SALT LAKE CITY — Attorneys representing four Hollywood studios suing Utah-based VidAngel allege the movie-filtering service won’t cease operations, in violation of a judge’s order.
In court papers filed in federal court in Los Angeles, lawyers for Warner Bros., LucasFilm, Disney and 20th Century FOX said VidAngel continued to add new titles after a judge issued a preliminary injunction against it.
“VidAngel not only has refused to remove Plaintiffs’ works from its service, but VidAngel is also flouting the Preliminary Injunction by adding new releases of Plaintiffs’ works as they become available on DVD and Blu-ray Disc. For example, as discussed further below, VidAngel has added Warner Bros.’s Sully and Storks and Fox’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children to its service— titles which were not released on DVD until after the Preliminary Injunction was entered,” attorney Kelly Klaus wrote.
In his own filing Wednesday night, VidAngel CEO Neal Harmon insisted he was not flouting the judge’s order, but said that ceasing their filtering/streaming operation was easier said than done. He explained that VidAngel does a large portion of its business through Roku, Google Play, Amazon Fire and Apple TV, which don’t allow modifications to their apps during the holiday season. He also said they were trying to work with customers impacted by the judge’s ruling.
“The company is ill equipped to handle the influx of customer service requests if it is not afforded that opportunity. In the wake of the preliminary injunction ruling alone, VidAngel’s support tickets doubled from approximately 3,500 to 7000 per week,” Harmon wrote. “If VidAngel were forced to shut down without messaging within the apps to directly explain the situation for its approximately 200,000 customers, its team of 14 people would be unable to address the influx even if they devoted their holidays entirely to damage control. ”
Harmon asked the judge until the end of January to be able to have apps modified. He acknowledged that they added new titles.
“This was not intended to be disrespectful or a flout of anything, and VidAngel has asked for a stay. Nevertheless, to address the concern identified in the supplemental declaration, VidAngel will not add any other titles owned or licensed by plaintiffs unless and until it obtains a stay of the preliminary injunction,” he wrote.
Read Harmon’s court filing here: