Tarantino Sues Gawker Over Script Leak

Quentin Tarantino is suing Gawker Media, the website behind the recent online leak of his latest screenplay “The Hateful Eight”. Tarantino has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Gawker Media for publishing his written material online.

This comes a week after an unknown source leaked the screenplay in Hollywood circles, causing Tarantino to shelve plans to film the project next. The screenplay wasn’t public until Gawker made it available for downloading.

In text from the document, Gawker is being sued not because it reported on the screenplay’s leak but for “promoting itself to the public as the first source to read the entire screenplay illegally. 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 currently seeks an injunction to stop further dissemination of the screenplay, and is asking for unspecified damages exceeding $1 million.

Gawker has since responded in a post, saying it’s not being sued for copyright infringement but rather “contributory copyright infringement for linking to a site that is being sued for direct copyright infringement.”

Gawker says in a statement: “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,” concludes the post. 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.”

Source: THR Esq.