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First off today, Chris Morran at The Consumerist reports that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against VidAngel and upheld an injunction against the video streaming and filtering service.
VidAngel is, or rather was, a streaming service that allowed users filter out unwanted content from the films they streamed. They didn’t obtain a license from the movie studios to stream the films, opting instead to create a system where they bought a large number of DVDs and then “sold” the DVD to the customer for $20 before the stream. They then bought it back for $19 after the customer was done, making the service effectively $1 per stream.
VidAngel was swiftly sued by the movie studios and the lower court issued an injunction against the service. VidAngel has battled on, even launching a new version of the service, but the injunction remains. As such VidAngel asked the appeals court to overturn that injunction but now has been denied with the appeals court ruling against both its business model, saying it was essentially an unlicensed video-on-demand service, and VidAngel’s fair use arguments, rejecting it on all four elements of the fair use test.
In the meantime, VidAngel is active but has changed its model to filtering content from legitimate streaming services and its own licensed library of clean content. The service still does not filter content from the movie studios involved because of the injunction and ongoing debates about the legality of the new system.
Next up today, Dominic Patten at Deadline Hollywood reports that a judge has allowed the case against Warner Bros. over The Conjuring films to move forward on copyright claims as will as business conspiracy, tortious interference and contract claims.
The lawsuit was brought by Gerald Brittle, author of the book Demonologist, which is about ghost hunters Ed and Lorraine Warren’s real-live investigations. The Conjuring films are based upon the Lorraine’s stories but Brittle felt that they were pulled from his books and without his permission.
The judge in the case has decided that the issue can’t be decided against Warner Bros. on a motion to dismiss, moving the case into discovery and closer to a trial. Though Warner Bros. may still be able to win a motion for summary judgement, the victory is the first hurdle that Brittle had to clear in his lawsuit.
Finally today, Todd Spangler at Variety reports that, while Floyd Mayweather Jr.s fight agaisnt Conor McGregor may have been the most-purchased boxing pay-per-view ever, it was also extremely popular on piracy networks.
According to content-security vendor Irdeto, an estimated 2.9 million viewers watched the bout on pirated live streams, which took place on nearly every platform imaginable. In addition to the live streaming crowd, another estimated 445,000 internet users downloaded a copy of the fight after it concluded on Saturday.
Showtime had been actively policing illegal streams of the fights including filing for a proactive injunction against some services that were promising to stream it. Its unclear what impact their efforts had both on the illegal streaming and the bottom line for the event.
That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.