VidAngel drops lawsuit against Hollywood studios

SALT LAKE CITY — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Provo-based movie filtering service VidAngel.

In an order signed Monday, U.S. District Court Judge David Nuffer dismissed VidAngel’s lawsuit against Sullivan Entertainment, Marvel, Fox Broadcasting, MGM, Castle Rock, Turner and other studios.

VidAngel CEO Neal Harmon said in an emailed statement it was their decision to drop the lawsuit.

“Judge Nuffer gave us two options—transfer our case to California, or dismiss the declaratory relief case for VidAngel’s new technology that works with Netflix and Amazon Prime, while preserving our right to bring it again in a different court. Aside from reducing our legal costs, this has no impact on our current business. Thus, we’ve decided not to transfer to California,” he wrote.

VidAngel created a movie filtering service, where subscribers would pay a fee to have films scrubbed of sex, nudity, violence, profanity and other objectionable content. VidAngel was sued in 2016 by Disney, Warner Bros., LucasFilm and Twentieth Century Fox, accused of violating copyrights.

In turn, VidAngel sued a number of Hollywood studios in Utah seeking to have their service declared legal. A number of California courts have ruled against VidAngel and the company has also sought protection from litigation in bankruptcy court.

In numerous legal filings in both lawsuits, VidAngel repeatedly insisted it does not break any federal copyright laws. In the Utah lawsuit, VidAngel insisted its service actually benefits the studios by expanding their audiences and their bottom line.