Quentin Tarantino is suing Gawker Media for posting a link to the leaked “The Hateful Eight” draft. The filmmaker, who shelved his film project when its script made its way to industry agents and insiders, filed a lawsuit in the Los Angeles district court for copyright infringement and contributory copyright infringement.
The Academy Award-winning director filmmaker revealed last week that he abandoned his film project because someone had leaked its script. “The Hateful Eight,” which was supposed to be a western flick, was possible leaked by the agent of one of the six people he had shown it to.
He added that he might revisit the film in the future, but in the meantime, he would be concentrating in other projects.
On Monday, he has filed a lawsuit against the popular blog site for allegedly “facilitating and encouraging the public’s violation” of Tarantino’s copyright in the script through an article on its Web site Defamer. Tarantino wasn’t pleased when the site’s headline on January 21 reads “Here is the Leaked Quentin Tarantino Hateful Eight Script,” and has multiple direct links for downloading the film’s screenplay.
“Gawker Media has made a business of predatory journalism, violating people rights to make a buck. This time they went too far,” the lawsuit, a copy of which was obtained by Deadline, reads.
“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 Screenplay illegally.”
The complaint added that Gawker continuously declined to take down the post or the URL of the leaked script despite “repeat demands” for its removal.
Gawker also actively solicited for an unauthorised infringing copy of the film’s script in an article published on January 22.
Tarantino is asking for at least USD1 million in damages, as well as legal fees and other costs.
The Web site has immediately published its response on Monday, claiming that it published a link to the script because it was news.
“Defamer covers what people in Hollywood are talking about. Thanks to Tarantino’s shrewd publicity strategy, the leak of ‘The Hateful Eight’ – and the content of the script – had been widely dissected online and was a topic f heated conversation among Defamer readers,” the blog explained in a published article.
“News of the fact that it existed on the Internet advanced a story that Tarantino himself had launched, and our publication of the link was a routine and unremarkable component of our job: making people aware of news and information about which they are curious.”
It also denies that it is being sued for copyright infringement.
“We are being sued for contributory copyright infringement for linking to a site that is being sued for direct copyright infringement. We are not being sued for publishing copyrighted information.”
Gawker also claims that Tarantino “deliberately” turned the leak of the film’s script into a news, and went as far as saying that the “Reservoir Dogs” director and writer wanted “The Hateful Eight” to be published online.
Here’s Gawker’s full response.
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