“Pulp Fiction” filmmaker files amended complaint over leaked script after initial lawsuit was dismissed
Gawker may have won the battle with Quentin Tarantino over the leaked “Hateful Eight” lawsuit, but the filmmaker clearly hopes that he might still win the war.
Tarantino has filed an amended complaint against Gawker, after his first complaint was dismissed by a federal judge in late April.
In his initial complaint filed in January, Tarantino alleged that Gawker “crossed the journalistic line” when it published a link to his script for “The Hateful Eight” in January and contributed to copyright infringement. However, while dismissing the case, Judge John F. Walter ruled that the “Pulp Fiction” filmmaker hadn't made his case.
“[N]owhere in these paragraphs or anywhere else in the Complaint does Plaintiff allege a single act of direct infringement committed by any member of the general public that would support Plaintiff's claim for contributory infringement. Instead, Plaintiff merely speculates that some direct infringement must have taken place. For example, Plaintiff's Complaint fails to allege the identity of a single third-party infringer, the date, the time, or the details of a single instance of third-party infringement, or, more importantly, how Defendant allegedly caused, induced, or materially contributed to the infringement by those third parties,” Martin noted in his decision.
The new lawsuit, filed in U.S. district court in California on Thursday, alleges a single count of copyright infringement (direct and contributory).
Gawker engaged in direct copyright infringement by their unauthorized download of a PDF copy of the leaked unreleased complete screenplay for Quentin Tarantino‘s motion picture The Hateful Eight (the ‘Screenplay'). Gawker also engaged in contributory copyright infringement. both by their solicitation for its readers to violate copyright and ‘leak the script to us,’ and, after obtaining the unauthorized Screenplay i response to their initial contributory infringement solicitation, by their promotion, aiding and abetting and materially contributing to the dissemination to third-parties of unauthorized downloadable PDF copies of the leaked screenplay,” the amended complaint reads.
In its response to Tarantino's initial complaint, Gawker argued that it didn't infringe on the filmmaker's copyright — and that even if he could make the claim that they did, Gawker is protected under fair use anyway.
“Even if plaintiff could state a claim for contributory infringement against Gawker, the claim would be subject to dismissal because the challenged report made fair use of plaintiff's work,” legal papers filed by Gawker stated.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.