×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Warner Bros. Sues Innovative Artists Over Screener Leak

UPDATED: Warner Bros. filed suit today against Innovative Artists Talent and Literary Agency, alleging that the talent agency put awards screeners on in-house Google Drive account, allowing them to leak to file-sharing sites.

The suit states that two WB films — “Creed” and “In the Heart of the Sea” — appeared online in December 2015, after the studio distributed screeners. Deluxe Entertainment Services Group, which provides “content security” for studios, notified Warner Bros that the films had been pirated and that the watermarks traced back to an Innovative Artists’ client.

According to the suit, Innovative Artists would routinely rip DVD screeners intended for clients and upload them to a shared Google Drive account. Numerous people inside and outside the company had access to the films on the account, including managers, friends and relatives. On one occasion, the agency gave an assistant who worked at another company access to the account in exchange for a screener that was not already in the database.

Innovative Artists did not immediately return a call seeking comment. However, it appears from the lawsuit that the agency cooperated with Warner Bros. when notified of the leak. The agency shut down the Google Drive account — which had been active for only a month — and provided user logs to Warner Bros. According to the logs, more than 20 people downloaded the films from the account over a five-day period.

In the suit, Warner Bros. called the shared account “blatantly illegal,” and alleged that should have been obvious to a talent agency whose clients’ livelihoods depend on copyright protection. The suit seeks monetary damages and an injunction that would bar Innovative Artists from establishing a similar file-sharing arrangement in the future.

Deadline Hollywood was first to report the news.

Innovative Artists issued a statement late Monday apologizing to Warner Bros., while noting that sharing of screeners is commonplace in the industry:

“Innovative Artists has fully cooperated with Warner Bros. from the first moment Warner Bros. informed Innovative that two award screener movies had been found on an Internet bit torrent site in December 2015. Innovative immediately permitted Warner Bros. to enter it’s offices, interview it’s employees, review its databases, and fully investigate the issues. As Warner Bros. well-knows, Innovative management immediately shut down all access to award screeners in December 2015 and Innovative immediately ceased any further activity that is the subject of the complaint. Warner Bros. is well aware, from its past experience with other industry entities, the sharing of award screeners is commonplace within the Hollywood community. Innovative was surprised, given its full cooperation with Warner Bros. investigation, that the complaint was filed without any communication from Warner Bros. without any prior contact with Innovative to resolve the claims. Notwithstanding that fact, Innovative is sorry for the improper sharing of the screener movies and will seek to resolve this matter with Warner Bros. on fair and reasonable terms as soon as possible. Innovative will have no further comment on this matter.”

More Biz

  • Jussie Smollett

    Jussie Smollett Charged With Filing False Police Report

    “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett has been charged with filing a false police report, the Chicago police said Wednesday. “Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said on Twitter. Smollett is due to appear in court for a bond hearing at 1:30 p.m. [...]

  • Coast Guard Lieutenant Hit List

    Coast Guard Lieutenant Targeted CNN, MSNBC Anchors and Democrats for Attacks

    Anchors at CNN and MSNBC and prominent Democrats were targeted for attack by a Coast Guard lieutenant arrested Friday on a firearms charge, according to federal prosecutors in Maryland. In court documents revealed Tuesday, prosecutors describe the firearms and controlled substance charges Christopher Paul Hasson is facing as “the proverbial tip of the iceberg.” CNN’s [...]

  • Jussie Smollett suspect

    Jussie Smollett Named a Suspect by Chicago Police for Filing False Report

    Chicago police have named “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett as a suspect in a criminal investigation, three weeks after he reported he was the victim of a hate crime. Detectives are presenting evidence to a grand jury, which is expected to determine whether to indict Smollett on a charge of filing a false police report. “Jussie [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business

    WGA, Agents Face Tough Issues on New Franchise Pact (Column)

    The Writers Guild of America and the major talent agencies are seven weeks away from a deadline that could force film and TV writers to choose between their agents and their union. This is a battle that has been brewing for a year but few in the industry saw coming until a few weeks ago. [...]

  • Island Records Names Christine Kauffman Senior

    Island Records Names Christine Kauffman Senior VP of Brand Partnerships

    Veteran advertising executive Christine Kauffman has been named senior VP of brand partnerships at Island Records, the company announced today. She will be based in New York and report to Island COO Eric Wong. In making the announcement, Island President Darcus Beese said, “The fast-paced and competitive field of strategic brand marketing has become an [...]

  • Latin Music Veteran Nir Serioussi Joins

    Latin Music Veteran Nir Serioussi Joins Interscope as Executive VP

    Interscope Geffen A&M announced today that veteran executive, producer and songwriter Nir Seroussi will join the company as executive vice president. The announcement was made by Interscope Geffen A&M Chairman and CEO John Janick, to whom Serioussi will report. (Seroussi, center, is pictured above with Janick, left, and Interscope EVP Joie Manda.) According to the [...]

  • Tan FranceUnforgettable Gala, Inside, Los Angeles,

    'Queer Eye' Star Tan France to Host Audiobook Audie Awards

    “Queer Eye” resident style expert Tan France is taking on a slightly different project next month as he hosts the Audie Awards, which honors the best releases and achievements in audiobooks over the past 12 months. The ceremony, which takes place on March 4 in New York, is an annual event organized by the Audio [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content