Hollywood Studios Win Preliminary Injunction Against Unauthorized Streaming Service

Munger, Tolles & Olson represented Disney Enterprises Inc., Lucasfilm Ltd. LLC, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., in winning a preliminary injunction against VidAngel, a service that offers unlicensed streaming of motion pictures and television shows.

The preliminary injunction order, entered Dec. 12, 2016 by U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte Jr., found that the plaintiff studios had a strong likelihood of success on all three of their substantive claims for relief against VidAngel: that VidAngel circumvents the access-control measures that plaintiffs include on their DVD and Blu-ray Disc releases; that VidAngel made unauthorized copies of plaintiffs’ works; and that VidAngel made unauthorized public performances of plaintiffs’ works. The court held that VidAngel was unlikely to succeed on its defenses of fair use and the Family Movie Act.

On December 29, Judge Birotte denied VidAngel’s motion to stay the preliminary injunction pending its appeal to the Ninth Circuit. On Jan. 4, 2017, the Ninth Circuit denied VidAngel’s motion to that court for a stay.

The Munger Tolles team included Kelly M. Klaus, Glenn D. Pomerantz, Rose Leda Ehler and Allyson R. Bennett.