The saga of Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight continues—just two weeks ago, we began to learn the details concerning Tarantino’s newest film project, concerning bounty hunters in 19th century Wyoming. It was to be a full-on Western, would likely star Bruce Dern, Michael Madsen, and Tim Roth (with rumors involving further casting of other Tarantino stalwarts like Sam Jackson and Christoph Waltz). Then came the bad news: someone leaked the first draft of the script (which QT had distributed privately to his prospective actors) and, feeling betrayed, Tarantino decided to shelve the film project entirely.
Now, another chapter of the quickly-moving story has begun: Tarantino has filed a lawsuit against the website Gawker Media. Why? Gawker published a post (‘Here is the leaked Quentin Tarantino Hateful Eight Script’) that itself linked to a filesharing website containing unauthorized access to Tarantino’s 146-page script, which the director had already filed a copyright to. Thus, the crux of the suit goes like this:
“Gawker Media has made a business of predatory journalism, violating people’s right to make a buck. This time they’ve gone 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. Their headline boasts, ‘Here is the leaked Quentin Tarantino Hateful Eight Script’ — here, not someplace else, but ‘here’ on the Gawker website. 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 an invitation to ‘enjoy’ it. There was nothing newsworthy or journalistic about Gawker Media facilitating and encouraging the public’s violation of Plaintiff’s copyright in the screenplay, and its conduct will not shield Gawker Media from liability for their unlawful activity.”
If Tarantino wins the suit, it will set a very interesting precedent, as Gawker posted a link to the script, without actually hosting the content itself.
What do you think of the Tarantino news?