It hasn’t been a great 48 hours for Gakwer. Last night, Lena Dunham sharpened her pen and jabbed the site (and it’s sister publication Jezebel) on “Girls,” but that’s nothing compared to what’s coming next. After Quentin Tarantino‘s first draft of “The Hateful Eight” leaked last week, he decided to scrap the project, furious that his screenplay went from being discretely given to six people to being circulated among Hollywood. It wasn’t long before the script went beyond the inboxes of insiders, landing online, if you knew were to look for it. Or if you simply clicked over to Gawker.
The site, in a post not so subtly titled “Here Is the Leaked Quentin Tarantino Hateful Eight Script,” provided a link to the script where with one click it would land on your desktop. And that has pushed Tarantino over the edge. Here’s what he said to say in court papers, as per Deadline:
Gawker Media has made a business of predatory journalism, violating people’s right to make a buck. This time they’ve gone too far. Rather than merely publishing a news story reporting that Plaintiff’s screenplay may have been circulating in Hollywood without his permission, Gawker Media crossed the journalistic line by promoting itself to the public as the first source to read the entire screenplay illegally. Their headline boasts, ‘Here is the leaked Quentin Tarantino Hateful Eight Script’—here, not someplace else, but ‘here’ on the Gawker website. The article then contains multiple direct links for downloading the entire screenplay through a conveniently anonymous URL by simply clicking button-links on the Gawker page, and brazenly encourages Gawker visitors to read the screenplay illegally with an invitation to `enjoy’ it. There was nothing newsworthy or journalistic about Gawker Media facilitating and encouraging the public’s violation of Plaintiff’s copyright in the screenplay, and its conduct will not shield Gawker Media from liability for their unlawful activity.
Apparently, Gawker refused to disable the post or link to the download, and so here we are with the case now headed in front of legal types. What do you think? Did Gawker step over the line? Let us know below.