Gawker crossed the journalistic line, Tarantino alleges.
Soon after The Hateful Eight‘s script reading came the news: Tarantino’s case for copyright infringement against Gawker, the site that posted and spoilt his script, was dead in the water. Tarantino has amended his complaint and is going after Gawker again. Gawker crossed the journalistic line, he alleges, and now the courts have to decide whether a news site that downloads copyrighted material is infringing on the rights of the author.
The original suit was dismissed because Tarantino failed to allege a specific instance of infringement, and without that specific instance he couldn’t prove contributory infringement. Now Tarantino’s claiming there is a specific instance, and that it was Gawker’s.
“On January 23, 2014,” the complaint alleges, “After Gawker obtained the Screenplay Download URL in response to its request for leak of an unauthorized infringing copy of the Screenplay, Gawker itself illegally downloaded to its computers an unauthorized infringing PDF copy of the Screenplay – read it and learned that the PDF download document was 146 pages – directly infringing Tarantino’s copyright.”
The complaint goes on to say that Gawker also publicly induced its 47 million readers to do the same, and that when a takedown notice wiped the file from AnonFiles, Gawker amended its links to point to new file host locations.
Tarantino points out that if Gawker had simply said there was an illicit script download out there somewhere, without saying where, that would have been legitimate news reporting. By requesting a reader send it the file, and then linking it for all its readers to see, Gawker crossed the line.
Gawker is still reviewing the amended complaint and has yet to comment. Tarantino meanwhile will be going ahead with The Hateful Eight, but the ending will be drastically changed.
“Gawker has made a business of predatory journalism, violating people’s rights to make a buck,” the lawsuit claims. “This time they went too far.” If successful, Tarantino wants more than $1 million in damages.
Source: Hollywood Reporter