Quentin Tarantino sues US website over leaked script

Tuesday 28 January 2014 23.20
Director/Producer Quentin Tarantino attends the 33rd annual Variety Home Entertainment Hall of Fame
Director/Producer Quentin Tarantino attends the 33rd annual Variety Home Entertainment Hall of Fame

Oscar-winning filmmaker Quentin Tarantino has filed a lawsuit against media outlet Gawker for copyright infringement, after the website published links to download the script for his latest movie, The Hateful Eight.

Gawker editor John Cook denied the publication had infringed on copyright in a post published on Gawker.com.

He said Gawker did not leak Mr Tarantino's 146-page Western movie script and only published a link to a website where the script could be downloaded.

In court documents, Mr Tarantino claimed Gawker Media promoted and disseminated unauthorised, downloadable copies of the leaked screenplay.

The filmmaker is seeking more than $1m (€730,000) in damages for each of two copyright infringement claims.

The lawsuit also names website AnonFiles.com, which the Gawker article linked to, and which contains downloads of Mr Tarantino's script.

Mr Cook said Gawker had nothing to do with the appearance of The Hateful Eight script on the internet and said it did not know who had uploaded the document to AnonFiles.com.

Mr Cook also said that Gawker was being sued for contributory copyright infringement, for publishing links to AnonFiles.com, which is being sued for direct copyright infringement.

AnonFiles.com allows users to upload and download files anonymously, and in its terms and conditions it says users can be held responsible for illegal and copyright infringement material. It adds that illegal files will be removed.

As of yesterday, Gawker's story, first published on 23 January, was still live along with links to download the script on AnonFiles.com.

Mr Tarantino, 50, is known for his edgy, gritty films that fuse dark humour with violence, including 1994's Pulp Fiction and 2012's Django Unchained, both of which earned him Oscar wins for best original screenplay.

The lawsuit details how Mr Tarantino discovered that a copy of his latest screenplay had been leaked publicly on 21 January, which he addressed in an interview with film industry website Deadline Hollywood.

Mr Tarantino said he was "very, very depressed" at the leak and scrapped his plans to make the movie, saying that he would publish the script instead.