Quentin Tarantino Gawker Lawsuit Claims Site Leaked Screenplay

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Tuesday, 28 Jan 2014 10:09 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Quentin Tarantino's lawsuit against Gawker for copyright infringement related to the leaked screenplay for his Western film "The Hateful Eight." has been refuted by the website.

The Hollywood director claims Gawker leaked the screenplay. In response, Gawker Editor-in-Chief John Cook said on Monday that the website had nothing to do with the script's unauthorized release and that Gawker merely linked to a website that contained the screenplay.

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"This claim is false," Cook wrote on Gawker. "No one at Gawker saw or had access to Tarantino’s script before AnonFiles posted it. No one at Gawker transmitted it — or anything else, at all — to AnonFiles. No one at Gawker encouraged anyone to do so. No one at Gawker has any earthly idea how AnonFiles obtained a copy."

AnonFiles.com, the website where the script was posted, is an anonymous and free site through which users can share information without leaving a digital trail.

Cook further suggested that the entire issue is a publicity stunt.

"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 of heated conversation among [Gawker's] Defamer readers," Cook continued. "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."

On Monday, Tarantino filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in California federal court against Gawker Media for its "promotion and dissemination" of his leaked Western screenplay, TheWrap.com reported.

According to the 14-page complaint obtained by TheWrap, the director alleged that "Gawker Media crossed the journalistic line by promoting itself to the public as the first source to read the entire Screenplay illegally."

"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,'" the suit continues. "There was nothing newsworthy or journalistic about Gawker Media facilitating and encouraging the public’s violation of Plaintiff’s copyright in the Screenplay, and it’s conduct will not shield Gawker Media from liability for their unlawful activity."

Last Wednesday, Tarantino said he was walking away from the project due to the script's unauthorized release. According to the director, he had only given the 146-page script to six actors he had in mind for roles in the film.

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