Click link below to see the Declaration of Neal Harmon:
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
Spoiler: we believe yes.
Also, a few customers have asked how our court hearing went on November 14th. Here are two updates from the press:
New releases coming in December, 2016.
Jason Bourne – 12/9/16
Suicide Squad – 12/16/16
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – 12/16/16
Florence Foster Jenkins – 12/16/16
Ben-Hur – 12/16/16
Bridget Jones’s Baby – 12/16/16
Sully – 12/23/16
The Magnificent Seven – 12/23/16
Storks – 12/23/16
When the Bough Breaks – 12/30/16
Snowden – 12/30/16
More movies coming in December, 2016.
A Christmas Kiss
A Christmas Star
A Merry Friggin’ Christmas
A Most Violent Year (2015)
A Princess for Christmas
Agent Cody Banks
All is Bright
Ashes and Diamonds
Barbie in Princess Power
Barbie Mariposa and The Fairy Princess
Barbie: A Perfect Christmas
Battleship Potemkin (1925)
Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas
Black Beauty (1994)
Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
Boy and the World (O Menino e o Mundo) (2015)
Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (2001)
Dracula: Dead and Loving It
Exit Through the Gift Shop
Fathers and Daughters
Hands of Stone
In a World
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
Jack Frost (1998)
Knight of Cups
Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter (2015)
La Battaglia di Algeri (The Battle of Algiers) (1967)
La Vie en Rose
Let the Right One In(2008)
Letters to God
Letters to Santa: A Muppets Christmas
Man on Wire (2008)
Mickey’s Christmas Carol
Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas
Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas
Paris, je t’aime
Pokémon: The Rise of Darkrai
Rock the Kasbah
Santa Claus: The Movie
Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
Swiss Army Man
The 39 Steps (1935)
The 400 Blows (Les Quatre cents coups) (1959)
The Best Man Holiday
The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
The Brave Little Toaster
The Cat Returns
The Discreet Charm Of The Bourgeoisie (Le Charme Discret de la Bourgeoisie) (1972)
The Family Fang
The Fitzgerald Family Christmas
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
The Last Picture Show (1971)
The Rules of the Game (1939)
The Rum Diary
The Secret of Kells
The Seventh Seal
Tokyo Story (Tôkyô monogatari) (1953)
Tremors 5: Bloodlines
Wuthering Heights (2009)
[We’ll add more than three times this many movies in December, but these are the ones we are definitely adding!]
Want a movie we don’t have?
Movies leaving VidAngel in December, 2016.
New releases coming in November, 2016.
More movies coming in November, 2016.
Cars Toon: Mater’s Tall Tales
Cop and a Half
Doctor Strange (2007)
Duck Tales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp
Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd
Every Which Way But Loose
Fear and Desire
Final Fantasy: Advent Children
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within
Fly Away Home
Girl with a Pearl Earring
High Plains Drifter
Kull the Conqueror
Last Action Hero
My Life in Ruins
Nick and Norah’s infinite Playlist
Nick of Time
Operation Dumbo Drop
Red Dawn (1984)
Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon
South Park, Bigger, Longer, and Uncut
Strangers on a Train
Terms of Endearment
The 6th Day
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension
The Adventures of Milo and Otis
The Blue Lagoon
The Brothers Grimm
The Cannonball Run
The Conversation (1974)
The Fly (1986)
The Great Mouse Detective
The Host (2013)
The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete
The Killing (1956)
The Ladykillers (2004)
The Legend of Drunken Master
The Man Who Wasn’t There
The Man with One Red Shoe
The Miracle Worker (1962)
The Remains of the Day
The Secret of NIMH
The Sweet Hereafter (1997)
The Thomas Crown Affair (1968)
Twilight Zone: The Movie
Veggietales: The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything
White Men Can’t Jump
Wonder Woman (2009)
[We’ll add more than twice this many movies in November, but these are the ones we are definitely adding!]
Movies leaving VidAngel in November, 2016.
Want a movie we don’t have?
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.
- We teamed up with Google to filter their licensed Google Play movies, but Hollywood told Google no.
- We tried to license directly and the studios said no, even though we had the money.
- We tried to buy discs directly and they said no.
- 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:
- The movie is an authorized copy
- Watched in the privacy of the home, and…
- 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.
- The DMCA doesn’t apply here
- We didn’t break it anyway, and…
- 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:
- 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.
- Go to SaveFiltering.com and sign the petition to help protect VidAngel. Every voice matters.
- 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.)
UPDATE: Congratulations to our VidAngel Halloween Contest Winners!!
Grand Prize: Mike K with “Movie Night”!
Best Costume: Instagram: @sarahcobabe Sarah C!
Best Pumpkin: Michael Chin C!
Best Decorated Dessert: Lori Boody B!
If you haven’t already, please message us your VidAngel account email address so we can send prizes 🙂
Dress up as your favorite movie or TV character (or in a VidAngel costume) for a chance to win a FREE YEAR OF VIDANGEL MOVIES*!
Now’s your chance to celebrate your favorite spooky holiday and get some VidAngel love in return! We will feature your posts on our site, and then choose winners in each category.
HOW TO ENTER:
1. Take a picture of you wearing a movie or tv show character costume (VidAngel costumes get extra points!), carving a VidAngel pumpkin, and/or decorating VidAngel cookies or desserts.
2. Post your picture on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using #VidAngelHalloween. Make sure the post is public!
3. Get friends and family to like/share your post!
GRAND PRIZE WINNER:
Free Year of VidAngel Movies ($100 of VidAngel credit)
First Place Costume:
$50 in VidAngel credit
First Place Pumpkin:
$25 in VidAngel credit
First Place Cookies/Dessert:
$25 in VidAngel credit
RULES AND GUIDELINES:
Winner will be chosen by VidAngel and will be based on creativity, effort, and number of likes/shares on social media. (VidAngel costumes will get bonus points!)
Family/group costumes and doing all three categories (costume, pumpkin, and dessert) makes you more likely to win! Each group can only win one prize.
If you are under the age of 18, you must have parent or guardian’s permission to participate.
Starts now and ends Oct. 31 at 11:59PM MST. We will choose winners within three days after that.
Your post must be public (so we can see it) and have #VidAngelHalloween in the description to be entered.
Please do not post anything inappropriate, vulgar or that you wouldn’t want your Grandma Susie to see. We will not accept or feature on our site any entries we deem inappropriate.
No purchase necessary to enter or win. A purchase does not increase your chance to win.
By participating you agree to our Terms and Conditions.
*$100 in VidAngel credit, which is equal to 100 SD VidAngel movie nights (or 50 HD movie nights) with filters, when movies are sold back within 24 hours. The average person generally watches around 67 movies per year.
This is a metaphor we hear a lot. And the answer is no. It is illegal to forcibly change art that does not belong to you. It would also be illegal for VidAngel to created an edited version of a movie and then sell it to you. We don’t do that.
Now, just like how your Great Aunt Ethel is free to buy a miniature statue of David and knit him a tiny pair of 1940s style trousers, you are also free to skip scenes and mute words in movies you watch at home.
With VidAngel you buy the movie, then filter content you own in the privacy of your home. You aren’t even making an edited version; you’re using VidAngel like a remote control. (A really cool, hi-tech remote that you won’t lose in the crusty crevices of your couch.)
Yes and no.
Directors have visions for how their movies should be. But when you take the movie home, that vision starts to change. You can fast forward sex scenes. You can miss a whole scene while making popcorn. You can squeal and cover your child’s ears when you know a bad word is about to drop. This isn’t what the director envisioned. But the director doesn’t get to decide what you watch in your home; you do.
Some people may think VidAngel ruins art, especially for certain movies. If they feel that way about every movie, then VidAngel is probably not for them.
But not everyone feels that way. Many people wouldn’t watch certain movies because of the mature content. With VidAngel, their artistic experience is elevated because they are seeing movies they would not have watched otherwise.
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.