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VidAngel Cited for Playing ‘Cut and Run’

Related: Broadcasters, Cable Operators Battle Over ATSC 3.0

In a victory for hollywood studios, the Utah-based content filtering company VidAngel had its wings clipped last week by a California district court, at least for the moment.

The court, at the request of those studios, has temporarily blocked the company from circumventing copy protections on DVDs they buy, then providing copies to subs with the naughty bits edited out.

The court will still hear the underlying argument. But in the meantime, it said it thought VidAngel was violating the studio’s exclusive copying and performance rights and did not meet a fair use exemption or a Family Home Movie Act exemption because it said the statute was clear that a performance of filtered content must be from an authorized copy, and VidAngel’s wasn’t.

VidAngel, which raised $10 million from investors for legal fees, has pledged to take the case all the way to the Supreme Court if need be. But currently its next bite at the Apple is a Dec. 19 hearing in the same court on its counterclaim to the studio suit. It has also asked for a stay of the injunction and in the meantime will distribute filter-ready independent and original content.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.