! We love the service and every member of our family has expressed how much we miss your service…we know it’s temporary because you’ll win! Thanks for bringing clean entertainment options to our house!

  12. So there is a Walt Disney World forum where you can discuss news and current events surrounding Disney. wdwmagic.com I’ve posted twice to the forum trying to start a simple discussion on the lawsuit Disney is in with VidAngel and asking people’s opinions on filtering. The first time my thread was yanked, and this second time they not only pulled the thread within a couple hours, but also banned my account from the forums!!!

    Wow, Disney must really want to keep this hush hush. We need to get this out in the open! Can’t wait for this to gain more and more publicity as the lawsuit goes all the way to the top. Please don’t sell out and settle this just for money VidAngel! Thanks for all you do!

    1. Thanks for the tip, Jonathon! I shall do the same thing tonight. I may even politely “dare” them to ban me, too. I have plenty of ISP options to create multiple accounts and be a thorn in their side for months.

  13. Just joining in with the rest of the comments. We are a family in the Tampa Florida area. We found out about VidAngle about 6 months ago which has allowed us to watch PG-13 movies at the G level. We are so sorry to hear what is going on and are in full support of VidAngle and the Family Movie Act. We have already signed the petition, and posted posts to both of our Facebook accounts asking for everyone to sign the petition and support the Family Movie Act as well as VidAnge.
    Possibly one Tump is in office we will see changes to the freedom of religion fight. Trump already said “Merry Christmas” and that it is going to be ok to say that again!
    Keep up the (good) fight, knowing that thousands of subscribers will be praying for a victory, for the right to filter out much of what is un-Godly in modern movies.
    Prayers coming your way!

  14. We like to come back when you guys are up and running but, like to cash the remaining credit back to our account..we signed the petition and spreading the word..If you could help me I don’t know how to get my refund back

  15. I wish to cash out and get my $18.00 credit. On this sight you state that you will make it happen yet there is no process showing up on the roku streaming sight or your web sight or this sight. Will you please tell me how to cash out. Thank you.

  16. Man! you guys are awesome! I hate that they shut you down! I just don’t want all the swearing Hollywood puts into it’s movies. You guys answered that call and deserve to provide this to families that want to remain wholesome and not be tainted with the filthy stuff in uncut movies. Do the courts want children (or adults for that matter) to be corrupted by the degraded morals of these movies? You know, because of your service, we filter our movies through your application like for example “Eddie the Eagle”! It was so inspiring to watch that movie as a family. We cut out a few scenes, one of which was sexual. Our kids did not need to see that part. We as parents did not want to see that part! The movie was great WITHOUT that garbage! Now we would have never watched that (and been inspired) had it not been for VidAngel. Please don’t let these stupid bureaucrats bully you guys into caving in to their idiotic regulatory diarrhea.

  17. Vidangel, we miss you! My boys were able to watch some old favorites of mine, like “Back to the Future.” Now, we don’t watch anything but bland kiddie movies. My boys want more mature stories without the sex and language. I’m angry at all movie companies, but I’m very disappointed with Disney. Walt is probably turning in his grave right now. Walt would love Vidangel! Too bad.

  18. We miss you VidAngel!! I dishearteningly watched a movie this weekend with stuff I did not want to see! Are we not entitled to take crap out?? I am sad for all of us consumers. Don’t they make the movies for us?

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