Quentin Tarantino Sues Gawker Over Hateful Eight Links

Quentin Tarantino Sues Gawker Over Hateful Eight Links

Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino has filed a lawsuit against Gawker Media for publishing links to the leaked script of his now-shelved Western The Hateful Eight.

Quentin Tarantino was none too pleased when his first-draft script for The Hateful Eight, which he'd given to a half-dozen people to check out, leaked out to agents who began calling him to pitch their clients for roles. He was so upset that he put the whole thing on hold, not just because of the leak itself but because of what he felt was a betrayal. "I give it out to six people, and if I can't trust them to that degree, then I have no desire to make it," he said.

Now, however, the script has leaked beyond just agents and actors and is in the hands of the general public thanks to Gawker Media, which last week published links to the script in its entirety. Because of that, Tarantino has filed suit, claiming that it "crossed the journalistic line" by promoting itself as the go-to source of the script rather than just reporting on the leak.

"Gawker Media has made a business of predatory journalism, violating people's rights to make a buck. This time they went too far," the complaint states. "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 complaint claims that Tarantino believes the public at large would not have become aware of the leak or discovered the script were it not for Gawker's efforts. Furthermore, a Tarantino rep issued a DMCA infringement notice to Gawker demanding that the links be removed, but not only did Gawker "expressly refuse" to do so, it actually added a link to a second source of the script three days after the original post went up.

"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 in their unlawful activity," the lawsuit says.

Tarantino is seeking "actual damages and Defendants' profits in an amount exceeding $1,000,000 to be determined at trial," plus statutory and punitive damages, legal fees and an injunction against Gawker prohibiting it from continuing to link to or otherwise make use of the script "in violation of Plaintiff's copyright."

Source: Deadline

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After the Rob Ford Cocaine Video "Let's Give Money To A Drug Dealer" debacle and general douchebaggery, I fully support Gawker getting the book throw at them so hard they can't stand.

Let's hope this takes down what is the equal of tabloid journalism.

Just watch though, Jezebel will blame the whole suit on the Y chromosome while Kotaku will blame it on the japanese.

Some thing should be public knowledge in artistic works, the money maybe technical details or general production news but this goes too far and feels to me like the kind of inappropriate publications that "news sources" like tmz would put out.

I really hope that website dies because of this.

And no, I don't care for the people who make a living out of garbage like this. You've got decent writing skills (I think) - use them for something worthwhile.

This reminds me very much of the PS3 key debacle. In the end, that key was posted all over the net just to piss Sony off. Same is coming to Quentin now...

RaikuFA:

Just watch though, Jezebel will blame the whole suit on the Y chromosome while Kotaku will blame it on the japanese.

Kotaku commenters might blame it on the Japanese, but Kotaku officially is sorta pro-Japan. This leads to a wacky state of affairs: Kotaku will post anime reviews or Japanese culture news and some commenters will flip their shit about "WTF Y U TALK ABOUT JAPAN, NBDY GIVES A FUCK."

Agreed with your ideas on Jezebel, though they'll cover it by instead posting about how "Tarantino is a man-child who makes sexist flicks."

I am pissed about the idea that maybe this movie will never be made. Another western from Tarantino would be so amazing.

Captcha: patience, child

Yes, master.

I read he only gave 3 people the script. Some gave it to their agents who sent it to other actors. You cant sue a site that got the script 3rd hand, he should sue one of those 3 people he gave it to who broke his trust. End of the day, Quentin is a great director, but all his movies are ripped off others that he watched and his dialogue sucks. I would really love for him to direct some one elses script, a horror movie or sci fi.

Yeah this seems to a be going too far, report on the script leak don't publish the damn thing online (or link in this case). To me this is the equivilent of the Escapist reporting on a game being leaked half a year early and then linking the proper Pirate Bay torrent for the game below the story.

scotth266:

RaikuFA:

Just watch though, Jezebel will blame the whole suit on the Y chromosome while Kotaku will blame it on the japanese.

Kotaku commenters might blame it on the Japanese, but Kotaku officially is sorta pro-Japan. This leads to a wacky state of affairs: Kotaku will post anime reviews or Japanese culture news and some commenters will flip their shit about "WTF Y U TALK ABOUT JAPAN, NBDY GIVES A FUCK."

