Disney Enterprises, Inc. v. VidAngel, Inc., No. 16-56843 (9th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's decision that VidAngel had likely violated both the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Copyright Act, and order preliminarily enjoining VidAngel from circumventing the technological measures controlling access to copyrighted works on DVDs and Blu-ray discs owned by the plaintiff entertainment studios, copying those works, and streaming, transmitting, or otherwise publicly performing or displaying them electronically. The Ninth Circuit held that the Family Movie Act of 2005 did not exempt VidAngel from liability for copyright infringement; VidAngel's fair use defense failed; the anti-circumvention provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act covered plaintiffs' technological protection measures, which control both access to and use of copyrighted works; and the district court did not abuse its discretion by finding irreparable harm, by balancing the equities, and by considering the public interest.
Court Description: Preliminary Injunction / Copyright. The panel affirmed the district court’s preliminary injunction against the defendant in an action under the Copyright Act and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Defendant VidAngel, Inc., operated an online streaming service that removed objectionable content from movies and television shows. VidAngel purchased physical discs containing copyrighted movies and television shows, decrypted the discs to “rip” a digital copy to a computer, and then streamed to its customers a filtered version of the work. The panel held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in concluding that VidAngel’s copying infringed the plaintiffs’ exclusive reproduction right. Because VidAngel did not filter authorized copies of movies, it was unlikely to succeed on the merits of its defense that the Family Movie Act of 2005 exempted it from liability for