In the latest episode of VidAngel's ongoing legal battle against Hollywood studios, Los Angeles federal judge Andre Birotte found the Utah-based movie streaming and filtering company in contempt for not doing more in a timely manner to comply with a preliminary injunction and for not advising the court sooner of the effects that immediate compliance would have beyond the issuance of the injunction, according to VidAngel attorney David Quinto.
"The injunction was intended to affect 53 percent of VidAngel's current business. VidAngel was trying to find ways to comply with the preliminary injunction without affecting the other 47 percent. When the judge denied our request for a stay, VidAngel immediately complied with the preliminary injunction," Quinto said in a telephone interview with the Deseret News. "As we know, full compliance meant VidAngel had to shut down its business entirely because we didn't have the necessary time."
Judge Birotte also rulled that VidAngel is required to pay Disney, Warner Bros, 20th Century Fox and Lucasfilm more than $10,200 as compensation for attorney's fees.
CEO Neal Harmon issued the following statement Friday:
“As our customers know, we have been shut down for some time, and we obviously disagree with Judge Birotte’s decision today and other decisions across all dimensions of this case. However, we respect the process and look forward to presenting our case to the 9th Circuit.
“Because we are confident that Congress intended for movie filtering to be legal without permission from Hollywood, we believe that ultimately we will be victorious, and remain prepared to go all the way to the Supreme Court.
“Movie filtering is supported by the overwhelming majority of Americans, and therefore we will also continue to keep in close touch with our many allies on Capitol Hill to seek a legislative update to make the Family Movie Act even clearer so that it can not be misconstrued by Disney and its allies now or in the future.”
VidAngel has not been streaming videos since late December and applied for an emergency stay in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals but was denied.
"It does not matter whether VidAngel sells or rents movies," reads the full complaint that was filed in June. "In either case, VidAngel would need copyright owner consent to circumvent access controls on protected discs, make copies of that content, and stream performances of the content to the public. VidAngel does not have consent to do any of these things. And, VidAngel is not 'selling' movies. VidAngel is simply providing an unauthorized dollar-a-day VOD rental service."