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Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Hateful Eight’ Lawsuit Against Gawker Is Back On UPDATED

Quentin Tarantino's 'Hateful Eight' Lawsuit Against Gawker Is Back On UPDATED

UPDATED: Quentin Tarantino isn’t done battling Gawker over “The Hateful Eight” script. Though the director’s original suit against the website was dropped on April 22 (details below), he is reopening the case as of Thursday. Tarantino once again argues that Gawker, in an act of “predatory journalism,” infringed his copyright by linking to an unauthorized PDF of the script on its Defamer site.

Here’s an excerpt from the suit, per Variety:

Gawker has made a business practice of predatory journalism… This time they went too far. Rather than merely publishing a news story reporting that Plaintiff’s screenplay may have been circulating within certain limited Hollywood circles without his permission, Gawker crossed the journalistic line, first by requesting that a reader “leak” an infringing copy directly to Gawker, then second, after obtaining a link to and itself directly downloading an infringing PDF copy, and then third, by promoting itself to the public as the first source to download and read the entire screenplay illegally and directing the public to do so.

The skirmish dates back to January when Tarantino took issue with Gawker for linking to a third party site, which was hosting the 146-page download. Earlier this month, Tarantino staged a live read in downtown Los Angeles of “The Hateful Eight” (full report here), where he said he’s writing a second draft and might do a third. One of his reps said he’s likely to direct the film after all, but is also working on some other scripts that might go first. 

EARLIER: Los Angeles court Judge John F. Walter has dismissed Quentin Tarantino’s lawsuit vs. Gawker. The writer-director (“Django Unchained”) was angry that the website posted a link to his leaked post-Civil War western “The Hateful Eight” script and took legal action in January against Gawker, which has posted various unflattering stories about Tarantino over the years. Tarantino had given the script to about six people and after the leak, said he would no longer make the film. 

In the suit Tarantino asserted that Gawker had “crossed the journalistic line” and committed copyright infringement by publishing his script without permission. Gawker responded that it linked to the script in the process of reporting that Tarantino was upset about the leak, which constitutes “fair use.”

The Wrap quoted court documents from Judge Walter’s dismissal: 

“[N]owhere in these paragraphs or anywhere else in the Complaint does Plaintiff allege a single act of direct infringement committed by any member of the general public that would support Plaintiff’s claim for contributory infringement.” Instead, Plaintiff merely speculates that some direct infringement must have taken place.”

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