Disney, Twentieth Century Fox and other movie studios sued VidAngel for copyright infringement and violating DMCA section 1201 for VidAngel’s service, which decrypts DVDs and filters “objectionable” content from movies and TV shows, and streams the programs to its customers. In December 2016, the United States District Court for the Central District of California issued a preliminary injunction against VidAngel, holding that its service violated Plaintiffs’ exclusive rights to reproduce and publicly perform their copyrighted works pursuant to 17 U.S.C. § 106(1) and § 106(4), and violated DMCA section 1201(a)(1)(A) by circumventing the technological protection measures on DVDs and Blu-ray discs. It further rejected VidAngel’s argument that a content filtering service complies with the Family Home Movie Act (FMA) as well as its fair use defense. VidAngel appealed the ruling to the Ninth Circuit. On August 24, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the District Court’s ruling.
On March 9, 2019, the District Court for the Central District of California granted Summary Judgment on Liability in favor of the plaintiffs. Following that ruling, a jury awarded the plaintiffs $62.4 million in damages.