Online movie filtering service VidAngel stopped streaming movies last week after a federal judge denied its request for a stay of enforcement against a preliminary injunction order that was issued in early December. The Utah company’s next move was to request an emergency stay from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
On Wednesday, that request was also denied.
“Congress passed the Family Movie Act in 2005 because Hollywood had sued every company that offered content filtering for private, in-home viewing. Today, a small group of Hollywood studios, led by Disney, is using the legal process to try to render that law meaningless,” VidAngel CEO Neal Harmon said, adding that he is disappointed by the decision but remains optimistic about the company’s “long-term prospects on appeal.”
The company hopes to enlist the help of its users.
“We are asking our supporters to call their members of Congress and urge them to update to the Family Movie Act with new language that cannot be misconstrued in court,” Harmon said. “Making it even clearer that filtering is absolutely legal in the streaming age.”
The studios contend that VidAngel is illegally streaming their films without permission.
"As the court made clear in its order, VidAngel’s unauthorized acts of ripping, copying and streaming our movies and TV shows infringe copyright and violate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act," the studios said in a statement last month. "VidAngel's filtering of content has nothing to do with the claims against it and does not excuse its illegal activities.”