By Paula Bernstein | Indiewire January 27, 2014 at 12:13PM
Quentin Tarantino has filed a formal legal complaint against Gawker, charging the site with copyright infringement and contributory copyright infringement after it posted a link to the screenplay to "The Hateful Eight," according to The Hollywood Reporter.
After the script for Tarantino's planned next film, the Western "The Hateful Eight," was leaked, the director vowed to set aside what was supposed to be his next project (at least for now) and to publish the screenplay as a book instead.
Then Gawker's Defamer blog linked to the script in a post titled, "Here Is the Leaked Quentin Tarantino Hateful Eight Script." Now Tarantino is taking Gawker Media to court and has filed his complaint this morning in U.S. District Court, Central District of California Western Division.
Deadline acquired court documents which present the legal complaint:
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.
Tarantino's lawsuit alleges that Gawker has not responded to "repeat demands for the removal of the posted URL links" and "submissions of DMCA notices of copyright infringement."
Tarantino's lawsuit demands actual and statutory damages as well as Gawker's profits in the amount of at least $1 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter.