VidAngel's damages trial set to begin; Disney could get millions

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  • bassoonlady OREM, UT
    June 11, 2019 5:55 p.m.

    Thoughts from other comments:

    1. A law allowing filtering services already exists. It's called the family movie act. It is pretty clear, and really doesn't need clarification. It says that filtering is legal, including on digital formats, as long as you don't brake other copyright laws. Vidangel wants it changed to justify their braking of other laws.
    2. Filtering is not the same as altering a work. filtering, when done according to the law, is the same thing as putting a sticky note over the objectionable parts of a painting. the painting was not altered. just obstructed from view. it is essentially fast-forwarding the parts you don't like.
    3. Not all filtering companies have been sued out of existence. Only the ones that were breaking other copyright laws. Clearplay is still in business and new companies are cropping up like Play It My Way. These companies do it right, allowing Disney to get their full due.
    4. Cloud based filtering is also on iffy legal grounds, because it would have to be streamed to the cloud and streamed back from the cloud, making it being streamed through a "third party" that was not licensed to stream.

  • Justin M Roseville, CA
    June 11, 2019 3:32 p.m.

    Liquidation of assets being....?

    All the customer data of VidAngel?

    Yay,

    I can't wait for Hollywood to see I once supported a company's illegal activity in pursuit of wanting to watch clean films.

    And I can't wait to get on mailing lists of all kinds.

    Oh well, it's all in my wife's name. She wanted the service. I am of the slant that I just don't see the film period. But then again, I don't watch much of anything anyway. Most of what is made is drek.

  • Stenodude7174 St. Louis, MO
    June 11, 2019 3:22 p.m.

    @Weston Jurney - "I don't recall the exact numbers, but approximately:

    - two-thirds of all movie releases are rated "R"

    - two-thirds of Hollywood profits are made on movies rated "PG," or "PG-13."

    Someone in the industry isn't very good at filling in the dots."

    Since the current ratings system came to be, about 57% of movies are rated R. Not sure how that's changed recently. But from 1995-present, 48% of box office has gone to PG-13 movies, and 27% to R-rated movies. I'm not sure where your numbers are from, but this is for grosses, not "profits." The two are not the same thing.

    Horror movies make huge profits on low budgets, and many are rated R. It's not about the total; it's about the type of movie. Some movies need to be rated R or their target audience will see the product as sanitized. You need not agree, but just making everything palatable to the Elder's Quorum President isn't a solution.

  • schlumpy Orem, UT
    June 11, 2019 2:58 p.m.

    Joke’s on Hollywood. As if VidAngel has millions. They’ll file for bankruptcy and liquidate their assets. There are multiple protections for businesses that file if they set up their corporation correctly. Then they can reorganize and open up again just like Kmart and continue to let people rent their filters from them - which isn’t illegal.

  • TrueBleuCoug Salem, UT
    June 11, 2019 2:50 p.m.

    I wish this David vs Goliath situation was different because I believe most people love a filtering option like VA (me included).

    I personally think they should offer an app or cloud-based service that targets the device that the content is consumed on vs trying to modify the content and then serve it directly.

    Why not stream the content to the cloud in real time, apply filters and then serve the content back through an Apple TV or Roku App? Then VA becomes a pass through and owns nothing.

    What about cloud-based filtering from another country direct to an app?

    There has to be a better way, no?

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    June 11, 2019 2:05 p.m.

    @Bigger Bubba wrote,

    "I thought this article was about VidAngel. Yet we have comments from Washington telling us that it is wrong for a Christian baker to refuse to make a gay wedding cake."

    Please read it again. Do note that I was pointing out the irony of someone objecting to having to pick a different movie but not seeing a problem in telling someone to pick a different baker---I made no judgment on whether this latter behavior was "wrong" or not. And also note that there is no such thing as a "gay wedding cake". There are wedding cakes served at receptions following weddings of straight people and there are wedding cakes served at receptions following weddings of gay people. The product is the same; the difference is the people who are being served or told to go elsewhere.

    But yes, the "buying and selling back" was a sham, because no tangible video recording ever changed hands. And further, claiming that you were selling and then buying back an item meant that you and the buyer each owed sales tax to the state of Utah on every transaction.

  • Stenodude7174 St. Louis, MO
    June 11, 2019 1:59 p.m.

    I'll never get why the morality police feel they should be free to change a copyrighted work at will to placate their delicate sensibilities. It doesn't matter what you feel about Hollywood, or sex, or violence, or naughty words. You didn't create the work, therefore you can't alter its content and sell copies without the consent of the holder of the copyright. It isn't complicated. There are plenty of clean movies to watch if you want.

  • Culture Warrior Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2019 1:58 p.m.

    It's ironic to me that the plaintiff set up to benefit from this case is Disney all while folks lamenting on this thread about how this is an indictment on the values of Hollywood are likely the same folks DEVOTED to Disney, its films, parks, shows and products. Methinks the "values" of these performative moralizers is inconsistent and in question.

    Finally, making art that has content you don't like isn't the same as forcing you to watch it. You aren't entitled to watch every movie free of the content you don't want in it. You may view or reject movies of your own free will and accord based on what you want to do.

  • Weston Jurney West Jordan, UT
    June 11, 2019 1:46 p.m.

    I don't recall the exact numbers, but approximately:

    - two-thirds of all movie releases are rated "R"

    - two-thirds of Hollywood profits are made on movies rated "PG," or "PG-13."

    Someone in the industry isn't very good at filling in the dots.

  • JDMaw Phoenix, AZ
    June 11, 2019 1:41 p.m.

    H8Red said, "Why do they insist that we watch or listen to stuff we don't want?"

    As others have pointed out, nobody is forcing you do anything. You don't like the movie, don't watch it. It's a very simple concept.

  • Palmetto Bug Columbia, SC
    June 11, 2019 1:40 p.m.

    Again, this case was not about filtering. There are other companies who offering filtering services, using officially licensed content, who are not being sued (VidAngel itself now included). VidAngel is being sued for ripping and streaming movies without permission.

    From the article:
    "VidAngel was found to have infringed on copyright protections twice — first by "ripping" or bypassing security protections of commercially produced DVD/Blu-ray videos, and then again when it made copies for streaming the content to VidAngel customers."

    Streaming services pay substantial licensing fees to provide content to customers. VidAngel circumvented this by buying physical copies of movies, creating digital versions of these movies, "selling" the movies to their customers with streaming rights, and allowing the customers to sell back the movie (which they never actually possessed)–effectively creating their own rental service without a licensing agreement. This is against the law and why the company lost in court.
    What they did is no different than opening a movie theater without paying the copyright owner, which is also illegal.

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2019 1:18 p.m.

    I have followed this case off and on; and it is 100% clear the VidAngel has routinely violated copyright laws and infringed in the rights of the studios.

    BUT! It is sad that is the case. Every single time any sort of business pops up to fill a specific market (in home viewing of movies that are cleaned up for family values, whether purchase, rent, or streaming); the studios litigate those companies into non-existence. Even when those companies were clearly not violating copyright laws at all and simply following "fair use" and "first sale" under copyright laws.

    Hollywood routinely licenses cleaned up movies for TV broadcast or special viewing venues such as onboard entertainment with the airlines. But, they refuse to allow any sort of such licensing for in-home viewing.

    There is a big market that VidAngel (and a dozen other such small businesses have tried to fill); but every single time; Hollywood smacks them down with lawsuits.

    If Hollywood would have granted licensing to VidAngel as they first requested, there would have been no infringement. But, once denied, VidAngel did try to find loopholes in the laws; and were doing very dubious things which were infringing.

  • Bigger Bubba Herriman, UT
    June 11, 2019 1:16 p.m.

    Wow. I thought this article was about VidAngel. Yet we have comments from Washington telling us that it is wrong for a Christian baker to refuse to make a gay wedding cake. And we have comments from California telling us that Utah County is the business fraud capitol of the United States. I guess some people can leave Utah, but they can't leave Utah behind.

