Quentin Tarantino has sued website Gawker for contributory copyright infringement after it posted a link to leaked screenplay of The Hateful Eight.
A link to The Hateful Eight script remained on Gawker‘s Defamer blog on Monday despite demands from Quentin Tarantino’s lawyers to take it down.
They argued the site had effectively cost him royalties he might earn from the eventual publication of the script.
But Gawker said posting a link was part of its job to provide information.
“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,” the site’s editor-in-chief John Cook said.
In a post, Gawker added it would be fighting the case, adding that, to its knowledge, “no claim of contributory infringement has prevailed in the US over a news story”.
The lawsuit seeks damages of $1 million against Gawker as well as $1 million against the anonymous file-sharing site where the leaked script was hosted.
Quentin Tarantino has previously published scripts of his films, a practice in the past has earned him hefty royalties and advances.
“There was nothing newsworthy or journalistic about Gawker Media facilitating and encouraging the public’s violation of [Quentin Tarantino’s] copyright in the screenplay, and its conduct will not shield Gawker Media from liability for their unlawful activity,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit also alleges the leak was originally only limited to a few people, and The Hateful Eight script did not appear online until after Gawker posted an item encouraging anyone who had a copy to leak it to them.
Quentin Tarantino blasted the leak last week in an interview with entertainment industry website Deadline.com and said he would abandon the project as a film.
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