A fairly contrite Innovative Artists is hoping that saying sorry might be enough to calm the waters with Warner Bros after the studio took the agency to court yesterday over copyright infringement.
“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,” management for the talent agency said late last night. It follows the legal action by Warner Bros Entertainment over apparently pirated copies of films like 2015’s Creed that ended up online via Innovative’s digital distribution platform. “Innovative will have no further comment on this matter,” the agency added.
The statement (read it in full below) also notes how “surprised” Innovative was over Warners’ court actions. The agency says it had “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.”
In a jury-seeking complaint filed Monday in federal court, Warner Bros charged that IA “illegally” ripped Oscar screeners that were sent to the agency for its clients and put them up on a digital platform. Not only was this an incorrect use of the DVDs, WB says, but it also led to the Ryan Coogler-directed Rocky movie and other films being pirated online.
Warner Bros is asking the court for injunctions against Innovative Artists to ensure permanent prevention of any possible repeat performance. The Munger Tolles & Olson LLP-represented plaintiff also wants legal fees and any profits that IA might have received from the distribution activity or “at Plaintiff’s election, for maximum statutory damages.”
Here is the full and unedited statement by Innovative Artists management:
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.
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