Copyright Law

Director Quentin Tarantino sues Gawker over hyperlink to leaked screenplay


Quentin Tarantino. Featureflash /

In a lawsuit likely to explore the parameters of what constitutes news, movie director Quentin Tarantino has filed a complaint against Gawker Media in federal court in Los Angeles.

It contends the company violated copyright law, facilitating distribution of an already-leaked screenplay for The Hateful Eight by linking to it on a Gawker Defamer page, according to Courthouse News and the Hollywood Reporter’s Hollywood, Esq page.

The Hollywood Reporter provides a copy of the Monday filing (PDF). It seeks disgorgement of profits, alleged to be $1 million or more, punitive damages and attorney’s fees, among other relief.

In a Monday post on Gawker, an editor said it will fight the suit. Gawker had nothing to do with making the screenplay public, the post says, but only informed readers of the news that it had been leaked and linked to third party web pages on which the script had already been published.

The suit contends that by urging the public to read the screenplay “here” and “enjoy!” as well as providing links to it Gawker crossed a legal line.

“Gawker Media has made a business of predatory journalism, violating people’s rights to make a buck,” the Tarantino complaint states. “This time, they went 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.”

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