A family-friendly streaming service has been ordered to pay $62.4 million to Disney, Warner Bros. and Fox after a judge ruled the service was illegal.
VidAngel, a Utah-based streaming service which allows viewers to skip adult content, argued that their service was allowed under the federal Family Entertainment And Copyright Act which legalises tech to censor certain aspects of movies.
U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte did not agree and ruled that the service was illegal. Jurors were left to decide the amount in damages, which resulted in VidAngel being ordered to pay a massive $62.4 million to the Hollywood studios.
“The jury today found that VidAngel acted willfully,” the studios said in a statement issued after the ruling, “and imposed a damages award that sends a clear message to others who would attempt to profit from unlawful infringing conduct at the expense of the creative community.”
According to Variety, “VidAngel is already in bankruptcy in Utah, and has about $2.2 million in the bank.” Neal Harmon, CEO of VidAngel, said he plans to appeal the ruling.
“We disagree with today’s ruling and have not lessened our resolve to save filtering for families one iota. VidAngel plans to appeal the District Court ruling, and explore options in the bankruptcy court. Our court system has checks and balances, and we are pursuing options on that front as well.”