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by Paula Bernstein
January 27, 2014 12:13 PM
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Quentin Tarantino Takes Gawker to Court Over Posting of 'Hateful Eight' Script

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.

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5 Comments

  • Donella | January 27, 2014 4:03 PMReply

    Why do I have the cynical feeling that Tarantino is yet again, hyping his projects with a phony leak scandal and that he and Gawker will split that cool mil?

  • Revtim | January 27, 2014 1:24 PMReply

    "Their headline boasts, 'Here is the leaked Quentin Tarantino Hateful Eight Script'—here, not someplace else, but 'here' on the Gawker website. "

    If I were the judge, I'd throw out the case. If I say "Here is " and provide a link, that is not me saying I am hosting the link.

    Example:
    Here is the CNN web site:

    Is Indiewire now hosting CNN? Am I, via this post somehow?

  • Grace | January 27, 2014 4:11 PM

    The laws on this seem to be being written as we type. Making "examples" seem to be the government's favorite thing to do these days and for this kind of thing people are losing their liberty. Hollywood isn't the government, yet so money is still the currency, not prison.

  • dennis | January 27, 2014 3:24 PM

    The difference, of course, being that in providing a link to CNN, you're not abetting usage of stolen property. Get it?

  • Dan Mirvish | January 27, 2014 12:38 PMReply

    Ok, so maybe Quentin isn't the best person to object to misappropriation of copyright, but I happily support him in this case. The First Ammendment doesn't cover theft, and oxymoronic "entertainment journalists" can't hide behind links. This should be an interesting case to follow.