Quentin Tarantino sues Gawker for circulating ‘Hateful Eight’ script

Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, pictured here around the time "Django Unchained" was released, is suing Gawker. He accused the company of disseminating his script for "The Hateful Eight."
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Days after a script leak prompted Quentin Tarantino to shelve his ensemble western “The Hateful Eight,” the filmmaker has filed a copyright lawsuit against Gawker Media and accused its Defamer website of disseminating copies of the script, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Last week, Tarantino was irate to learn that his new screenplay had gotten out into the wild after he gave it to a few actors, telling the media that he was “very, very depressed” and would publish the script rather than make it into a movie.

Not long afterward, Defamer published a post titled “Here Is the Leaked Quentin Tarantino ‘Hateful Eight’ Script,” which contained download links to the script. The post concluded, “For better or worse, the document is 146 pages of pure Tarantino. Enjoy!”


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Tarantino’s lawyers filed a lawsuit that said: “Gawker Media has made a business of predatory journalism, violating people’s rights to make a buck. This time they went too far. Rather than merely publishing a news story reporting that Plaintiff’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 complaint also said that Gawker has refused “repeat demands” to remove the links, “including submissions of DMCA notices of copyright infringement.”

A spokesperson for Gawker told the Hollywood Reporter that Gawker had not seen the lawsuit yet.

Former Defamer editor Beejoli Shah, who left the site at the end of 2013, tweeted “haha” in reaction to news of the lawsuit. Shah, whose 2011 account of a chance encounter with Tarantino went viral, alluded to that incident in a follow-up tweet, writing, “Anyone who thinks Tarantino will win his lawsuit against Gawker is dumber than me circa 2011, writing emails to my friendsicles.”


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