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Quentin Tarantino v Gawker Media

By Kara Buonanno

Edgy, Oscar winning filmmaker Quentin Tarantino is demanding real-life revenge from Gawker Media LLC (Gawker) for the latter's publishing of online links to a downloadable version of the script to his latest movie, "The Hateful Eight." On January 27th, Tarantino filed a lawsuit against Gawker in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, alleging contributory copyright infringement. The lawsuit also names as a defendant AnonFiles.com, the file share website that made the actual script available for viewing.

The suit alleges that Gawker promoted and disseminated "unauthorized downloadable copies of the leaked unreleased complete screenplay". Additionally, court documents state that Gawker has "failed and expressly refused to remove their directions to and URL links to get the infringing materials". More specifically, on both January 23rd and 24th, Gawker received DMCA notice and takedown letters stating that links to access the screenplay appeared at URL locations on its website. Pursuant to these notices, the plaintiff demanded removal of the directions and URL links leading to the script.

According to court documents, Tarantino submitted a copyright registration application for "The Hateful Eight" on January 23, 2014, prior to the alleged infringements.

The director is seeking actual and statutory damages, along with Gawker's profits of at least $1 million for each count of copyright infringement.

Tarantino is represented by Los Angeles-based attorney Marty Singer of Lavely and Singer PC. Singer is commonly and endearingly referenced as the "Pit Bull Litigator" or "Guard Dog to the Stars" by the media. He has represented a multitude of celebrities in various litigation matters, including Charlie Sheen, John Travolta, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Scarlett Johansson. Gawker has dealt with Singer before. In 2009 and 2010 Singer represented Eric Dane and his wife Rebecca Gayheart in a copyright infringement suit against Gawker for the posting of a sexually explicit video. The case settled for an undisclosed six-figure sum, and Gawker pulled any traces of the video from its website.

Gawker Editor-In-Chief John Cook stated that Gawker planned to fight Tarantino's lawsuit and denied any allegations of copyright infringement in a post on Gawker.com, where he claimed that its role was only to provide users a link to the script. The post states: "Gawker received a tip from a reader informing us that the script was on the AnonFiles site, after which Gawker published a story reporting that the script had surfaced online."

As a result of the script leak, Tarantino has publicly claimed that he will no longer make "The Hateful Eight". According to IMDB.com, the project has been shelved.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 5, 2014 9:33 AM.

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