Quentin Tarantino Sues Gawker Over Leaked Script

Quentin Tarantino
Jerod Harris/Getty Images

Quentin Tarantino has filed a lawsuit against Gawker Media claiming copyright infringement after the web site posted a copy of his leaked script, “The Hateful Eight.”

Tarantino first voiced his outrage to Deadline Hollywood about the script’s leak, declaring he would no longer make the film his next project. A few days later, Gawker posted the script on its site under the headline “Here Is the Leaked Quentin Tarantino Hateful Eight Script.”

At the time of this posting, the Gawker story remains up.

“Gawker Media has made a business of predatory journalism, violating people’s rights to make a buck. This time they went too far,” the suit states. “Rather than merely publishing a news story reporting that [Tarantino’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 suit cites multiple links for downloading the entire screenplay “through a conveniently anonymous URL by simply clicking button links on he Gawker page, and brazenly encourages Gawker visitors to read the screenplay illegally with the invitation to ‘Enjoy!’ it.”

Tarantino’s copyright infringement claim is against John Doe defendants and anonfiles.com, an unknown entity that posted the screenplay.

His contributory infringement claim against Gawker Media contends that the site refused to remove the links to the screenplay after his attorneys gave them notice. “Gawker Media knowingly and actively acted as a promoter of copyright pirates, and, itself, did directly cause, contribute to, enable and facilitate copyright infringement,” Tarantino’s suit states.

Tarantino is seeking actual damages of at least $1 million in each of its infringement claims, as well as statutory and punitive damages and an injunction preventing Gawker from linking to the script.

Tarantino is represented by Martin Singer, Evan Spiegel and Henry Self at Lavely & Singer.

The lawsuit was first reported by the Hollywood Reporter.

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  1. Bob says:

    Mess with someone rich enough to hire lawyers and a history of making a lot of money from his screenplays to justify a very large lawsuit and you get what you deserve.

  2. tony white says:

    Seriously? This coming from a guy that screwed just about everyone over that helped him early in his career, not to mention what he did to Roger Avery! Has never done anything remotely original, just a copycat! Does not deserve to be in the business!

    • THGhost says:

      You’re kidding right? Pulp Fiction is pretty fucking original!

      • GreengrassIstheWorst says:

        Well he did do an American remake of City on Fire, named it Reservoir Dogs and tried to pass it off as his own… Not to mention, he certainly hasn’t done anything good since Jackie Brown either.

  3. Rick A. says:

    Evan Spiegel is representing Tarantino. Ha! Can only assume that’s the Snapchat founder’s dad. Gawker’s gone after Young Spiegel as well. Wouldn’t be surprised that it was the same family and that Spiegel (snapchat’s founder) went after Gawker as well. Bully-trolling is all Gawker does.

  4. Giona A. Nazzaro says:

    Tarantino’s damn’ right!

  5. peter gonzalez says:

    when you copy the written word you can get sued; when you copy a film it is a tribute

  6. Zag says:

    I’ve heard of him leaving scripts around places to cause a buzz for his film and to get people excited. I would not be surprised if this is a publicity stunt.

  7. mattheww says:

    Leaked screenplays have been the new reality for high-profile movie projects for years now, and seems pretty impossible to stop. The good news is, no one (statistically) reads them. Moviegoers don’t care that much; it’s hard to get them to care about the finished movies, fee chrissakes. And certainly anyone who *does* care enough to download and slog through a film’s screenplay is pretty much 100% guaranteed to also see the film (by what means is another story.) So at the end of the day the only real damage done is to the poor sap who read a poor substitute for the eventual thing itself, thereby demising their eventual filmgoing experience. So what’s the big deal? And even if one sees it as a big deal, what’s the proposed solution? Cancel every film whose screenplay is leaked? If Tarantino sticks to those guns he’ll never make another film

  8. Joe Wilson says:

    I don’t remember nearly this much outrage from anybody (including QT) when the Django Unchained screenplay leaked 19 months before the film was released.

    • JN says:

      Django Unchained’s lead wasn’t the first draft of a screenplay that was only sent out to a few people. A first draft is not usually intended for public view, just for the select few who you believe you can trust. While I’m sure QT was upset at the leak of Django, the leaked version was probably more polished and more representative of the final film.

  9. Echeung says:

    Question to Quentin: so how do you feel about Snowden now?

    • Tony says:

      That’s totally different and you know it. Snowden didn’t leak someone’s copyrighted creative intellectual property. He leaked government documents that made the world aware of the NSA’s misuse of information. Both are illegal. At least one has some morale merit.

  10. Jake B. says:

    They gon’ learn something today!

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