VidAngel brings back streaming service filtering options

Dani Jardine
VidAngel CEO Neal Harmon announced VidAngel will begin filtering services again, but this time as an external filtering site to filter streaming content on sites like Netflix and Amazon. (Dani Jardine)

VidAngel announced Tuesday it’s back with a new business model, allowing customers to filter streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon and HBO.

VidAngel customers can set up a $7.99 monthly subscription and link their streaming subscriptions. Then streaming films can be viewed and filtered through the VidAngel site.

Rather than working on a DVD-streaming model as before, where users would purchase a digital copy from the service and then edit it for personal use, VidAngel will now function as an external filter site.

According to Peter Stris, the founder of Stris & Maher LLP and the attorney representing VidAngel, the main issue Hollywood studios had with VidAngel’s services was its DVD model.

“What VidAngel now offers is a completely streaming-based model,” Stris said.

The announcement comes six months after Disney and other studios, including Fox and ABC, filed a lawsuit against the family streaming service over copyright and streaming laws in an attempt to shut it down.

VidAngel appeared before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit against Disney on June 9.

Disney’s lawyer said if VidAngel were to come up with an alternate system in light of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act — which discusses the special circumstances surrounding copyright law and digital material, including streamed content — such as using streamed content instead of its DVD model, then the current injunction would be modified and re-examined.

The court proceedings can be viewed here.

“Our new system complies with the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act),” VidAngel CEO Neal Harmon said in the announcement.

BYU computer engineering student Jacob Pettingill said he considers himself a huge VidAngel fan and even purchased stock in the company last summer after it went public.

“I used VidAngel a bunch last summer and came out here to support and see what was going to happen,” Pettingill said.

After watching the Ninth Circuit proceedings, Pettingill said people told him he’d wasted his money and VidAngel was finished.

“When I saw they had a big announcement, I was excited,” Pettingill said. “This far exceeds my expectations.”

Pettingill said he thinks VidAngel still has an uphill battle against major Hollywood studios, but said it will do well with various streaming services.

“We’ve done exactly what the studios wanted,” Stris said. “We’ve come up with an alternate model that isn’t against the current injunction and will file for clarification next week.”

According to VidAngel’s website, the company is not affiliated with nor sponsored by Netflix, HBO or Amazon.

Clearplay also has a streaming filtering service that can be used with Amazon streaming.

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