VidAngel Files Antitrust Suit Against Disney, Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Brothers, and Lucasfilm
The popular service empowering users to filter movies and TV shows for language, nudity, violence, and other items takes legal action to ensure that Hollywood studios comply with the 2005 Family Movie Act and discontinue their efforts to undermine the law
LOS ANGELES, July 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- VidAngel, the market-leading entertainment platform empowering users to filter language, nudity, violence, and other items from movies and TV shows, filed an antitrust lawsuit today against Disney, Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Brothers, and Lucasfilm in the United States District Court, Central District of California, Western Division. The legal counterstrike comes on the heels of a suit brought by the same four studios last month, attempting to shut down the service.
Baker Marquart LLP, counsel for VidAngel, filed the suit in U.S. District Court, pointing out that the Plaintiffs' "carefully selected and misleading allegations distort relevant facts and law" by "suggest [ing] that VidAngel needs their permission to offer a filtering service, despite Congressional law which expressly authorizes VidAngel's service without need for any such consent." The suit also states that the Plaintiffs, in asking to shut down VidAngel, are "asking that the Court repeal a federal statute enacted to protect American families." VidAngel details how the company purchases a legal copy of each title, matching a DVD to each user, and argues that its service is a value add for the four studios because users are purchasing titles they otherwise would avoid without being able to apply filters.
The complaint states: "Plaintiffs have interfered with VidAngel's attempts to partner with streaming content providers to filter movies. Plaintiffs have also sought to improperly expand their copyright monopoly, seeking to deprive consumers of their right to buy and sell copyrighted works. As alleged in VidAngel's Counter-Complaint, Plaintiffs should be held accountable for their improper actions."
"The Plaintiffs in the VidAngel case claim that this is not about their desire to stop yet another filtering company, rather it's about our process for buying, preparing and transmitting filtered content. This case is fundamentally about filtering, and as that becomes clear in the legal process, we are confident that the courts will uphold the law of the land," said Neal Harmon, CEO of VidAngel. "We hope that the filing will help these studios to realize that they are asking the court to shut down a service that will allow millions to filter content for themselves and their children."
The company is asking the judge to declare that VidAngel and its process is fully legal, and is also seeking damages against the studios for interfering with its business.
VidAngel is the market-leading entertainment platform empowering users to filter language, nudity, violence, and other items 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.