Agreed with your ideas on Jezebel, though they'll cover it by instead posting about how "Tarantino is a man-child who makes sexist flicks."

http://kotaku.com/5484581/japan-its-not-funny-anymore

I beg to differ. There was also the time that they called Rainfall a "bunch of whiny entitled crybabies who only want to play crappy games". Then there was when they insulted Senran Kagura and its fans during it's localization announcement. Or when they victim blamed bully victims during the Ocean Marketing fiasco(not japan related, but I bring it up when I say no one should read Kotaku).

Really? Really?
So using their logic... They should be able to host copies of games that get leaked out before release date. Because "we are just showing what was leaked." Fucking parasites. I hope he wins the damn company with his suit and it sets a precedent for suing the media.

SonOfVoorhees:
I read he only gave 3 people the script. Some gave it to their agents who sent it to other actors. You cant sue a site that got the script 3rd hand, he should sue one of those 3 people he gave it to who broke his trust. End of the day, Quentin is a great director, but all his movies are ripped off others that he watched and his dialogue sucks. I would really love for him to direct some one elses script, a horror movie or sci fi.

The three people who handed it to their agents aren't making money off of the work. It does not matter if Gawker got it third hand or not, they are making money from publishing another person's work without their permission. Claiming they got it third hand is a meaningless defense.

RaikuFA:

scotth266:

RaikuFA:

Just watch though, Jezebel will blame the whole suit on the Y chromosome while Kotaku will blame it on the japanese.

Kotaku commenters might blame it on the Japanese, but Kotaku officially is sorta pro-Japan. This leads to a wacky state of affairs: Kotaku will post anime reviews or Japanese culture news and some commenters will flip their shit about "WTF Y U TALK ABOUT JAPAN, NBDY GIVES A FUCK."

Agreed with your ideas on Jezebel, though they'll cover it by instead posting about how "Tarantino is a man-child who makes sexist flicks."

http://kotaku.com/5484581/japan-its-not-funny-anymore

I beg to differ. There was also the time that they called Rainfall a "bunch of whiny entitled crybabies who only want to play crappy games". Then there was when they insulted Senran Kagura and its fans during it's localization announcement. Or when they victim blamed bully victims during the Ocean Marketing fiasco(not japan related, but I bring it up when I say no one should read Kotaku).

That not-funny-anymore story appears to have been posted four years ago. Today, there's an anime review practically every week, so it seems that the site has moved in a more pro-Japan direction.

It's news to me that they didn't like Senran Kagura as they did like this. Then again in that article the writer liked the core game but not the cheesecake on top of it.

Kotaku is still pretty bad regardless. I mostly go there for anime-related news stuff as they do pretty good "what's coming out this season" posts.

Ya....that's why any 'journalistic' site worth their salt doesn't post links to leaked movies or games. It's promotion. Your site profits from clicks, the click are offered due to your content. Ergo, you're making money from the actual, physical(this case digital) leak. It's sites like this that end up ruining things for other news sites. Imagine if he wins, now people are going to find every which way to milk sites for money with lawsuits and threats, and site are going to lock down even harder on what they show. If he losses, links and garbage on every page looking to be the first to post said content, we already get enough of that.

Leave this kind of stuff to the illegal off the grid(google) pirate sites in Russian with the shady codecs and 'magic' pill ads.

While I hate the vast majority of the Gawker websites, I still have a soft spot for a few of them. io9, Lifehacker, and Jalopnik are all great sites and I would be sad to see them go. The rest of their sites can burn in a fire for all I care though.

This story reminds me of when Jalopnik straight up said they don't do product embargoes. At least they were upfront and honest about it though.

This reminds me of that one time that Fox News reporter reviewed the unfinished Wolverine movie, I believe. And also talked about in detail how easy it was to obtain, even giving directions. Maybe Gawker is where he went after he was fired.

Posting a link to something is not, and should not be illegal. From what I've seen, they are not hosting the script on their own site. Whether or not the article is in poor taste I can't really say, but his beef should be with the person who leaked it. Not gawker.

Good! Give 'em hell Quentin! Seriously I see nothing bad about this, I really do not like the Gawker Media Group, so it'll be nice to see them get a bit of a kick in the balls.

Ah Gawker, a media group that is one giant cesspool for smug, boring assholes to act like children and yet trying to pass themselves off as "edgy" journalists. Did you SEE their "defense" post? It read like an insufferable Livejournal entry by some butthurt teenager. Can't exactly make myself sympathetic towards them

God I hope he gives them a good legal rogering. And it's always nice to cheer for someone actually protecting their intellectual property from unscrupulous bastards.

