A new bill introduced in the House might be the answer the independent streaming service VidAngel has been looking for.
The streaming service – which allows families to filter content such as adult language, nudity and violence from movies – came under fire in 2016 when 20th Century Fox, Disney, Lucas Film and Warner Bros Studios filed copyright infringement and piracy lawsuits.
The company lost the year-long legal battle in 2017, but was able to stay afloat by switching their services to filter content from from Netflix, Amazon and HBO streaming services using iOS, Android, and ROKU.
Now, the new bill sponsored by US Rep. Mia Love (R-UT) would be an updated version of a 2005 law passed by Congress called The Family Home Movie Act (FMA).
The 2005 bill allows DVD's to be edited or transmitted during playback with "DVD-sanitizing technology" to create a censored version of that movie.
The new bill, called "The Family Movie Act Clarification Act of 2018," would add that streaming services (like VidAngel) are also approved filtering devices along with DVD players.
It states that individuals would be allowed to "limit portions of audio or video content for private viewing" as long as "no fixed copy of the altered version is created."
The bill also protects VidAngel by stating, "no person asserting the rights of a motion picture copyright owner may prevent or impede" the filtering services.
More than 30 pro-family groups have previously signed a letter supporting the bill.
"Since 2005, the preferred method for viewing movies has shifted from DVD to streaming. Hollywood has seized this opportunity to once again attack the filtering industry," wrote William J. Aho with Protect Family Rights Coalition. "We are asking the House to pass legislation that simply clarifies that families have the right to filter streamed movies, for private viewing, without interference."
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