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Deal done Warner Bros and Innovative Artists

Written by Samuel O'Toole on 24 February 2017

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Back in 2015, perfect copies of the films Creed and In the Heart of the Sea ended up on torrent sites ahead of general release on DVD. The films were still in theatres but DVD screeners had been given out to award voters “for their consideration”.

The talent agency, Innovative Artists, obtained the screener DVDs legally on behalf of its clients. The disks were then put through ripping software and copied to the talent agency’s own digital distribution platform.

This is when the pirate group Hive-CM8 managed to obtain copies of the films and upload them online.  The content security company Deluxe Entertainment Services was then asked to help determine how the leak came about. The watermark, a common security feature on screener DVDs, lead them straight back to Innovative Artists.

Last October, Warner Bros filled a lawsuit against Innovative Artists. The lawsuits accused Innovative Artists of using illegal software to circumvent the security protection on the screener DVDs and subsequently placing the films on an illegal distribution platform.

Innovative Artists had cooperated with Warner Bros from the outset of the leak, they even went as far as publicly apologising but they did add that the lawsuit came as a surprise.

However, information has come out that a settlement has been reached. No documents have been filed with the court that indicates that a settlement has been reached, but to make these settlements public is rare.

The pirates, Hive-CM8, on the other hand have not stopped their efforts with DVD screeners still being leaked almost every week. 

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