Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Don't believe the VidAngel BS - Not for a second

VidAngel Logo
Sanctimonious Christians are self-righteous moralists except when it comes to cheating others in business. Then, anything goes. As some of you may know the video streaming company, VidAngel is on the wrong side of a $62 million judgment levied against them on June 17. VidAngel, which has been popular with conservative Christians, streams movies with user-configured filtering. A subscriber could zap the gay stuff or profanity or apply any of a number of filters.

Christendom would like people to believe that major studies sued VidAngel for filtering their movies. A headline at the increasingly preposterous Federalist reads: Hollywood Punishes VidAngel For Cleaning Up Their Smut. Over at CBN they got the headline right but the text includes: “The judge ruled the company violated the studios' copyrights by streaming filtered versions of their movies.”
The filtering was irrelevant to the verdict.
What the oh-too-clever VidAngel did was to purchase DVDs at retail. Then they would use software to break the copy protection and make a master copy illegally. VidAngel supposedly sold the stream to a user for $25 and refunded $24 upon “return.” Streaming services and Redbox have distribution deals with the major studios. VidAngel did not.

Amazon, for example, goes 50-50 with the studios for paid streaming. When Amazon Prime streams a video for free, it pays the studio between $.04 and $.10 per customer hour of viewing depending upon “customer engagement.”

VidAngel has been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since 2017. As of December 31, 2018 it has a negative net worth and assets of $4.7 million. To appeal a $62 million judgment they will be required to post a $62 million appeal bond which would seem to be all but impossible.

VidAngel changed its business model about a year ago, offering a filtering service on top of Amazon and Netflix for about ten bucks/month. It has not been profitable.

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