Warner Bros. Entertainment is suing a top Hollywood talent agency, claiming Innovative Artists illegally pirated “Creed” and other Oscar contenders, according to a lawsuit filed Monday in federal court in Los Angeles.
The studio contends that, beginning in 2015, IA “set up and operated an illegal digital distribution platform” that duplicated movies and distributed copies and streamed public performances of the films to people inside and outside of the agency.
A call to IA for comment on the federal copyright infringement complaint was not immediately returned.
Warner Bros. claims it discovered the alleged infringement after unauthorized copies of “Creed” and “In the Heart of the Sea” appeared online shortly after Academy Award screeners were sent out last year.
Watermarks on the screeners traced pirated copies back to an Innovative Artists client, the studio alleges.
“Instead of forwarding the screeners directly to its client, Innovative Artists used illegal ripping software to bypass the technical measures that prevent access to and copying of the content on DVDs,” the lawsuit alleges. “Innovative Artists then copied the movies to its digital distribution platform, where those copies became available for immediate downloading and streaming along with infringing copies of many other copyrighted movies.”
—City News Service