Gawker: Quentin Tarantino to Blame for Script Frenzy

Website defends linking to 'Hateful Eight' script after director files contributory copyright infringement suit

After Quentin Tarantino sued Gawker Media on Monday for linking to a leaked script of his project “Hateful Eight,” the company defended its post and suggested that it was the director himself who bore responsibility for calling attention to the script.

Tarantino sued Gawker Media in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, claiming contributory copyright infringement, after its Defamer site linked to an AnonFiles posting of the script. The director also sued AnonFiles for direct infringement, but the challenge there will be to actually find the identity of the defendant.

Gawker’s John Cook wrote in a post on Monday that “contributory infringement is a legal theory that has traditionally been deployed against file-sharing sites and search engines—venues that explicitly exist as directories to copyrighted content. Gawker and Defamer are news sites, and our publication of the link was clearly connected to our goal of informing readers about things they care about. As far as I can tell (but I’m no lawyer!), no claim of contributory infringement has prevailed in the U.S. over a news story. We’ll be fighting this one.”

Cook pointed out that it was not Gawker that leaked the script, and that the director was the one “who  turned his script into a news story, one that garnered him a great deal of attention.” He cited a quote that Tarantino gave to Deadline in which he said of his material, “I do like the fact that everyone eventually posts it, gets it and reviews it on the net.”

Cook also denied that Gawker encouraged anyone to leak the script.

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