Category Archives: Legal Battle

Those posts that are relevant to the legal battle.

Disney Claims ClearPlay Is The Legal Streaming Option – This Is What They Won’t Tell You

UPDATE: ClearPlay Streaming Has Secretly Been Shut Down Since September

Disney claims ClearPlay is the legal streaming option. But because of studio restrictions ClearPlay’s service is severely limited (see graph below). What’s more, the studios have admitted they have the power to shut down that service at any time because ClearPlay is violating Google’s terms of service.

How does VidAngel know all this? Because we filtered movies on Google Play before ClearPlay did. The studios shut down our access to Google Chromecast HD streaming and we received a cease-and-desist for violating terms of service.

And this isn’t just antagonism to VidAngel, but to filtering in general. Google Play (which has licenses to stream Hollywood movies) later asked the Studios if they would filter HD movies using VidAngel technology. The studios said no again, this time to Google — one of the biggest companies in the world.

Lionsgate and Sony have also expressed interest in licensing to VidAngel because they realize the filtering market is huge. But they are forbidden to do so by their contracts with the Directors Guild of America.

This IS about filtering. Disney understands that if they can win a fight over decryption or copyright, then they can kill filtering (or render it unusable), allowing them to maintain a veto power over how you watch movies in privacy of your own home.

Fight for filtering by contacting Congress at savefiltering.vidangel.com #SaveFiltering

 

Guardian Angel Update – Edition #1

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:

 
Legal Update
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.

 
Legislative Movement
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.

 
Grassroots Activity
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.

 
Talking Points
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.

Sincerely,
Neal Harmon, CEO

Contact your Congressional Representative #SaveFiltering

We lost this round of the legal battle, which means the movies will need to remain down for at least the next couple of months.

 

The good news is that several members of Congress have already reached out, asking how to help save filtering! In fact, the very same team that got the Family Movie Act of 2005 passed is leading VidAngel’s efforts in Washington, DC.

 

Now is your chance to help! If VidAngel has improved the life of your family, please reach out to your senators and congressperson to make your voice heard.

 

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

Go to SaveFiltering.VidAngel.com and enter your ZIP Code to find the contact info for your Senators and Congressperson.

Then, reach out in one of the following ways:

  1. Most effective: Visit their office. You can drop off a letter if you have time.
  2. Very effective: Give them a quick phone call.
  3. Effective: Post to their Facebook or Twitter accounts.
  4. Least Effective: Emailing (often ends up in spam folders).

In your messages, please address the following:

  1. Describe how important streamed filtering has been to you and your family.
  2. Emphasize that hollywood should not have veto right when it comes to how you watch movies in your own home.
  3. Finally, ask congress to amend the Family Movie Act to make it even clearer that streamed filtering IS legal.

 

Remember, a small company got the Family Movie Act passed in 2005. Today, over 1 million Americans are watching VidAngel, and you have given us over $10 million.

 

We can win this.

 

Help save filtering by reaching out to representatives and sharing this video with friends. We are just getting started. Thank you so much for your support.

 

All the best,
VidAngel
#SaveFiltering

VidAngel Responds to 9th Circuit Decision, Now Calls on Supporters to Call Their Members of Congress

(Provo, UT—January 4, 2016) VidAngel, the market-leading entertainment platform empowering users to filter language, nudity, violence, and other content from movies and TV shows, is engaged in a high-profile legal battle with Disney, Warner Bros, 20th Century Fox, and Lucasfilm. These Hollywood studios have taken legal action in an effort to eviscerate the 2005 Family Movie Act and prevent VidAngel from lawfully empowering parents and families to filter content on modern devices.

 

Today, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied VidAngel’s request for an emergency stay of a preliminary injunction order recently issued against the service by a Los Angeles federal court.

 

CEO Neal Harmon has issued the following statement:

“Congress passed the Family Movie Act in 2005 because Hollywood had sued every company that offered content filtering for private, in-home viewing. Today, a small group of Hollywood studios, led by Disney, is using the legal process to try to render that law meaningless.

“We are asking our supporters to call their members of Congress and urge them to update to the Family Movie Act with new language that cannot be misconstrued in court, making it even clearer that filtering is absolutely legal in the streaming age.

“We are disappointed by today’s decision, but remain optimistic about our long-term prospects on appeal. Until our appeal is decided, we regret that VidAngel will not be able to offer filtered content. We continue to be grateful for the massive outpouring of support from across the country.”

 

VidAngel also encourages its supporters to go this page started by a Florida family in support of services such as ours: SaveFiltering.com

 

###

 

About VidAngel

VidAngel is the market-leading entertainment platform empowering users to filter language, nudity, violence, and other content from movies and TV shows. VidAngel’s success has been well documented, earning a #1 BestCompany.com user rating and making VidAngel one of the fastest growing entertainment companies in the U.S.

