Hollywood Studios Awarded $62M in VidAngel Fight

VidAngel Screenshot - Publicity - H 2017
Courtesy of VidAngel

Utah-based streamer VidAngel must pay $62 million in damages to major Hollywood studios after a California jury on Monday found the company's copyright infringement of more than 800 films was willful.

Disney, Fox and Warner Bros. and several subsidiaries in June 2016 sued VidAngel, claiming its purported family-friendly filtering service was really an unlicensed streaming platform.

Ultimately the studios scored both an injunction and a determination that VidAngel was indeed liable for copyright infringement. After a damages trial earlier this month, a jury has determined that VidAngel's conduct was willful, and therefore the studios are entitled to statutory damages of $75,000 for each of the 819 works, plus another $1,250 per work for violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. 

The studios issued a joint statement Monday in response to the verdict: “The jury today found that VidAngel acted willfully, 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.”

VidAngel CEO Neal Harmon sent The Hollywood Reporter a statement: “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.”