One week after filing a second complaint against Gawker, Tarantino has voluntarily dismissed the suit.
Quentin Tarantino has suddenly dropped his lawsuit against Gawker Media over linking to the leaked script for The Hateful Eight. Only a week after amending the lawsuit, Tarantino has voluntarily dismissed the complaint. The dismissal motion states that the dismissal is made without prejudice, meaning that Tarantino could re-file again later, but for now the legal battle is over.
Tarantino was livid over the initial script leak, when details of the script went well beyond the six people he had given copies. When copies of the script appeared on the internet, Gawker published links to the script in its entirety, prompting Tarantino to file a lawsuit against the company. The original complaint stated, "Gawker Media has made a business of predatory journalism, violating people's rights to make a buck. 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." The complaint particularly points out the headlines, saying, "Their headline boasts, 'Here Is the Leaked Quentin Tarantino Hateful Eight Script' - 'Here,' not someplace else, but 'Here' on the Gawker website." That lawsuit was dismissed because it lacked a direct act of infringement, with the judge agreeing with Gawker's lawyers that just the possibility of someone reading the script was not infringement. The judge allowed Tarantino to amend his lawsuit, and last week Tarantino re-filed it, adding the claim that Gawker itself had infringed on his copyright by downloading the screenplay.
Gawker had made no response to the amended claim before Tarantino's voluntary dismissal. The dismissal motion states, "This dismissal is made without prejudice, whereby Plaintiff may later advance an action and refile a complaint after further investigations to ascertain and plead the identities of additional infringers resulting from Gawker Media's contributory copyright infringement, by its promotion, aiding and abetting and materially contributing to the dissemination to third-parties of unauthorized copies of Plaintiff's copyrighted work." The reasons behind the dismissal are unknown. It's possible that Tarantino's lawyers believe that there is not enough evidence to prove their claims, that further investigation was needed, or that Tarantino would rather focus his efforts on bringing The Hateful Eight to film. After a successful live script reading last month, Tarantino has said he intends to film it, albeit with a revised script and new ending.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter