Family-friendly streaming service VidAngel announced Friday that it will emerge from bankruptcy after reaching a deal with Warner Bros. and Disney for a substantially reduced settlement payment in the copyright infringement lawsuit the company lost a year ago.
Founded in 2013, VidAngel offered access to television programs and Hollywood films with any violence, sex and other mature content edited out. But it never received permission from studios to make these changes or profit from them, and was ordered to shut down in late 2016. This sparked a multi-year legal battle that ended in June, 2019, when VidAngel was ordered to pay $62.4 million after a U.S. district court judge ruled that its practices were illegal. VidAngel, which declared bankruptcy in 2017, appealed the decision.
However, the company says it will now resume operations and leave bankruptcy after reaching an agreement with the studios that reduced its settlement amount to $9.9 million, which will be paid to Warner Bros. and Disney over a 14-year period.
VidAngel has also agreed not to “decrypt, copy, stream or distribute content of Disney, Warner Brothers, and their affiliates without permission from the Studios,” and to drop its legal appeals.
“After a long and extremely difficult legal battle in one of the biggest copyright cases in decades, we have finally come to an agreement in which VidAngel can emerge from bankruptcy and move forward as a rapidly-growing company,” VidAngel said in a statement Friday. “As with any compromise, we had to make painfully difficult concessions to arrive at this agreement, as did Disney and Warner Brothers. We want to thank the team at Disney and Warner Brothers for negotiating this settlement in good faith. We also want to thank our fans and supporters, millions of people who have stood with us through thick and thin over the last four years of a battle that all-too-often looked lost and hopeless. Now, we can reward you for all of your support with incredible original content like The Chosen and Dry Bar Comedy and expand our mission to help you make entertainment good for your home.”
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