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California judge rules VidAngel in contempt, fines filtering company $10,000

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  • 1Reader Sunnyvale, CA
    Jan. 9, 2017 6:25 p.m.

    Unbelievable judge. Like the studios need another $10k between them. They're just trying to prevent innovation.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Jan. 8, 2017 7:16 p.m.

    I don't get it. If you don't want "bosoms, blood and bad words" (Moderator, these are in the photo that the DesNews is showing, not my words), then watch something else. There are so many options to be entertained than to try to do an end around the copyright holders. Just find something else to amuse you. It's not that complicated.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    Jan. 8, 2017 6:20 p.m.

    "VidAngel is simply providing an unauthorized dollar-a-day VOD rental service."

    In other words, VidAngel is stealing intellectual property and re-selling it.

    Got it!

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Jan. 8, 2017 5:29 p.m.

    I think a lot of commentators are confused. You seem to think your version of morality trumps the law. Do you not belive in the 12th Article of Faith?
    "We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law."

    It doesn't make exceptions. VidAngel is breaking the law. Yes, studios make "cleaned up" versions for airlines, schools & libraries. Vid Angel did not purchase those to stream. Because they didn't want to pay the legally required fees. So, are you ignoring the 12th AoF to support a company that's breaking the law? No matter how righteous you believe the cause?

  • GingerMarshall Brooklyn, OH
    Jan. 8, 2017 4:59 p.m.

    @ERB: "Hollywood would make more money if they would allow companies like Vidangel to continue what they do."

    VidAngel could do what they're doing if they were honest and paid the proper fees for the appropriate license as their competitors do.

    The problem isn't the censoring. The problem is a business model that is not legal.

    In the name of, you know, righteousness and stuff.

  • Daedalus, Stephen ARVADA, CO
    Jan. 8, 2017 4:39 p.m.

    @Diligent Dave: "Tell me... how any of these studios are being harmed?"

    2 ways.

    First, studios convert their copyrights into revenue by granting permission to 3rd parties to copy, modify, or stream their movies in exchange for a licensing fee. VidAngel does not pay for this permission. Thus studios lose revenue each time a consumer opts to stream a movie from VidAngel instead of paying more to watch the same movie from a licensed distributor.

    Second, the licensing agreements between studios and distributors like Netflix or Amazon likely require studios take legal action against unauthorized streaming services. Intellectual property licenses often require the IP owner to prevent infringement because the licensee is harmed if an unlicensed competitor is allowed to charge below-market-prices for the same content. If studios fail to file these lawsuits, they could well be in breach of contracts with these major distributors. If so, they could lose millions of $ in revenue or face significant penalties or damages.

    Filtering, VidAngel, or demand for clean movies are distractions, to what is simply a rational business decision.

  • UtahTroutStalker draper, UT
    Jan. 8, 2017 4:29 p.m.

    I imagine that if I were to start streaming Soldiers and Saints or the Cokeville Miracle without the proper copyright permission I would get in trouble too.

    VidAngel needs to play by the rules - plain and simple.

    To many folks out there demanding that the rules only apply to others and not themselves. Or, they attempt to make rules that exclude others. How sick.

  • jeclar2006 Oceanside, CA
    Jan. 8, 2017 2:32 p.m.

    For those demanding 'something must be done'... in the interest of personal freedom, I recommend...

    Shutting of the TV/CABLE/BD/DVD/Internet. In the 50s and 60s my family did not watch TV, since even in those times, they thought TV was a negative influence.

    Modern parents who object to material, should to the same, rather than look to 'big brother government'. There is a certain irony of such a demand of government, that it should solve problems that could be better solved by the individual, from groups that demand there be 'less government'.

    As for the Internet. The Amish have a solution for any needful access... a computer which has virtually no graphics capability, and has heavy filtering for what ever the user may desire to eliminate objectionable material, while still using the Internet for business or other acceptable activities.

  • UtahTroutStalker draper, UT
    Jan. 8, 2017 2:03 p.m.

    @Diligent Dave

    "Isn't it rather true that if the position these studios are advocating, prevails, it will be those who want to watch the movies, but sans the filth, sleaze or violence, will be immorally imposed upon by the studios?"

    No it is not true. The studios winning will not immorally impose anything on people who don't want to see or hear "filth" as you interpret it. Rather they can choose not to watch the movie, and the studios won't get their money. That is how our free speech, capitalist society works.

