Man, I hate censorship and any changes to movies, so this news makes me happy. A jury has ordered “family-friendly” movie service VidAngel to pay $62.4 million to Hollywood studios for pirating their content. Disney, 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. sued the company over copyright infringement.
VidAngel purchased retail DVDs of mainstream movies and ripped the video file. That’s bad enough, but then it pulled out any adult content, cursing, sex and violence and streamed the films to users. It claimed it was legally allowed to do this under the Family Entertainment And Copyright Act, which legalizes tech to censor certain aspects of movies, but the studios and the jury disagreed with that assessment. And now they have to pay for what they did.
If this judgment holds up through appeals, this will likely put VidAngel out of business. When the studios sued the service, VidAngel entered into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The company was forced to stop their streaming practices a few years ago, though they are still around, running a service that pulls morally questionable bits out of Amazon Prime, HBO and Netflix shows and movies. I guess they can now take their moral high ground elsewhere pay up.