- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 13, 2016

VidAngel, a video-streaming service that removes objectionable material, such as sex scenes and foul language, from popular movies, has been ordered offline by a federal judge pending the outcome of a copyright-infringement trial, Variety magazine reported Monday.

“VidAngel has not offered any evidence that the Plaintiffs have either explicitly or implicitly authorized DVD buyers to circumvent encryption technology in order to view the DVD on a different platform such as VidAngel’s streaming service,” wrote Judge Andre Birotte Jr. of the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

On its website, VidAngel insists its objective is to empower the consumer, not as a “moral authority.”

“We will never tell you what to watch or what filters to use when watching a movie or TV show,” the service promises on their “about” page. “You have the choice to watch however the BLEEP you want. VidAngel just facilitates that your personal choice [sic].”

As Variety explains, however, VidAngel accomplishes this by “purchas[ing] DVDs and us[ing] software to defeat copy-protection measures.”

“It allows users to filter out nudity, violence, and other objectionable material,” the Hollywood-news magazine said.

For its part, VidAngel vows to fight the judge’s temporary stay all the way to the Supreme Court, if necessary.

“Hollywood studios have followed a repeated pattern in their decades-long campaign to put movie filtering services out of business by seeking a shut-down decision in trial court,” CEO Neal Harmon said, Variety reported. “Previously, such a decision has signaled the end of the legal battle. As such, while we are extremely disappointed — for the countless people who rely on our service regularly to enjoy movies using filters — our customers have given us not just the mandate to fight this battle all the way to the Supreme Court, but the financial resources as well. We will aggressively pursue an appeal and take this case to a higher level where we have always believed we will ultimately prevail.”

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