    As for VidAngel, I like it. I currently use it, but I think it is going down. Their prior business model of "buying and selling back" videos for $1 seemed like slight of hand tomfoolery. Too bad they never started out with the current business model they are using.

  • H8Red Centerville, UT
    June 11, 2019 1:01 p.m.

    A California Judge appointed by Barack Obama ruling in favor of Hollywood and the movie industry against people wishing to watch movies without garbage. Is this at ALL surprising to anyone?

    The thing I don't understand is that the movie itself is not altered in any way shape or form, it's the presentation of the movie that is shown or not shown or heard of not heard by the decision of the viewer who has PAID!!! for the streaming access to the unaltered movie, just like anyone else, and has chosen to skip parts of it.

    You rent/purchase the movie from Amazon or Netflix and then choose what you want or don't want. THEY ARE GETTING THEIR MONEY, WHAT IS THEIR PROBLEM?

    Why do they insist that we watch or listen to stuff we don't want? Isn't ti better for them if I rent/purchase a movie and what it how I want as opposed to not renting/purchasing at all?
    Makes no sense.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    June 11, 2019 12:35 p.m.

    The same people who have no problem telling gay people to just find another bakery to make their wedding cake don't like that advice when they are told to just find a different movie to watch.

  • Justin M Roseville, CA
    June 11, 2019 12:31 p.m.

    I question the desire by some to have the government mandate that a private business show clean versions of their product.

    What part of the constitution would that fall under? Protecting the general welfare, that's mentioned in the "preamble"?

    How would that work for certain bakers or florists that don't want to have their wares being forced to promote activities or behavior that violates their religious beliefs?

  • Rhino USA, TX
    June 11, 2019 11:49 a.m.

    I have used and like VidAngel. However, this case is actually not about filtering or censorship. Its about the fact that VidAngel's previous business model included ripping DVD's and illegally streaming them to customers. I believe this is a violation of the law.

    VidAngel's current model of filtering LEGAL streaming services (I believe) is within the law and such a practice will be upheld. The only problem is I dont know if VidAngel can stay afloat while paying the penalties of their previous business model. It's a shame they didn't start with the latter model to begin with.

  • Utah-Hawaii Alum CA, 00
    June 11, 2019 11:16 a.m.

    Utah County/rural Utah folks have specific moral demands in almost everything...... which is a tiny minority on this planet. I find it as no surprise that it is the fraud capital of the USA, always has been. "VidAngel" is just another lawless Utah County business that got exposed is all. Nobody is surprised in the least.

  • AZ Blue & Red Gilbert, AZ
    June 11, 2019 11:04 a.m.

    Unless we stop patronizing movies and the movie industry with bad movies they will continue to make them.

    I have Clear Play and love it. I did not use Vid Angel but some of my kids families did and loved it. I do not see an issue with paying for a movie and then watching only the portions of it that I want to see. But I guess the Movie industry does not see that there are other people that like to see things that offend others. I do not think anyone is telling them to stop making these movies but to let us view what parts we want.

    Again any industry will make and or produce anything that will sell and make them money. That is why the movie, porn and drug industry thrives so much. Along with fast food, alcohol, Tobacco, magazines, soda, candy, smart phones, online shopping, etc. The good comes with the bad. Again if we do not like it then we need to stop supporting it.

    How society's values have changed in the past 50 years. Some for the better but most for the worse.

  • Johnny Triumph Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2019 10:57 a.m.

    Seems like Disney should buy VidAngel and make the tech available on all Disney properties. Talk about a coup, financially!

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    June 11, 2019 10:35 a.m.

    @ute alumni - Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2019 7:04 a.m.
    Walt can’t be happy.
    Hollywood is so stupid. They continue to ignore and actively disrespect those that like movies without filth.
    Shaun no one would force you to watch a cleaned up version. It works both ways.
    But moral lacking Hollywood doesn’t care.
    Pathetic.
    Libs love their way, one way, or nothing."