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.

Update on Preliminary Injunction

Dear VidAngel customers,

First, the bad news. The judge has issued a preliminary injunction against VidAngel, requiring that we pull down all the studios’ content. We are seeking a stay of this injunction, but if our efforts fail, we will need to take down the movies of all major studios.

Now the good news. This is the first battle in a long war. We will launch an immediate appeal. And unlike previous filtering companies, we have the funds to fight this all the way to the Supreme Court. We’re committed to protecting your right to watch filtered movies in your home.

In the meantime, we will be finding and creating family-friendly shows and movies so you can still watch quality content on VidAngel. This will be a gradual process, so please be patient with us. We will keep you posted as this develops.

Hang in there,
Neal Harmon, CEO of VidAngel

#ThisIsNotOver #SaveFiltering

Is VidAngel Legal?

Dear VidAngel customers,

 

VidAngel is being sued by Disney, Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, and Lucasfilm. You might be asking, “Are these studios just trying to get buzz by piggybacking on the VidAngel brand?” We’ll let historians answer that.

But first, the bigger question: is VidAngel legal?

 

We say we’re legal. Disney says we’re pirates. But Disney made Pirates 2 through 4, so who is the real criminal here?

Whatever you believe, know that if VidAngel gets shut down, it’s the end of filtering. Here’s why.

 

In 2005, Congress passed the Family Movie Act to protect the choice to filter. Just as a director gets to choose what goes into a movie, a family watching at home gets to decide what to mute and skip — and filtering is like a fancy remote to make muting and skipping easier. So everyone has their choice.

Sure, what a director puts in may offend some viewers, and what a viewer takes out may offend some directors. But being offended doesn’t mean you get to make choices for other people, or else college students would rule the world.

Well, Hollywood didn’t like that law, so they signed secret contracts with the Directors Guild and streaming companies to create a “force field” against filtering. The contracts said no one could filter or partner with filtering companies — basically blocking filtering from the whole streaming market.

(We only know all this because Sony got hacked by North Korea and their contracts became public. Probably because North Korea’s a big fan of filtering — just not the voluntary kind.)

 

And this is where VidAngel comes in — because that force field blocked us 4 times.

  1. We teamed up with Google to filter their licensed Google Play movies, but Hollywood told Google no.
  2. We tried to license directly and the studios said no, even though we had the money.
  3. We tried to buy discs directly and they said no.
  4. We made a product that let you filter movies you already bought on YouTube. They got it shut down. (Our competitor, ClearPlay, does essentially the same thing, and if they ever get big enough to be a threat, the studios will probably shut them down too.)

Basically, the force field worked. For 10 years no one could stream filtered movies, proving that Disney is so magical they can make Congressional laws disappear.

 

But the Family Movie Act struck back. Congress already knew Hollywood hated filtering, because before 2005 there had been about a dozen filtering companies, and Hollywood sued — let me check my math — all of them! They sued every filtering company!

So, the Family Movie Act said filtering companies don’t need Hollywood’s permission. They just need to meet 3 requirements:

  1. The movie is an authorized copy
  2. Watched in the privacy of the home, and…
  3. No permanent filtered copy is created

Notice that Hollywood here is like your fiancé’s parents — it’d be nice to get their approval, but if you can’t, you’re still doing this thing. Also, they’ll never give their approval! In my experience.

 

So what happens when Congress wants a company to exist, but Hollywood doesn’t? Well, it’s gonna be a weird company.

To filter streamed movies despite the Hollywood force field, VidAngel has to buy authorized DVDs and Blu-rays (requirement 1) from retailers, sell them to customers, stream the filtered movie to customers at home (2), without making a permanent copy (3) — meeting all 3 of Congress’s requirements. That’s pretty weird. But weird is not the same as illegal. Just ask Shia LaBeouf.

For instance, it’s weird for a startup to provide $1 movies without the studios’ permission, and to pay by buying discs, instead of licensing. But it was weird when Redbox did all those things too, and they were legal — though the studios tried and failed to shut them down.

It’s also weird that VidAngel decrypts discs. But if you’ve ever used a DVD player, then so have you, and you’re probably legal. So let’s look closer.

 

First, the discs. A law called the DMCA forbids unauthorized decryption of discs. Here’s why we think VidAngel’s OK.

 

1. The DMCA doesn’t apply here

Congress wanted the Family Movie Act to protect filtering companies from unfair Hollywood lawsuits. So they made clear that filtering companies meeting those 3 requirements would be immune to Copyright Act lawsuits. And since the DMCA is part of the Copyright Act, it shouldn’t apply here.

