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Quentin Tarantino Accuses Gawker of Fabricating Story About Leaked Script

Quentin Tarantino has accused Gawker Media of fabricating a news story about a leaked copy of his script “The Hateful Eight” in order to justify linking to a copy of it.

In a filing Monday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, Tarantino responded to Gawker’s motion to dismiss his January 27 lawsuit claiming copyright infringement.

The incident in question arose in January after Tarantino complained to Deadline Hollywood that someone had leaked the scripted for his latest project when Gawker posted a story on its Defamer site titled “Here Is the Leaked Quentin Tarantino Hateful Eight Script”with a link to a third party website hosting the 146-page script.

Tarantino’s attorneys said in the filing that the Defamer story had been “fabricated.”

“That the screenplay had merely leaked to a limited number of individuals within the confines of Hollywood was by that point already old news, having already been reported by Gawker and various other news outlets,” the filing said. “Gawker solicited and obtained a theretofore publicly unknown link to an anonymous download site that was storing and distributing to users infringing PDF copies of the complete copyrighted screenplay.

“Gawker then fabricated another, new ‘story’ that the script had been made publicly available online solely so that Gawker could then trumpet to the world without impunity exactly where on the Internet the infringement was taking place.”

The filing noted that Gawker could have merely included the fact that the script was leaked and available on a file upload site without including any specific links. It said that Gawker had “crossed the journalistic line to become an active inducer of the illegal activity about which it was supposedly reporting. Gawker should be held culpable.”

Gawker said in a March 10 filing that Tarantino’s suit should be dismissed because he hasn’t alleged any actual copyright infringement but only “contributory” copyright infringement.

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

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