The Continuing Saga Of The Hateful Eight

After last week’s leak of the script to Quentin Tarantino’s latest movie, The Hateful Eight, and his announcement that he no longer would be making it into a movie but a novel instead, Tarantino is now moving to sue the gossip website Gawker for posting a pair of links to the leaked script.

Tarantino’s lawsuit accuses Gawker of copyright infringement in posting links to sites where the 146-page script can be downloaded. The links, readily available on Gawker’s Defamer blog, are part of a story on the leak.

“There was nothing newsworthy or journalistic about Gawker Media facilitating and encouraging the public’s violation of (Tarantino’s) copyright in the Screenplay, and its conduct will not shield Gawker Media from liability for their unlawful activity,” Tarantino’s lawsuit states.

The movie script, which was to be turned into a novel after the initial leak, was not linked to by any other news organization as a part of their reporting on the story. This is not the first of Tarantino’s scripts to leak, Django Unchained also leaked before the movie released; however, the script itself was not linked to in any reporting on the leak itself.

“Someone unknown to Gawker put it on a web site called AnonFiles, and someone unknown to Gawker put it on a different website 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,” wrote John Cook, Gawker’s editor-in-chief on Monday.

While, like Cook states, Gawker did not leak the script itself, unlike the other news outlets covering the story they did link to the script itself. Back when Django was leaked, news organizations covering the story used a picture of the cover of said script, drawn by Tarantino in crayon, to prove that they had access to it.

“Gawker published a link to the script because it was news,” writes Cook. ” 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.”

This is not the first time Gawker has been sued over a link they have posted in conjunction with a story. Hulk Hogan, former wrestler and reality TV-star, sued the site in October of 2012 when they posted a video of Hogan having sex with the wife of his best friend. The following April, Gawker complied with a judge’s order and removed the link.

John Zurz

John Zurz

John Zurz

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