But even if it did…

 

2. Decryption is necessary to fulfill the Family Movie Act

Without decryption, Hollywood’s force field makes it impossible to filter at all. So either VidAngel can legally decrypt discs, or Congress passed a law that didn’t change the law. And you may not like Congress. They still know what laws are.

So we decrypt movies in order to add filters, then re-encrypt them to keep the copyrighted material protected. Plus…

 

3. VidAngel is legal under Fair Use

The Fair Use doctrine allows companies like VidAngel to use copyrighted works, since our use is transformative and the lawful filtering increases Disney’s movie sales.

 

Meaning…

  1. The DMCA doesn’t apply here
  2. We didn’t break it anyway, and…
  3. Even if we had, Fair Use makes that legal

So to quote MC Hammer, and those jerks at the Louvre, “You can’t touch this!”

 

Now, Hollywood claims our reasons are bogus, and decryption isn’t the legal way to stream filtered movies. But when we ask what that legal way is, their only answer is the YouTube method we tried earlier, which they got shut down! That’s like your fiancé’s parents saying, “No, don’t marry this daughter. But how ‘bout this other daughter you already dated, who we murdered?

In other words, there aren’t other options for streaming filtered movies. VidAngel is filtering’s last stand!

 

Now, the piracy accusers say we don’t pay Hollywood enough. But remember, we pay them just like Redbox, by buying discs. And just like Redbox, we have to buy a lot or we go out of stock. In fact, we spend about 1/3 of our revenue on discs. So if we’re pirates, then we’re terrible pirates. Just not as terrible as Pirates 2 through 4.

And again, we want to cooperate with Hollywood! We want licensing! But Hollywood seems determined to crush the entire filtering industry.

 

VidAngel isn’t a loophole! It’s a last resort.

 

So here’s how you can help:

  1. Keep using VidAngel and sharing it with your friends. The more customers we bring in, the better. And regardless of what the judge decides, you customers will never be held liable for using VidAngel.
  2. Go to SaveFiltering.com and sign the petition to help protect VidAngel. Every voice matters.
  3. Share this post, especially with our critics. We know some people will never love us. But we hope we can convince them we’re not criminals. We’re just trying to protect the personal choice of families.

We’ll keep you posted on the case. In the meantime, thanks for your support. You help make filtering possible.

 

(This blog post will soon be available in video form.)

Legal Battle

VidAngel’s Ad Agency

Hi VidAngel customers,

Disney and friends have criticized VidAngel’s choice of ad agency. In their last filing, the studios said the owners of VidAngel spend money on their own ad agency to enrich themselves. Which, to be clear, has nothing to do with the legal case and is simply their attempt to smear VidAngel. But let’s examine their claim anyway.

VidAngel was founded by 4 brothers – Neal, Daniel, Jeffrey and Jordan Harmon – three of whom also founded a wildly successful ad agency called Harmon Brothers. That small ad agency has created viral ads for Squatty Potty, PouPourri, Fiber Fix, Purple, and even presidential candidate Gary Johnson (through a Super PAC).  Harmon Brothers also helped set a Guinness World Record for orchestrating the world’s largest live nativity with The Piano Guys. Altogether, Harmon Brothers’ videos have received over 300 million views.

And the world has noticed. The Harmon Brothers agency now turns away clients because it simply can’t make campaigns for everyone who wants them. The Harmon Brothers ads have won two Webby awards (sort of an “Oscars of the Internet). They’ve built two campaigns with over 100 million views, and two of the top 10 most-viewed social media ad campaigns of all time. Forbes says they “may be the best in the business,” and Adweek calls them a viral video “kingpin.”

So when VidAngel needed an ad agency, it seemed like a no-brainer to try out Harmon Brothers. To avoid conflicts of interest, Neal, Jeffrey, and Daniel Harmon recused themselves from any decision-making. Then the deal was approved by VidAngel’s Board of Directors (minus Neal Harmon, who recused himself).

Since then, Harmon Brothers has created a series of successful ads for VidAngel – including “Paintball,” “Angel and Demon,” and “Game of Thronez” – and accrued over 20 million views of VidAngel ads. Within 10 months after VidAngel’s service launched publicly, sales increased by 2,600%. So VidAngel’s advertising expenditures paid off so well that Disney sued us.

Disney is implying that we’re doing something shady. But VidAngel and Harmon Brothers have always made their relationship public. And Disney is trying to take away your right to decide what content enters your home and what stays out.  We want you to know our side of the story.

 

Liz Ellis

VidAngel COO