Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch weighed in on recent controversies surrounding VidAngel, ClearPlay and online filtering, saying he's fighting for families who want filtered television shows and movies.
Hatch said in a statement that he believes families should have the right to filter content.
“I want to find a way for everyone to win on this issue,” he said in a statement emailed to the Deseret News. “I believe that families should have the choice to screen out profanity, violence, and other objectionable content from movies and television shows if they want to. At the same time, it’s essential that we protect content creators’ intellectual property rights.”
Hatch’s statement comes about two weeks after VidAngel announced a new service that allows subscribers to filter content from Netflix and Amazon (as well as HBO with an Amazon Prime subscription).
VidAngel’s decision to announce a new services comes after four Hollywood studios filed a lawsuit against the company for filtering and editing content, even though VidAngel doesn’t own the rights.
VidAngel countered that its service is legal because of the 2005 Family Movie Act, which gave Americans the opportunity to pause, mute and skip scenes in movies that they own.
Hatch said in his statement he doesn’t want to get involved in the legal proceedings.
Hatch, Sen. Mike Lee and Reps. Mia Love, Rob Bishop, and Chris Stewart — All Republicans — sent a separate letter to Chris Dodd, chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, about VidAngel's ongoing legal dispute.
Sens. Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch, along with Reps. Mia Love, Rob Bishop, and Chris Stewart, signed a letter to Chris Dodd, the chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America. | Screenshot
The letter says Utah's members of Congress wanted to "express to you our strong desire that consumers be able to have access to effective online filtering technology consistent with the FMA and other applicable laws."
Utah lawmakers said in the letter that they hope to see more technology for filtered streaming in the future.
"We would hope that such technology could ultimately become available across multiple devices and multiple streaming services," the letter said.