Quentin Tarantino filed a lawsuit this week against Gawker Media after he says its Defamer blog pointed to his leaked script for “The Hateful Eight” online, but the company says they will fight this one due to the fact that the director announced the leak himself.
The script leak occurred after Tarantino gave it to three actors and their agents, and the “Django Unchained” director spoke exclusively to Deadline about it last week.
“I gave it to one of the producers on Django Unchained, Reggie Hudlin, and he let an agent come to his house and read it,” Tarantino said. “That’s a betrayal, but not crippling because the agent didn’t end up with the script. There is an ugly maliciousness to the rest of it. I gave it to three actors: Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, Tim Roth. The one I know didn’t do this is Tim Roth. One of the others let their agent read it, and that agent has now passed it on to everyone in Hollywood. I don’t know how these fucking agents work, but I’m not making this next. I’m going to publish it, and that’s it for now. I give it out to six people, and if I can’t trust them to that degree, then I have no desire to make it. I’ll publish it. I’m done. I’ll move on to the next thing. I’ve got 10 more where that came from.”
On Thursday, Defamer posted an article about the leak with links to the full script, titled “Here Is The Leaked Quentin Tarantino Hateful Eight Script”. The title was an important part of the lawsuit, according to the complaint.
“Their headline boasts… ‘Here,’ not someplace else, but ‘Here’ on the Gawker website,” reads the lawsuit. “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 the invitation to ‘Enjoy!’ it.”
However, Gawker Media has defended the article, saying it was simply a news story like any other.
“It was Tarantino himself who turned his script into a news story, one that garnered him a great deal of attention,” reads a post by John Cook. “Someone unknown to Gawker put it on a website called AnonFiles, and someone unknown to Gawker put it on a different website called Scribd. Last Thursday, Gawker received a tip from a reader informing us that the script was on the AnonFiles site, after which Gawker published a story reporting that the script had surfaced online….Contributory infringement is a legal theory that has traditionally been deployed against file-sharing sites and search engines—venues that explicitly exist as directories to copyrighted content. Gawker and Defamer are news sites, and our publication of the link was clearly connected to our goal of informing readers about things they care about. As far as I can tell (but I’m no lawyer!), no claim of contributory infringement has prevailed in the U.S. over a news story. We’ll be fighting this one.”
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