I'm not sure if he has a a really good case, but I sure hope he does. I'm certainly not a fan of Gawker or its affiliates. Even if there is no legal repercussions for this, helping to leak something like that is a pretty lousy thing to do.

In other news, crazy old has-been sues internet claiming First Amendment doesn't apply to people he doesn't like.

According to this article they published links, they didn't have the script on their servers. Get over it QT and sue the people that ACTUALLY leaked it.

RaikuFA:
Let's hope this takes down what is the equal of tabloid journalism.

I think you've just insulted tabloid journalism. I've never heard of the National Inquirer publishing someone else's work in their magazine or on their website. Certainly not a full script.

Tabloids are shitty, don't get me wrong, but this... this is far worse.

I hope that Tarantino takes Gawker for everything.

I'm sure they'll just reach a settlement, but I hope he sinks Gawker.

SonOfVoorhees:
I read he only gave 3 people the script. Some gave it to their agents who sent it to other actors. You cant sue a site that got the script 3rd hand, he should sue one of those 3 people he gave it to who broke his trust. End of the day, Quentin is a great director, but all his movies are ripped off others that he watched and his dialogue sucks. I would really love for him to direct some one elses script, a horror movie or sci fi.

Hold on, what? Yeah, he does a lot of blatant "borrowing" from other films, but his dialogue sucks? Have you seen Inglorious Basterds? >:|

Honestly, I don't think he'll ever direct any script but his own; IIRC a major part of his epic ego is that he writes his own movies.

SonOfVoorhees:
his dialogue sucks.

This is where I and just about everyone else who has ever enjoyed his movies will have to disagree with you.

Gawker deserves a slap on the wrist, what they pass off as journalism is laughable

SonOfVoorhees:
End of the day, Quentin is a great director, but all his movies are ripped off others that he watched and his dialogue sucks. I would really love for him to direct some one elses script, a horror movie or sci fi.

Yes, his movies are rip-off of others. His entire generation of directors, from Lucas to Spielberg to Tarantino, are ripping off older movies. They represent the film-nerds growing up and making films that harken back to those days. Star Wars, for example, was just the Hidden Fortress, and Indiana Jones is a massive homage to those b-movie action films from the past.

Tarantino's shtick is he takes pre-established genres or ideas, and then effectively ramps them up to 11 to a comic-book ridiculous standard with the love that a person growing up on these films has. And his dialogue sucks?

That's to taste, of course, but dialogue is nearly always where he shines the best, usually inserting the everyday into the absurd (for example, the KKK complaining about their hoods) to make the absurd even more so. Another example; discussing foot massages before bursting into a room and killing people. It's usually silly and over the top, but it's quick-witted and amusing and just shines with genuine love of the medium and the genres he apes.

He'd likely never direct someone else's script, because they wouldn't write the film's how he likes them and with his sense of humour. The reason he is such a great director, and his movies are most definitely 'his' is because he has a hand in every part of the film and he knows precisely what he wants out of them.

chikusho:
Posting a link to something is not, and should not be illegal. From what I've seen, they are not hosting the script on their own site. Whether or not the article is in poor taste I can't really say, but his beef should be with the person who leaked it. Not gawker.

He does have a legal case though- Gawker, by publishing links to the script on their website profited from his IP. You can bet there were ads all over that page.

DoctorM:
In other news, crazy old has-been sues internet claiming First Amendment doesn't apply to people he doesn't like.

According to this article they published links, they didn't have the script on their servers. Get over it QT and sue the people that ACTUALLY leaked it.

In other news, crazy forum commenter thinks the first amendment gives media sources the right to profit off of other people's IP :P
By posting links to the script on a page guaranteed to be filled with ads, they profited off of his IP, and that's illegal. If the people who actually leaked it are profiting from having done so, there's a case to be made against them as well.

To be blunt, I'm not even sure how much of an actual case Tarantino has here, but (and I'll happily admit I'm being petty here) anything that knocks Gawker down a peg or two is A-OK in my book. Everything about Gawker and most of it's subsidiaries just reeks of smug, condescending douchebaggery to me.

Also, do people actually consider Gawker journalism? I thought all Gawker did was link to articles other people and sites created and make snide remarks?

DoctorM:
In other news, crazy old has-been sues internet claiming First Amendment doesn't apply to people he doesn't like.

According to this article they published links, they didn't have the script on their servers. Get over it QT and sue the people that ACTUALLY leaked it.

