We look forward to being a part of an unprecedented team of attorneys who have banded together because we believe in the rights of families to watch what they want in their own homes.
When VidAngel first heard that they were being sued by Disney, Lucasfilm, 20th Century Fox, and Warner Brothers, I bet they felt similar to how The Looney Tunes felt in Space Jam after seeing The Monstars for the first time. Scared. Maybe doomed. Preparing for life in the intergalactic theme park Moron Mountain.
But, like the infinitely wise Bugs Bunny who recruited (technically kidnapped) Michael Jordan to beat the Monstars, the VidAngel team got their own legal Michael Jordan in legendary Hollywood attorney David Quinto, the man most capable of defeating the studios in court. Then today VidAngel announced that they’ve also added a proverbial Lebron James and Kobe Bryant(? Is he still a thing?) to their TuneSquad. Max Blecher of Blecher Collins & Pepperman and Peter K. Stris of Stris & Maher LLP have joined Quinto and Baker Marquat LLP, rounding out VidAngel’s legal dream team. VidAngel CEO Neal Harmon describes Blecher and Stris as “renowned attorneys whose collective work has literally reshaped jurisprudence in America.”
Max Blecher has a long and successful career in antitrust law and will lead VidAngel’s countersuit against the studios. “The studios’ repeated attempts to foreclose any means for VidAngel to offer its filtering service to families exposes the studios to significant liability,” says Blecher.
Peter K. Stris, one of the nation’s top Supreme Court advocates, will advise VidAngel on how to best win not only the initial lawsuit, but any appeals the studios may make after after the verdict. “Like many disruptively innovative companies, VidAngel has become a target, and our firm has now been engaged because VidAngel is planning for a long fight against the studios’ high-priced legal talent,” Stris says. “We look forward to being a part of an unprecedented team of attorneys who have banded together because we believe in the rights of families to watch what they want in their own homes.”
David Quinto, in a phone call with Beehive Startups, echos Stris’ sentiments. “When attorneys are attained, they are frequently just hired guns,” Quinto explains. “They might not believe in what a client does. But if a client’s activities are not unlawful, they will put aside any moral reservations and represent the client. That is not what’s going on here. [These lawyers] believe in the cause. They believe in VidAngel.” Quinto says he could not be more delighted with the addition of Blecher and Stris. “I fully expect that our new dream team will function seamlessly,” he adds.
VidAngel faces a preliminary injunction hearing in October. A judge will decide whether or not to grant the injunction the studios have requested and stop VidAngel’s operations for the duration of the lawsuit. “I am as confident as I have ever been in any matter that the court will deny the injunction request for a number of reasons,” Quinto says. Among those reasons is the studios’ inability to prove irreparable injury. Last year Quinto wrote to the studios to put them on notice as to what VidAngel was doing. The studios waited nearly a year after receiving Quinto’s letter to file their complaint, which is far too long for someone suffering true irreparable injury. The studios must also prove that granting the injunction is in the public’s best interest, which will be difficult given VidAngel’s mountain of evidence that shows that the public supports access to filtered content.
After the preliminary injunction hearing the court will set a trial date, though Quinto suspects that both parties will request a summary judgement. When that summary judgement is made, the court will rule whether VidAngel’s service is lawful or not, a decision Quinto says should be easy to make. “I took a pretty good look at the law before I decided to go in-house at VidAngel. I’ve never wanted to board a sinking ship. I am persuaded that VidAngel is right.”
If Daffy Duck, Newman, and Bill Murray can defeat the Monstars, surely the VidAngel team can win this legal battle. Oh man, remember how Newman gets deflated? Who okayed that screenplay? Also, does anyone know if the sequel is actually happening? Like, I know it will be a disappointment but at the same time I can’t wait to see it. There’s no way the music will be as good though, I mean, right? Come on and slam. Welcome to the jam.