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Streaming service VidAngel ordered to pay $62.4M for pirating movies

A federal jury in Los Angeles on Monday ordered movie streaming service VidAngel — known for removing the curses and nudity from films — to pay $62.4 million to Disney, Fox and Warner Bros. for ripping off their content, according to reports.

U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte had already ruled VidAngel’s service was illegal, letting jurors decide the amount of damages they owe to the studios, according to Deadline.com.

“The jury today found that VidAngel acted willfully, and imposed a damages award that sends a clear message to others who would attempt to profit from unlawful infringing conduct at the expense of the creative community,” the studio’s said in a joint statement.

VidAngel — who vowed to appeal Monday’s decision — ripped off content from DVD’s and stripped away profanity, nudity and violence before streaming the filtered version on their own platform.

The company had argued their services were authorized under the Family Movie Act, but Birotte ordered them to shut down in December 2016, according to Variety.com.

VidAngel later launched a new filtering service for Netflix and Amazon, which is still in operation.

Following Monday’s decision, VidAngel’s CEO said in a statement, “We disagree with today’s ruling and have not lessened our resolve to save filtering for families one iota.” 

The jury’s verdict could force the shutdown of VidAngel, who is already facing bankruptcy in Utah, and has roughly $2.2 million on hand, the Variety.com report said.

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