Since the start of VidAngel in 2013, the company has been in hot water for making a profit by editing third-party media content. During its shutdown, VidAngel has been working on keeping the service but is executing it in a different way.
“Our new system is a significant evolution over the previous system. The previous system we purchased Blu-ray and DVD discs to sell to our customers," said Neal Harmon, CEO of VidAngel. "The new system allows customers to connect their Netflix account or their Amazon Prime account or their HBO Amazon channels. And in the future they’ll be able to connect their Voodoo and their iTunes and other services. And then they can filter all their favorite content from those services on their favorite devices.”
More than six months ago, the company was sued by three other companies for Digital Millennium Copyright Act violations and copyright infringement. A judge asked VidAngel to shut down while the case was decided.
“So on June 13 we launched the new system for titles that are not owned by the plaintiffs," Harmon said, "and then we filed with the district court to ask the judge permission to also publish the titles that are owned by the plaintiffs.”
Harmon says, by U.S. law, people have the right to pay a third party to become a pre-programmed remote for them.
“Vidangel is a very liberty-oriented technology," Harmon said, "that allows people to make choices for themselves. It happens only in the privacy of their own home. So that respects the rights of the directors, who should be able to publish their works exactly as they choose. And of the home, who should be able to choose what they want to do and how they want to consume media in their own home.”