Gawker's Defamer blog linked to the full 146-page screenplay last Thursday
Quentin Tarantino has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Gawker Media for its “promotion and dissemination” of his leaked Western screenplay, “The Hateful Eight.”
The suit, filed Monday morning in California federal court, alleges ”Gawker Media crossed the journalistic line by promoting itself to the public as the first source to read the entire Screenplay illegally” on the company's Defamer blog last Thursday.
“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 lawsuit states. “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.”
According to the 14-page complaint, Gawker refused “repeat demands” to remove the links to anonymous file-sharing websites Anonfiles.com and Scribd.com, the latter of which is still hosting a leaked draft of the screenplay that began circulating around town – and then the internet — earlier this month.
The suit also notes Gawker “actively solicited its readers” to obtain an unauthorized copy of the screenplay a day after Tarantino publicly stated he intended to postpone his plans to produce the screenplay into a film, and publish it, instead.
“So watch out, CAA agents and assistants, Tarantino is coming for you,” a Defamer article about Tarantino's “Temper Tantrum After Script Leak” concludes. ”In the meantime, if anyone would like to name names or leak the script to us, please do so at email@example.com.”
The lawsuit, filed by attorneys Martin Singer and Evan Spiegel of Lavely & Singer, is seeking “an amount exceeding $1 million to be determined at trial” for damages, as well as Gawker's profits.
Both Gawker Media and Tarantino's representatives have yet to respond to TheWrap's request for comment.