Quantcast American Conservative Union | Twenty-Five Think Tanks, Academics, and Advocacy Groups Warn Congress Not to be Fooled into Undermining Property Rights and the Creative Economy Under the Guise of “Saving Filtering” Twenty-Five Think Tanks, Academics, and Advocacy Groups Warn Congress Not to be Fooled into Undermining Property Rights and the Creative Economy Under the Guise of “Saving Filtering” | American Conservative Union

Twenty-Five Think Tanks, Academics, and Advocacy Groups Warn Congress Not to be Fooled into Undermining Property Rights and the Creative Economy Under the Guise of “Saving Filtering”

June 8, 2017

Twenty-Five Think Tanks, Academics, and Advocacy Groups Warn Congress Not to be Fooled into Undermining Property Rights and the Creative Economy Under the Guise of “Saving Filtering”

Calls by the unlawful streaming service VidAngel to amend the Family Movie Act to legalize copyright-infringing behavior should be ignored

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, a broad coalition of think tanks, academics, and advocacy groups sent a letter to Congress warning Members not to be fooled by VidAngel and its surrogates that a “war on filtering” is preventing families from muting and skipping content they may find objectionable, such as profanity or nudity. VidAngel asserts this “war” should prompt Congress to “update” the Family Movie Act. The letter states: “what we see here is really a case of wolves in sheep’s clothing, advocating to undermine important principles of property rights and free markets under the banner of protecting family friendly ‘filtering’ services.”

The letter explains that under the current framework provided by the FMA, lawful filtering services such as ClearPlay, UFilter and TV Guardian have offered consumers filtering technology for years without lawsuits or objections from copyright owners. VidAngel, however, chose to flout basic copyright law, and, as a result, was recently shut down by a court — not because of its filtering activities, but because it was engaged in blatant infringement: copying DVDs and BluRay discs to cloud servers and using those unlicensed copies to stream movies and television shows for $1 in direct competition with legal streaming services, like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu.

Said American Conservative Union Executive Director Dan Schneider, “No one opposes filtering. In fact, we support the efforts of lawful filtering services to give families more options that comport with their values. But the Family Movie Act today provides ample legal certainty for new and existing services to provide innovative filtering solutions to families and consumers. Enticing conservatives to sacrifice the core value of property rights by alleging they stand in conflict with family values is misleading, and should be ignored.”

The letter concludes:

“VidAngel should not be allowed to wrap itself in saints’ garb, cloaking its behavior in the mantle of family values while undermining the core conservative principle of property rights and free-market principles that support a vibrant creative economy. While we, too, find some movies and TV shows inappropriate for families, the solution lies in innovative products and services legally deployed in the marketplace—not undermining core Constitutional rights and interfering with existing, well-functioning markets.”

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