    Those who do not like it, should try living in Iran or N. Korea.

  • ERB Eagle Mountain, UT
    Jan. 8, 2017 12:41 p.m.

    Hollywood would make more money if they would allow companies like Vidangel to continue what they do. I've never used Vidangel, but I'm sick of liberal judges pushing their agenda. Even the Supreme Courts liberal justices have an agenda. What's the problem of someone wanting nudity and swearing taken out of the movies they otherwise would not watch.

  • robin138 springfield, VA
    Jan. 8, 2017 12:36 p.m.

    I support VidAngel 1,000%. People have always been able to use media they have purchased as they wish. They have been able to leave parts of stories out when they read to their children. They have been able to fast forward through parts of recorded visual media they do not wish to see. They have been able to fast forward or mute parts of recorded audio material they do not wish to hear. As a matter of fact, song artists change the wording to songs they wish to have played over the radio, despite it changing "their vision". Because persons who purchase recorded media or books do indeed have the right to use the media and censor as they wish, there is nothing wrong with hiring someone to accomplish the censorship for them.

  • Diligent Dave Logan, UT
    Jan. 8, 2017 11:59 a.m.

    My bet is that VidAngel customers get far faster filtering response than I do with this publisher. (And that's good). Because it often takes this paper between many hours to several days before they filter my comments (which contain no profanities or vulgarities ever), than I'm guessing it would or does for VidAngel's clientele.

    All of my nine children (six of whom are married), have sung the praises of VidAngel's services. I wasn't even aware they did the filtering until my children mentioned it. I'm sure they would watch many more movies with the VidAngel service than they would without it. Hence, I suppose that Hollywood would make more money.

    Also, I know with one of my daughters that she likes VidAngel's services, because she can filter things that cause her children, otherwise, to have nightmares. So, it is not just better for my grandchildren morally, but emotionally, too. And, that helps my adult children to sleep easier too, not having to wake up as much in the middle of the night to console a child having nightmares because of a movie they watched (even animated movies cause this, I found out)!

  • BU52 Provo, ut
    Jan. 8, 2017 11:53 a.m.

    Its too bad for vid angle that the movie people want to invoke some morality against them. Just don't watch the trash coming out of hollywood, your life will be better and maybe just maybe they'll get the message that we want to see something without being offended.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Jan. 8, 2017 11:27 a.m.

    There's a very easy way to handle this. The studios already produce "airplane" copies of their movies which eliminate the bad language and explicit sexual/violent actions. The studios should just sell copies of the "airplane" version side-by-side with the theater-release. Let the public decide which version they want to watch. I'd take a guess that the sales of videos would drastically increase if people had an "airplane" version they could buy -- that would give them an option of buying an acceptable version of the movie instead of just putting them in the position where their only option was refusing to buy the version with the objectionable language and actions.

  • GingerMarshall Brooklyn, OH
    Jan. 8, 2017 11:24 a.m.

    I watch movies and TV programs that have content I will enjoy.

    There are many, many popular movies I never see because I am not interested, or because something in the story is offensive to me in some way.

    Yeah... that last part. If some portion offends me in some way, I don't watch it, be it the overall story or a subplot or portrayal of some character or idea or specific language.

    My life goes on, even if I miss something.

    The "moral" people want it both ways - to claim some imaginary better-than-thou high ground *and* to watch the latest Hollywood spectacular with the cool kids.

    And this is all about filtering certain words and certain intimate scenes - none of the "moral people" seem to care about scenes of extreme violence - in fact, the extreme violence is often the point of big hit movies they want to watch.

    I suggest the "Leave it to Beaver" and "My Mother the Car" box sets be the extent of your viewing - not an offense in sight.

  • Red Corvette St George, UT
    Jan. 8, 2017 10:55 a.m.

    @Lamman - Nampa, ID

    re: "Something has to be done to protect our children from filth. "

    Turn off your television then and don't watch it. Simple as that.

  • Diligent Dave Logan, UT
    Jan. 8, 2017 10:48 a.m.

    Kalindra replied to I don't know who—

    Because we are confident that Congress intended for movie filtering to be legal without permission from Hollywood,...

    It's not filtering without permission that's the problem - it's the streaming without permission that's the problem.

