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Quentin Tarantino Saddles Up For Court Fight, Sues Gawker For Making 'The Hateful Eight' Script Available For Download

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by Kevin Jagernauth
January 27, 2014 12:07 PM
16 Comments
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Quentin Tarantino

It hasn't been a great 48 hours for Gakwer. Last night, Lena Dunham sharpened her pen and jabbed the site (and it's sister publication Jezebel) on "Girls," but that's nothing compared to what's coming next. After Quentin Tarantino's first draft of "The Hateful Eight" leaked last week, he decided to scrap the project, furious that his screenplay went from being discretely given to six people to being circulated among Hollywood. It wasn't long before the script went beyond the inboxes of insiders, landing online, if you knew were to look for it. Or if you simply clicked over to Gawker.

The site, in a post not so subtly titled "​Here Is the Leaked Quentin Tarantino Hateful Eight Script," provided a link to the script where with one click it would land on your desktop. And that has pushed Tarantino over the edge. Here's what he said to say in court papers, as per Deadline:

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.

Apparently, Gawker refused to disable the post or link to the download, and so here we are with the case now headed in front of legal types. What do you think? Did Gawker step over the line? Let us know below.

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16 Comments

  • benutty | January 30, 2014 4:44 PMReply

    I fell asleep on page 6 of that script. It's horrible and begins too similarly to Django. Boring story aside, Tarantino leaked it himself for the hype. He's the Lady Gaga of cinema. ZzzzZz

  • Chris | January 28, 2014 11:12 AMReply

    Tarantino is overrated! I'm glad the project was scrapped may he now go off into the wilderness of obscurity. The fact is he is no longer relavant in the media savy 21 Century. His last film was as plodding as it was predictable. So the thought of investing any more of my time on his derivative, formulaic and puerile nonsence brings a smile to my face.

  • Venti | January 28, 2014 10:52 AMReply

    It's a shame because I thought it had become a common thing to read Tarantino's scripts beforehand. Maybe Gawker just imagined they weren't doing anything wrong? Why do I care either way?

  • harry | January 28, 2014 1:51 AMReply

    Why bother with this guy, when any five minutes of John Boorman's POINT BLANK from 1967 if far better than anything Tarantino has done?

  • hk | January 28, 2014 2:33 AM

    Why should we watch any movie that comes out? Any five minutes of Kubrick's 2001 is better.

  • cirkusfolk | January 27, 2014 4:42 PMReply

    Damn, I wanna read it too. Playlist, can you post a link to the screenplay?

  • Donella | January 27, 2014 4:08 PMReply

    Madonna capitalized on the accidental leak to promote her albums in the 2000s. Tarantino is making squealing noises so the whole world knows he's working on yet another project full of thematic retreads of previous directors.

    And BTW, Mr. T needs to leave the westerns to the Coens.

  • venti | January 28, 2014 10:53 AM

    It does smack of a publicity stunt. First Tarantino announces the title and the script and then 2 days later says its been leaked and he's not doing it?

  • FullersFan | January 27, 2014 9:29 PM

    Yes, and Madonna is so relevant nowadays. Perhaps what she did was a mistake, eh?

  • Minuen | January 27, 2014 5:09 PM

    We know it's you, Gawker.

  • Bridgely | January 27, 2014 3:47 PMReply

    Some actor's agent is about to get the axe!

  • Jerrod | January 27, 2014 3:24 PMReply

    I hope Gawker gets hit hard with this. They should pay through the nose for the cost to the writer. A major Hollywood director has scrapped a feature film project. That's a huge loss. Copyright infringement is serious business, and Tarantino has every right to take a pound of flesh. Gawker should be made an example for all media. Stealing is a crime.

  • yer | January 27, 2014 2:57 PMReply

    Gawker exposed his girlfriend as a plagiarist (surprise), not too long ago so might be some extra incentive for him.

  • No | January 27, 2014 12:27 PMReply

    Gawker is going to make a 1st Amendment claim and what not. But I don't understand what they would give access to another's creative work while that person is in the process of creating it. They will make the claim that it is "newsworthy" because it is by Quentin Tarantino, but I'm quite sure they would balk and be very upset if their internal work products --notes of their editorial meeting were published on their sites.

    I think Tarantino ought to sue. I know I would be quite angry if I was in development of of a project and it wound up on a website why I was trying to produce it.

    I do believe in freedom of the press, but the US media seems to more interested in celebrity gotcha than monitoring the government and the major institution that have control and influence over or lives.

  • Anonymouse | January 27, 2014 2:05 PM

    agreed. the story was that QT scrapped the project due to the leak. making the screenplay available is detestable. no more gawker media for me.

  • BEF | January 27, 2014 1:58 PM

    Yeah, Gawker, this is a movie. Don't break this news like its NSA stuff.
    You do pay your writers. I think you'd understand QT here.

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