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When it comes to online services seeking to disrupt the status quo, VidAngel has taken a surprisingly polite approach, at least for its consumers.
The service focuses on censoring popular media so that it is more family friendly. However, while trying to be friendly to families, VidAngel was rather rude to the companies that made the popular media it was censoring. As the ongoing legal battles revealed, the censoring service failed to obtain proper licensing rights before editing and redistributing the creative work of others. And while the battle continues on in the Ninth Circuit, their challenge against MGM, Marvel, Fox, Castle Rock and other studios in Utah federal court has come to an end.
Fair Play for Families
Unfortunately for VidAngel, the company is facing steep legal battle. And while the Utah-founded company may have thought that filing a claim in the Utah federal courts might have helped their case, the federal district court there wasn't willing to do more than transfer or dismiss the case (for want of jurisdiction). VidAngel claimed to not have the money to have the case transferred to California (where VidAngel is currently awaiting the decision of a Ninth Circuit panel), and instead, allowed the matter to be dismissed. Notably, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last October shortly after announcing plans to offer censorship for streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV and more.
Making matters worse for the service is the fact that the copyright holders actually have quite a bit of say when it comes to allowing their works to be modified.