If you didn’t believe that Quentin Tarantino was upset about the leaking of the screenplay for his planned western The Hateful Eight, this might change your mind. Deadline is reporting that the director has filed suit against the website Gawker for publishing a link to an online posting of the script. Tarantino announced last week that he was shelving the project after the screenplay was allegedly leaked by one of a small number of people who had access to it.
According to the filing with U.S. District Court, Central District Of California Western Division –
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.
The complaint goes on to state that Gawker declined a request from Tarantino’s camp to either take down the complete post or remove the links from the article. As I write this, the Gawker article continues to remain unaltered, but a post at Bad Ass Digest, which used an image of the first page of the screenplay to illustrate that Tarantino intended to shoot the film with 70mm cameras has been altered to remove that image at “lawerly request.” Interestingly, one of the two links that Gawker provided is still active.
It should be noted that no legal action has been forthcoming for whomever originally leaked the screenplay. This story is still playing out I think.