Good Afternoon Supporters,
So many neighbors have been hungry for updates on VidAngel’s situation, that I decided you should also receive exclusive updates as though you lived next door to me. Here’s an up-to-date summary:
In the District Court, Judge Andre Birotte issued a preliminary injunction against us, which is unprecedented given the delay and lack of evidence of any harm. We immediately appealed the decision (link to opening brief) to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and hope the injunction will be overturned within the next few months. But, we are currently shut down pending the 9th Circuit’s ruling.
VidAngel is counter-suing the same studios for antitrust violation, owing to their collective bargaining agreement with the Directors Guild of America which allows all the Hollywood studios to collude to deny licenses to filtering companies and to prevent any studio from breaking ranks, notwithstanding that the Family Movie Act is the law of the land. That case is still before Los Angeles District Court Judge Andre Birotte, Jr. and the studios have asked for the antitrust counterclaim to be dismissed. Judge Birotte has not yet ruled. For more details, please check out our blog.
After VidAngel was forced to remove all movies from its site, we were encouraged by the strong interest in helping us expressed by various members of Congress. We are actively seeking a legislative clarification to the 2005 Family Movie Act, to prevent the studios from continuing to misconstrue in the courts. The Family Movie Act was supposed to be the final word, but Hollywood is attempting to nullify it for the streaming era, so we’re asking Congress to secure entertainment filtering for any company that wants to provide it. The ability to watch filtered content is a fundamental right of American families.
People all over America are joining the cause every day. A group called #SaveFiltering, started by a Florida family, has surpassed 150,000 signatures. We’ve also started a new page at SaveFiltering.VidAngel.com to let our supporters know how they can help. The Schwartz boys pleaded for VidAngel to come back to music 🙂
On his vacation, the talented Matt Meese (of Studio C fame) did a far more entertaining job than I did in our call to Congress video. Watch Matt in Rome and share his video.
From our opening brief to the 9th Circuit Court (see page 13 and the introduction):
“Everything VidAngel does is for the sole purpose of allowing a disc-owner to watch a movie she owns the way she wants in her own home. Yet four Hollywood studios insist the Copyright Act prohibits what common sense demands. The Studios persuaded the court… that tiny start-up VidAngel threatened irreparable harm to the richest entertainment companies on Earth. The district court entered an injunction that forced VidAngel to shut down, leaving millions of American families with no viable filtering option.”
“The injunction should be dissolved. There is no evidence of irreparable harm. And there is no reason to believe the Studios are likely to prevail on the merits of their Copyright Act claims.”
How You Can Help
Share our legal brief with skeptics who say that this battle is not about filtering (page 13 and the introduction are especially helpful).
Visit http://savefiltering.vidangel.com to learn how you can help our cause in Washington, DC.
As always, would love to hear from you and answer any questions you have. Thanks for your support in this fight! You are the reason we can win this war.
Neal Harmon, CEO