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VidAngel Hit with $62.4 Million Judgment for Pirating Movies

Postby MrFredPFL » Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:41 pm

Story : https://variety.com/2019/biz/news/vidangel-jury-verdict-damages-1203245947/





A jury on Monday ordered VidAngel to pay $62.4 million to Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros. for streaming hundreds of movies on its service without permission.

The verdict is potentially a death blow to the Utah-based company, which sought to allow family audiences to watch Hollywood fare while skipping past violence, sex, and other objectionable content.

U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte had already ruled that VidAngel’s service was illegal, leaving the jurors to decide only the amount of damages. VidAngel ripped movies from DVD copies, and then streamed them to users with offensive content filtered out. The company argued this was allowed under the federal Family Movie Act, but Birotte did not agree and ordered the service to shut down in December 2016. The company later relaunched a filtering service for Netflix and Amazon, which continues to operate.

The case has been working its way through court since then. At trial, the studios asked the eight-member jury to impose the maximum penalty of $125 million for illegally streaming 819 movies, arguing that the company had willfully violated copyright law. VidAngel’s attorney, Mark Eisenhut, asked jurors to levy the minimum of $600,000, arguing that CEO Neal Harmon and his team honestly believed that what they were doing was legal.







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