    Then Utah conservatives should make those movies if there's such a demand. They'd make billions, right? Or does that take a capital investment and a risk to recoup that investment. This isn't a case of moral values. This is a case of Utah conservatives breaking the law, repeatedly, to make a buck.

  • bluesmule Sandy, UT
    June 11, 2019 10:10 a.m.

    At the end of the day, Disney and the other major companies aren't really against filtering or "preserving" the artist's work, they want the monopoly on filtering services, and you can expect them to release their own soon after this whole VidAngel thing is done.

  • ConservativeCommonTater Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2019 9:43 a.m.

    Back Talk - Federal Way, WA

    Very disappointing case.

    "I wish we could get a federal law that specifically allows "filtering services" on owned copies of these movies or force the movie companys to provide these services."

    Another Republican wanting bigger government to intrude on private enterprises.

    Biscuit - , 00

    "Too bad movies are so foul that a business has to clean them up. I for one can't stand the sex and swearing in movies, it distracts from flow of the show."

    So, if you object, why do you go see the movies? Hypocrite?

    Swanfam - Sandy, UT
    "If airlines can edit films, without concern about artistic sensibilities, then the public should also have the right to alter duly purchased films."

    They pay for the rights and get studio approval.

    ERB - Eagle Mountain, UT

    "When a movie has sex scenes or swearing, my first thought is the writers didn’t have enough talent to make the story interesting without the sex or swearing. Lack of talent=lots of swearing or skimpy clothing."

    You watch the untalented story line writing because??? Maybe you shouldn't go to movies with bad writing, nudity and whatever else you disagree with...but then, there is the nudity. Right?

  • Utah-Hawaii Alum CA, 00
    June 11, 2019 9:29 a.m.

    I've been a pro musician and commercial photographer since the late 1970s and have had my works pirated many times by thieves like VidAngel. What is great about the USA, is the copyright laws are iron clad. The many times my artist works were stolen, I never had to sue anyone!!!!! The culprits hired any attorney that told them to "settle while it is less expensive".......and EVERY DARN TIME they did, and to my ever-so handsome benefit. Ya can't pirate an artist folks! It is against the law!!!!!!

    Now, reading all these uninformed folks commenting here is expected. If they think stuff is "foul".......okay then.......don't watch it or listen to it. Go watch Bugs Bunny on Nickelodeon!

  • cmbennett1 Stafford, VA
    June 11, 2019 9:22 a.m.

    If you don't like the content of movies being made and think there is a market for "cleaner" movies start a company that makes your kind of movies and let the marketplace decide if that is a viable option.

  • Betcha Waltham, MA
    June 11, 2019 9:16 a.m.

    I to am very disappointed, I am so tired of going to or watching a movie, that has words and scenes that are so offensive, and they detract from the story they do not add to it. so if it is time for me to not watch movies any more, I will be okay with that,,, a movie today, that is PG 13, 5 years ago would have been rated R... we all have a choice of what we put into our homes, and into our minds....choose well..

  • CJ Miles Dallas, TX
    June 11, 2019 9:11 a.m.

    Interesting comments.......

    First, no one is forced to watch anything made by Hollywood. If you don't like the sex scenes, swearing, etc, you don't have to watch it. They have a rating system, G, PG, PG13, etc. that tells any given viewer what they are about to see or hear in the movie. At that point, it is your choice not watch or not watch.

    Just because Vid Angel doesn't agree with the way Hollywood makes movies, it has no legal right to break the law to make a movie more for family viewing. That is what G movies are for.

    Vid Angel could have licensed the movies from the producers and made this entire thing a legal entity. To me, it looks like the greed of Vid Angel was the reason they were sued. Vid Angel wanted free content that they could turn around and charge 100% profit to the end user.

    If you were all honest with yourselfs.......If you made a movie and Vid Angel used it to profit, you would expect compensation too.

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2019 8:58 a.m.

    Disney is really quite creepy

  • axle Riverton, UT
    June 11, 2019 8:27 a.m.

