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VidAngel Files For Chapter 11 Reorganization

18 Oct, 2017 By: Erik Gruenwedel

VidAngel, the streaming rental video service that filters movies and TV shows of adult subject matter and foul language, Oct. 18 announced it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The company launched a new filtering platform in June 2017 enabling users to filter language, nudity, violence and other content from more than 2,500 DVD movies and TV shows, whose content has been digitally copied to a database. The digital files are tagged for more than 80 types of potentially objectionable material.

CEO Neal Harmon said the filing was an “important” step to protect the Provo, Utah-based company, its creditors, investors and customers from lawsuits that claim its filtering services violate copyrights.

“It also gives us breathing room to reorganize our business around the new streaming platform, promote and perfect the new technology, and seek a legal determination that the new system is fully legal and not subject to the preliminary injunction entered in California,” Harmon said in a statement.

The fiscal reorganization comes after an appeals court upheld a lower court ruling granting Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox and Lucasfilm preliminary injunction against VidAngel, citing the studios’ claim of irreparable harm if the streaming service was allowed to circumvent provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by altering and/or illegally copying copyrighted material for commercial purposes without consent.

VidAngel contends the plaintiffs’ efforts deny families a legal right to watch filtered content.

In January, VidAngel launched a branded production studio, which released original series “Dry Bar Comedy.” Harmon, who claims series viewership has topped 16 million minutes, said VidAngel would continue adding filtered content.

“Our customers can filter movies on Amazon, Netflix and HBO on Amazon, and we still have millions in the bank to fight this all the way,” he said.

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