    Then, sghobbs said, in part— Now, VidAngel has brought up a countersuit that seems to have some legit grievances, alleging that the studios left them no choice because they colluded to prevent VidAngel from receiving legal licenses to stream. That's a valid point...

    mbd1978 said in reply to RJohnson-- incorrect. VidAngel does not alter any content. It marks places where specific types of content exists and allows the user to set their video to skip or mute it. Understanding how something works goes a long way in crtiticism of that thing.

    The supposed righteous indignation of legalists here who celebrate closing VidAngel's filtering service, sounds to me similar to Laman & Lemuel's defense of the people of Jerusalem (see 1 Nephi 17:22). Porn, violence & lewdness—no big deal I can discern among the legalists on this board! But illegality? OK.

  • Lamman Nampa, ID
    Jan. 8, 2017 9:33 a.m.

    Something has to be done to protect our children from filth. One does not arbitrarily decide to just start watching hard core porn. It starts with a couple bad words and suggestive intimacy. The content that is filtered is essentially meant to plant seeds of future addiction that devastates marriage personal life. It is diabolical in nature.

  • Yar Springville, UT
    Jan. 8, 2017 9:01 a.m.

    This is absolutely ridiculous! All we want is to watch movies, free from all the disgusting profanity, sexual content, and graphic violence that we might be offended by. Hollywood clearly doesn't care about morals and simply wants to make money however they want.

  • at long last. . . Kirksville , MO
    Jan. 8, 2017 7:49 a.m.

    It is nothing new that some folks take advantage, illegally, to get money from religious people or others with moral views that make them easy pickings. Fortunately there are laws and judges who see this as the fraud it is. Not all laws are moral; not all morals are legal. Live with it.

  • Coyoteghost Saint George, UT
    Jan. 8, 2017 7:48 a.m.

    A fascinating interplay of entities - Artists, law, corporations, small business, morality, immorality, free choice... etc. Stay tuned. This one will continue to play out til the fat lady sings.

  • Diligent Dave Logan, UT
    Jan. 8, 2017 4:18 a.m.

    "Freedom of Speech" does not solely belong to the 'speaker', but the listener has his or her own freedom of hearing. and freedom of not hearing what he or she chooses what not to hear.

    Tell me honestly, and in plain speech vernacular, not legal speak, how any of these studios are being harmed? What great wrong is being imposed upon them? Is it that they want their movies to always be aired with full profanities to get total effect, or something? Aren't they receiving money for the movies that VidAngel reconveys (whether selling or renting) to customers? And, isn't it a fact that the customers, and not VidAngel, are choosing what words they don't want to hear, or scenes they may not want to watch?

    How does this, in any commercial way harm the studios? Are the writers paid any less? The actors?

    Isn't it rather true that if the position these studios are advocating, prevails, it will be those who want to watch the movies, but sans the filth, sleaze or violence, will be immorally imposed upon by the studios? Can't a consumer filter out what they want? And won't these studios probably get more customers & revenue via VidAngel?

  • sghobbs Albuquerque, NM
    Jan. 8, 2017 12:46 a.m.

    Just to be clear, the plaintiff's (i.e. studios') complaint has nothing to do with filtering. It's about the unauthorized streaming of the content.

    VidAngel sells a physical DVD to customers, then customers stream a digital copy of the film from VidAngel's web servers, which they can freely edit (fancy remote style). However, sale/purchase of a DVD does not grant permission to stream said movie. There's a mountain of case law that has reinforced this over and over. The Family Copyright Act that VidAngel keeps invoking specifically says that the act only protects the filtering of authorized copies, so if the copy is not authorized in the first place, then the Family Movie Act does not apply.

    Now, VidAngel has brought up a countersuit that seems to have some legit grievances, alleging that the studios left them no choice because they colluded to prevent VidAngel from receiving legal licenses to stream. That's a valid point, and I'm eager to see the outcome. But I don't think there's any question at this point that VidAngel broke copyright law. The countersuit is just leverage to negotiate a settlement.

  • mbd1978 Rigby, ID
    Jan. 8, 2017 12:28 a.m.

    @RJohnson-- incorrect. VidAngel does not alter any content. It marks places where specific types of content exists and allows the user to set their video to skip or mute it. Understanding how something works goes a long way in crtiticism of that thing.

  • RJohnson Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 7, 2017 8:47 p.m.

    @BYUalum

    "Cleanliness is fined!"

    Theft of another's intellectual property is cleanliness???

    @mbd1978

    "VidAngel hasn't stolen anything anymore than Redbox has."

