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SALT LAKE CITY — A federal judge granted a preliminary injunction against video streaming service VidAngel on Monday.
For families and individuals hungry for a way to edit or filter some of their favorite films, VidAngel came to the rescue. However, some say this company has a tragic flaw.
In recent months, four major Hollywood Studios said VidAngel — no matter how beloved — is breaking the law.
And on Monday, Judge Andre Birotte Jr., of the Central District Court of California, sided with the studios.
"Injunctive relief is 'an extraordinary remedy that may only be issued upon a clear showing that plaintiff is entitled to such relief,'" Birotte said in Monday's ruling, citing an earlier precedent.
"VidAngel argues that the public interest in protecting every person’s right to watch filtered content in private would be severely undercut by the issuance of a preliminary injunction. This argument strongly relies on VidAngel’s characterization of its service as the only filtering service under the (Family Movie Act) that supports streaming digital content to mobile devices, tablets and Smart TVs," he continued.
However, Birotte pointed to a similar company, ClearPlay, that offers authorized streaming through GooglePlay's service.
"On the other hand, it is virtually axiomatic that the public interest can only be served by upholding copyright protections and correspondingly, preventing the misappropriation of skills, creative energies, and resources which are invested in the protected work," he said, quoting an earlier ruling. "Accordingly, the court concludes that a preliminary injunction is in the public interest."
Neal Harmon, CEO of VidAngel, issued the following statement:
“Hollywood studios have followed a repeated pattern in their decades-long campaign to put movie filtering services out of business by seeking a shut-down decision in trial court. Previously, such a decision has signaled the end of the legal battle. As such, while we are extremely disappointed for the countless people who rely on our service regularly to enjoy movies using filters, our customers have given us not just the mandate to fight this battle all the way to the Supreme Court, but the financial resources as well. We will aggressively pursue an appeal and take this case to a higher level where we have always believed we will ultimately prevail.”
This article will be updated with additional information.