3 Count: Revenant Repent

And J.J. Abrams called 'Irrelevant'.

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1: Man Who Pirated ‘The Revenant’ Ordered to Pay $1.1 Million to 20th Century Fox

First off today, Todd Spangler at Variety reports that William Kyle Morarity, the California man accused of leaking both The Revenant and The Peanuts Movie online before their release in theaters has pleaded guilty to the act and has been ordered to pay the studio $1.12 million in restitution.

The leak, which took place late last year, saw the films leaked on a film entitled “Pass the Popcorn” before their official release in theaters. Morarity had used his job on the lot of a movie studio to acquire the films and copy them to a portable flash drive. He then leaked the films online ahead of their release date.

For the crime, Morarity faced a maximum of three years in federal prison but, instead, he’s been sentenced to pay the restitution and has also agreed to work with the FBI to produce public service announcements about the harms of copyright infringement and piracy.

2: Judge Finds Sony-Spotify Agreement to Be Ambiguous in Big Royalties Lawsuit

Next up today, Eriq Gardner at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that a judge has found that the licensing agreements Sony Music has reached with streaming services, including Spotify Rhapsody and Last.FM, are ambiguous as to whether they consider them to be “broadcasts” or “transmissions”. 

The lawsuit was filed by 19 Recordings, a company that represents artists such as Clay Aiken with regards to American Idol. Under the agreement signed between Sony and 19 Recordings, artists get 50 percent of all broadcasts or transmissions of a song but only 15 percent of distributions.

19 Recordings had sought details on contracts between Sony and streaming music providers, saying the private agreement might contain clues as to what they considered such streams. However, the judge has said the contracts are ambiguous, referring to the use as both a transmission and a distribution as descriptions for the streaming, setting the royalty dispute to head to summary judgment phase.

3: ‘Star Trek’ Fan Film Lawsuit Moving Forward; JJ Abrams’ Claims “Are Irrelevant”

Finally today, Peter Sciretta at Slashfilm reports that, despite claims from Star Trek film director J.J. Abrams and others, the lawsuit against the Star Trek fan film Axanar is continuing as the CBS and Paramount are calling the statements “irrelevant”. 

A group of Star Trek fans raised over $1 million on crowdfunding sites to create a professional-quality Star Trek fan film entitled Axanar. However, shortly after funding completed, CBS and Paramount sued the producers of the film for copyright infringement, a move that caused outrage in the Star Trek fan community.

However, not long after the lawsuit, Abrams, who directed the two most recent Star Trek films, said that he didn’t feel the lawsuit would be going on much longer and that a resolution was in sight. Some time later, the lawsuit is still moving forward. However, the lawyers representing Axanar had sought any communication between Abrams and the studio about the lawsuit as part of discovery but the studio declined saying that he and his statements were irrelevant to the case.


That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.

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