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Arts and Entertainment

Quentin Tarantino Sues Gawker For Leaked Script, Says 'They Went Too Far'

Quentin Tarantino sued Gawker for allegedly leaking his script (Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for Variety)
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Quentin Tarantino is so pissed about how his script for The Hateful Eight got leaked last week that he's now suing Gawker.

The Pulp Fiction director filed his copyright lawsuit in California federal court after Gawker Media's sister website Defamer posted a link to his script on its website, with the headline, "Here Is the Leaked Quentin Tarantino Hateful Eight Script." He alleges the company refused to take down the script despite Tarantino's repeated requests they do so, according to court documents acquired by The Hollywood Reporter. (Looks like Gawker still isn't backing down because the link to his script is still on the Defamer website.)

"Gawker Media has made a business of predatory journalism, violating people’s rights to make a buck," says Tarantino's lawsuit. "This time, they went 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."

Tarantino had given a small group of actors his Western-movie script and was upset to find out either the actors or their reps had leaked it. He decided to postpone directing the film project for at least the next five years because of it. He told Deadline on Jan. 21:

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“I’m very, very depressed," Tarantino said. "I finished a script, a first draft, and I didn’t mean to shoot it until next winter, a year from now. I gave it to six people, and apparently it’s gotten out today."

Tarantino's lawsuit claimed that although the script had already been illegally uploaded online (he's also suing the website AnonFles for allegedly uploading his screenplay), but "the general public would not have known about or found the complete copy of the Screenplay" had it not been for Gawker. He believes their article, "Quentin Tarantino Throws Temper Tantrum After Script Leak," brought even more attention to it.

His lawsuit is asking for at least $1 million in actual and statutory damages, in addition to Gawker's profits.

UPDATE 11:10 a.m.: Gawker responded to the lawsuit yesterday by writing that Tarantino "deliberately turned the leak into a story" in an article on its website, "Quentin Tarantino Sues Gawker Over Link to Script He Wants Online."

Gawker claims they weren't the ones who leaked The Hateful Eight script since a copy of it was already uploaded onto the AnonFiles website. In addition, they claim Tarantino was the culprit in bringing attention to this illegal copy floating around online after he talked to Deadline about it, and wanted the copy to be disseminated online. Gawker mentions that Tarantino told Deadline:

...I do like the fact that everyone eventually posts it, gets it and reviews it on the net. Frankly, I wouldn't want it any other way. I like the fact that people like my shit, and that they go out of their way to find it and read it.

The article also notes that Gawker isn't being sued for publishing copyrighted information, but are rather being sued for "contributory copyright infringement for linking to a site that is being sued for direct copyright infringement."