Before citing the First Amendment please try to read some Constitutional law. Lets start with the basics:

Article 1, Section 8:

The Congress shall have Power...
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
...
To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

The first copyright law in the US was the Copyright Act of 1790, so this isn't some crazy new thing done to crush our liberty. It was written by the same people who wrote the first amendment with the understanding that FACTS CANNOT BE COPYRIGHTED. As such the government cannot block news from being provided nor can this be used to block criticism of the government which is one of the primary concerns of the first amendment.

As of now the US Copyright system is largely broken, few people here will contest that. However the DMCA Safe Harbor clause and the doctrine of Contributory Liability are some of the most sensibly written portions of this law and both of these were clearly violated. Also Fair Use claims fall flat on their face in this case as well.

If you aren't familiar with these a quick summary of them is that the DMCA Safe Harbor Clause states that provider or services or technology who allows general use access to a system that has non-infringing uses cannot be charged with the infringement of their users unless upon becoming aware of specific instances of the infringement they refuse to act to remove it provided this is possible. This is why you see content taken down from YouTube because of DMCA Takedown notices, once someone tells Google that a piece of content violates their copyright they need to take it down or they lose safe harbor protections. However, as long as they comply with this and do take down the content they are not liable for it.

The doctrine of contributory liability states that you can liable for copyright infringement even if you do not duplicate the copyrighted material yourself, but instead knowingly provide the means for others to infringe on a copyright unless in doing so you provide a significant non-infringing use. In Sony v Betamax that significant non-infringing use section came into play and ensured that we could record live TV and other programs despite the fact that this same technology allowed for the duplication of copyrighted material BECAUSE time shifting was considered a significant non-infringing use. In this case, there is no non-infringing use for a link that goes directly to infringing content on a news site.

In the United States fair use is decided based on a multifaceted test that asks:
1. The purpose and nature of the use (education use is highly regarded, profit motive is not).
2. The nature of the copyrighted work.
3. The amount and significance of the portion used in relation to the entirety of the work.
4. The effect the use has on the market for the work.

Gawkers does poorly on the first prong, because they're posting this for profit. The work in question is a screen play designed for a movie a medium where surprise and suspense are important elements so posting it in its original format is pretty bad. They used the entirety of the work without adding or removing anything, so they REALLY lose here. Finally the effect on the market for the work is unknown and really can't be judged. So yeah, not fair use.

So that leaves us with this case, where Gawker ignored a DMCA takedown notice thus removing their safe harbor protection, posted a link to a copyrighted work in its entirety and is left with no argument for fair use. Sorry, but they clearly lose here.

Andy Chalk:

Quentin Tarantino was none too pleased when his first-draft script for The Hateful Eight, which he'd given to a half-dozen people to check out, leaked out to agents who began calling him to pitch their clients for roles. He was so upset that he put the whole thing on hold, not just because of the leak itself but because of what he felt was a betrayal. "I give it out to six people, and if I can't trust them to that degree, then I have no desire to make it," he said.

Well if you're not going to make it anyway, all that was really leaked online was some forgotten western fanfic in the style of a movie script.

Koios:

chikusho:
Posting a link to something is not, and should not be illegal. From what I've seen, they are not hosting the script on their own site. Whether or not the article is in poor taste I can't really say, but his beef should be with the person who leaked it. Not gawker.

He does have a legal case though- Gawker, by publishing links to the script on their website profited from his IP. You can bet there were ads all over that page.

That's a really, really backwards way of looking at it. By that logic, no one would ever be allowed to report on anything. Besides, "profiting from [someones] IP" is not illegal.

chikusho:

Koios:

chikusho:
Posting a link to something is not, and should not be illegal. From what I've seen, they are not hosting the script on their own site. Whether or not the article is in poor taste I can't really say, but his beef should be with the person who leaked it. Not gawker.

He does have a legal case though- Gawker, by publishing links to the script on their website profited from his IP. You can bet there were ads all over that page.

That's a really, really backwards way of looking at it. By that logic, no one would ever be allowed to report on anything. Besides, "profiting from [someones] IP" is not illegal.

People can report on things just fine. Had Gawker merely reported on this, they wouldn't have used links to the full script as their article's main draw- that's not reporting. And if you check chimeracreator's post, you'll notice condition one of the fair use test, which gawker violated.
On the other hand, care to explain exactly how profitting from someone else's works is not illegal in this situation?

 

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