Selling alterable versions of Star Wars is still infringement, court says

30 12 2017

A video-on-demand streaming service that enables the filtering of objectionable content to make it family friendly is breaking US copyright law, a federal appeals court ruled.

The service, VidAngel, buys movie discs and decrypts and rips them. It then streams versions that allow customers to filter out nudity, profanity, and violence. In doing so, it breached the performance rights of Disney, Lucasfilm, 20th Century Fox, and Warner Brothers, the court ruled. VidAngel purchased a disc for every stream it sold, some 2,500 titles in all.

Star Wars is still Star Wars, even without Princess Leia’s bikini scene,” the opinion said. Just because objectionable content is removed, that doesn’t necessarily transform the content enough to allow this type of behavior under a fair use analysis, the court wrote Thursday.


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