Tarantino has said that he felt so “betrayed” by the script’s leak that he will no longer be making the movie, and has accused Gawker of “contributory copyright infringement” for linking to another site that had the script posted. The other site is being sued for direct copyright infringement.
“Gawker Media has made a business of predatory journalism,” the lawsuit says, “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.”
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The suit points to this post on Defamer — Gawker’s site for entertainment news — called “Here is the leaked Quentin Tarantino Hateful Eight Script,” which contains links to other sites with the full screenplay. “Here, not someplace else, but ‘here’ on the Gawker website,” the suit contends. “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.”
Gawker has disputed that it has anything to do with the leak, or the websites that posted the script online. “Someone unknown to Gawker put it on a web site called AnonFiles, and someone unknown to Gawker put it on a different web site 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,” John Cook, the site’s Editor-In-Chief, writes in a 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,” Cook continues.
If you’re interested in the Tarantino film that never was, The Wrap sums up Hateful Eight: “The script is an ensemble Western with obvious parts for Madsen and Dern, as well as Tarantino stalwarts like Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz. Jackson and Madsen would likely both play bounty hunters returning human plunder to a town called Red Rock in exchange for hefty rewards. Their characters, a former major in the Union army and a man named John Ruth, dominate the first two of the script’s five chapters.”
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