    As much as I hate the foul content in movies, it does seem like Vid Angel went forward with their business a bit recklessly. A little legal research ahead of time would have told them that they were sticking their foot into a legal quagmire before they ever started. Perhaps they knew but felt like they would win out in the end. Just seems like a risky venture to start up a company that is riding the fringe of law from the beginning.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    June 11, 2019 8:24 a.m.

    Well if we learned anything over the past two years it is that artist should have control over their work.

    If you don’t like the art the best thing to do is start making art that doesn’t offend people and hopefully make money.

  • reriding Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2019 8:09 a.m.

    The most liberal American broadcast TV network, PBS, regularly "filters" their programming to make their offerings PG. Many of these shows are British TV shows that contain nudity and swearing in their original form. This is also the case with many of the international series shown on Megahertz, which are also altered to be family friendly, and still are preceded by a parental warning. This is done with permission of the owners of the work. To blame the "Libs" for opposing Vidangel's socialist practice of taking movies without license is sheer nonsense. ute alumni are silly to think otherwise.

  • bill4570 ,
    June 11, 2019 7:57 a.m.

    Vidangel had a great concept, but their tampering with and reissuing copyrighted material was wrong. It is obvious that the entertainment industry cannot (thankfully) go back to the years of over zealous censorship, (that killed shows like "The Smothers Brothers for their views) and were left producing movies like Shirley Temple and "The Good Ship Lollipop", but movie makers swung too far in the other direction, especially after they realized that "sex sells".
    Perhaps the movie industry should offer their own legal, albeit watered down version of these movies where some scenes could be a bit worrisome to some people. Obviously there is a market for it, and not just in Utah, either.

  • ute alumni Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2019 7:04 a.m.

    Walt can’t be happy.
    Hollywood is so stupid. They continue to ignore and actively disrespect those that like movies without filth.
    Shaun no one would force you to watch a cleaned up version. It works both ways.
    But moral lacking Hollywood doesn’t care.
    Pathetic.
    Libs love their way, one way, or nothing.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    June 10, 2019 11:29 p.m.

    “The national movies companys simply need to be stopped from forcing their "values" of foul language and nudity etc on everyone.”

    No one was forced. Your choice to watch or not.

  • ERB Eagle Mountain, UT
    June 10, 2019 11:11 p.m.

    When a movie has sex scenes or swearing, my first thought is the writers didn’t have enough talent to make the story interesting without the sex or swearing. Lack of talent=lots of swearing or skimpy clothing.

  • Palmetto Bug Columbia, SC
    June 10, 2019 10:45 p.m.

    This case isn’t about filtering, it’s about illegally distributing movies. There are other services that license content from the major studios and legally filter to provide to customers. VidAngel tried to argue this was about filtering but those arguments were dismissed because this isn’t about filtering.
    I like that the company wants to provide cleaner versions of shows and movies but they need to do so legally. Plus, I’ve realized most of the things I want to watch filtered really aren’t worth watching. There is so much quality content out there I don’t need to rely on filtering to find good stuff.

  • Swanfam Sandy, UT
    June 10, 2019 10:24 p.m.

    Hollywood has become a cesspool. Disney under its Touchstone label is trampling all that Walt stood for in entertainment. If airlines can edit films, without concern about artistic sensibilities, then the public should also have the right to alter duly purchased films. It only increases studio's profits.

  • Biscuit , 00
    June 10, 2019 8:58 p.m.

    Wish VidAngel good luck.
    Too bad movies are so foul that a business has to clean them up. I for one can't stand the sex and swearing in movies, it distracts from flow of the show. Hollywood seems to have the morals of a stray dog and thinks this is what everybody wants in entertainment.

  • Donald Johnson Northern, MI
    June 10, 2019 8:03 p.m.

    VidAngel had a good concept and interested customers that the big studios were ignoring. Too bad.

  • Back Talk Federal Way, WA
    June 10, 2019 7:19 p.m.

    Very disappointing case.

    I wish we could get a federal law that specifically allows "filtering services" on owned copies of these movies or force the movie companys to provide these services. Requiring an "airplane" version to rent would also help.

    The national movies companys simply need to be stopped from forcing their "values" of foul language and nudity etc on everyone.