    In fact, they have. Redbox pays royalties AND does not alter content. VidAngel alters copyrighted material without the permission of the copyright owner: steals another's intellectual property.

    @Sanefan

    "I remember songs edited by radio stations"

    Um, the radio stations didn't edit, the artist/record label did--making two versions of a song: the unedited album version and the FCC compliant radio version.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Jan. 7, 2017 8:40 p.m.

    ""Because we are confident that Congress intended for movie filtering to be legal without permission from Hollywood,...""

    It's not the filtering without permission that's the problem - it's the streaming without permission that's the problem.

    (ClearPlay manages to stream and filter movies from these studios just fine - because the paid the proper fees to stream the movies!)

  • silo Sandy, UT
    Jan. 7, 2017 8:22 p.m.

    @sanefan
    " remember songs edited by radio stations that dismissed vulgar or lewd lyrics"

    the radio stations didn't edit those songs. The studios produce clean versions of those songs and provide them to the radio stations in order to get air time.

    Vidangel's actions and the radio station example you described have nothing in common and have no relevance to liberals nor conservatives.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    Jan. 7, 2017 8:13 p.m.

    @Sanefan. Music artist has ownership of their music. They can choose whether or not they want to their music to play on public radio. Since the FCC does not allow certain content on public radio the artist can CHOOSE whether they want to conform to these standards or not but the artist controls their work.

    @mbd1978. Perhaps you do not understand licensing agreements. Redbox has a licensing agreement with movie studios and distributors. Redbox does not pay $20 for a copy of a movie. Depending on the agreement they either split with the studios or pay way more than retail for the movie.

    You know there was a reason that millions of video rentals didn't open up back in the day. If all it took was to pay retail for a movie then everybody would of being opening up a video rental store. In the case of streaming please explain how vidangel makes money if they buy a movie at retail for $20 and they buy it back for $19?

  • Sanefan Wellsville, UT
    Jan. 7, 2017 6:40 p.m.

    Uh, wrong, very wrong my liberal friends. This has gone on since I was a teen and that is a ver long time ago. I remember songs edited by radio stations that dismissed vulgar or lewd lyrics. Of course, as a 13 year old, immature young person, I protested such action. Wink wink! Where does freedom of speech,not allow them to allow freedom of speech. You libs amaze me, truly.

  • mbd1978 Rigby, ID
    Jan. 7, 2017 6:35 p.m.

    VidAngel hasn't stolen anything anymore than Redbox has. They paid for all of their movies, resold them, and in many cases bought them back. No theft and no crime, and nothing but a bunch of self-righteous movie moguls who want objectionable content to be more difficult to skip. That's it.

  • jbbSLC Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 7, 2017 6:25 p.m.

    VidAngel is breaking the law plain and simple. As much as we may want filtering, and I do, this has nothing to do with that. This has to do with them stealing. They are going to lose, and it is embarrassing to watch them fight. Cleanliness is NOT being fined, theft is.

  • mbd1978 Rigby, ID
    Jan. 7, 2017 6:21 p.m.

    To those saying that "filtering is illegal" and that companies have a right to protect their creative works, you need to do your homework. What VidAngel does amounts to a fancy remote that presses the mute button and fast forward button for a viewer, rather than a viewer having to push it manually. Nothing more, and nothing less, and it is 100% legal. The corporations are suing because they don't like the legality of it, and they are currently winning because they're bigger and richer. That's all there is to it.

  • MormonForever St George, UT
    Jan. 7, 2017 5:30 p.m.

    I sure hope they win in the end. Vid Angel is a good thing. Hollywood not so much.

  • Red Corvette St George, UT
    Jan. 7, 2017 4:29 p.m.

    Good for the judge. This company has absolutely no right to modify somebody else's creative or artistic work to conform to its own narrow world view.

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    Jan. 7, 2017 4:20 p.m.

    Cleanliness is fined!

    How ridiculous!!

  • UtahTroutStalker draper, UT
    Jan. 7, 2017 3:52 p.m.

    People and corporations have a legal right to protect their product. VidAngel should have known this going into business and they have no one to blame but themselves.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Jan. 7, 2017 3:49 p.m.

    "As we know, full compliance meant VidAngel had to shut down its business entirely because we didn't have the necessary time.""

    Yeah- because VidAngel was running an illegal business. Regardless of their "morals" and those of their customers, it was , and is illegal. They're lucky that Disney & other studios aren't suing for the past profits that VidAngel made.