VidAngel hopes comedy will be its saving grace.
On Tuesday, the streaming service released a new video called “Is VidAngel Legal?” It explains the company’s position in the ongoing legal battle with four Hollywood companies.
Earlier this year, Disney, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., 20th Century Fox Film Corporation and Lucasfilm Ltd. LLC filed a complaint against VidAngel for violating copyright, according to the Deseret News.
The companies allege that VidAngel does not have permission to copy the videos and TV shows, nor the right to stream them to their customers.
The companies argue that VidAngel "blatantly violates the Copyright Act and confers on itself unfair and unlawful advantages vis-a-vis licensed services in the (video-on-demand) marketplace,” according to the complaint.
In the video released Tuesday, Matt Meese of "Studio C" fame talks about how VidAngel is a necessary filtering application that can help families watch films on their terms. Sprinkled with jokes, the video makes the case that VidAngel's service fits alongside the 2005 Family Movie Act, which gives people the right to pause, edit or mute any film they own.
The company asks viewers to sign a petition on savefiltering.com, hoping the signatures will be enough to convince judges that the company is a necessary entity.
Watch the video below.
VidAngel also explained its stance on the legal case in a blog post published in October.
Still, the four aforementioned Hollywood companies contend that it doesn’t matter how VidAngel shares or rents its movies. The complaint filed to the California Central District Court reads that VidAngel needs copyright consent.
"It does not matter whether VidAngel sells or rents movies,” the complaint reads. “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 (video-on-demand) rental service.”
A judge did not announce any immediate decision on the matter earlier in November, according to Deadline. After hearing opening arguments from the companies and VidAngel, the federal judge, Andre Briotte, said he needed time to think over the decision.
“I’m going to take a little time to review some of my notes,” he said, according to Deadline.