Daily Archives: October 25, 2016

Warner Bros. suing talent agencies over alleged unauthorized copying of films

Recently, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. (“Warner Bros.”) brought a copyright lawsuit against several talent agencies (“Defendants”).[1] The Complaint alleges that Defendants were involved in “an illegal digital distribution platform that copied movies and then distributed copies and streamed public performances of those movies” to insiders and third parties.[2] Warner Bros. is alleging that the Defendants maintained copies of several of Warner Bros. films, which then made their way from Defendants’ platform to third party online piracy websites.[3] It is alleged in the Complaint that Warner Bros. discovered Defendants’ activities in December 2015 as a result of unauthorized copies of the movies Creed and In the Heart of the Sea appearing on online piracy sites after copies of such movies were sent by Warner Bros. to Defendants for delivery to one of Defendants’ clients.[4] Warner Bros. claims that the copies of these movies were “watermarked” and could be traced back to Defendants, who allegedly bypassed the security measures placed on the “screener” DVD copies and then copied such movies to their digital distribution platform.[5]

Warner Bros. acknowledges in its Complaint that Defendants represented that they terminated the digital distribution platform after being notified by Warner Bros.[6] However, Warner Bros. is still seeking an injunction to prevent Defendants from creating a similar distribution platform.[7] Warner Bros. alleges it would suffer irreparable harm because Defendants’ digital platform maintained copies of Warner Bros’ works without the necessary security technology measures, which could allow such works to be further copied.[8] The Complaint alleges causes of action for Copyright Infringement and Violation of The Digital Millennium Copyright Act.[9] Warner Bros. is also seeking monetary damages and attorneys’ fees as a result of Defendants’ alleged willful conduct.

Please contact our office if you have any questions regarding the information in this article.

Daniel Devine, Esq.
Santucci Priore, P.L.
Shareholder

[1] See, Warner Bros. Entm’t, Inc. v. Innovative Artists Talent and Literary Agency, Inc., et. al., No. 16-cv-7902 at Docket Entry No. 1 (C.D. Cal. Oct. 24, 2016).
[2] Id.
[3] Id.
[4] Id.
[5] Id.
[6] Id.
[7] Id.
[8] Id.
[9] Id.