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Gawker Seeks Dismissal of Quentin Tarantino Suit

Gawker is urging a federal court to dismiss Quentin Tarantino’s claim that the site contributed to copyright infringement by linking to a leaked online copy of his “Hateful Eight” script.

Tarantino filed suit in January, shortly after he decided not to make the movie after the script was posted anonymously online.

Gawker says Tarantino’s suit should be dismissed because he hasn’t alleged any actual copyright infringement but only “contributory” copyright infringement.

Tarantino’s suit “does no more than raise the possibility that some member of the public who accessed plaintiff’s script using Gawker’s link subsequently violated Tarantino’s rights by committing an infringement,” Gawker said in a motion to dismiss filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Monday. “Because plaintiff did not allege any facts showing that an infringing act actually was undertaken by a third party — merely accessing the script by clicking on the link is legally insufficient — plaintiff did not state a claim for contributory infringement.”

Gawker also contends that even if Tarantino could show such infringement, its links to the script were a fair use.

“Gawker made minimal use of the script — it reproduced no part of it but merely linked to another publication,” it said in its brief. “Gawker’s use was, at most, incidentally commercial and did not usurp the primary market for and purpose of the script: to make a movie.”

Tarantino contends that Gawker has made a business out of “predatory journalism” and has “crossed the journalistic line by promoting itself to the public as the first source to read the entire screenplay illegally.” In his suit, he noted that Gawker’s article contained multiple direct links to the download and that it invited readers to “Enjoy!” it.

U.S. District Judge John Walter has scheduled a hearing in the case for April 14.

Gawker is represented by attorneys Robert Penchina and Thomas Curley in New York and Kevin Vick and Jean-Paul Jassy in Los Angeles. Tarantino is repped by Martin Singer, Evan Spiegel and Henry Self.

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