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Gawker Media published a post Monday afternoon, proclaiming — and clarifying — its perspective of the lawsuit filed against the company by Quentin Tarantino.
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The director filed a copyright lawsuit against the media company Monday morning, which The Hollywood Reporter exclusively reported, for allegedly facilitating the dissemination of copies of his unproduced script, The Hateful Eight. “Gawker Media has made a business of predatory journalism, violating people’s rights to make a buck,” says Tarantino’s lawsuit, filed by attorneys Martin Singer and Evan Spiegel at Lavely & Singer in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. The complaint, available here, emphasizes the whereabouts of the script.
“Their headline boasts…’Here,’ not someplace else, but ‘Here’ on the Gawker website. The article then contains multiple direct links for downloading the entire screenplay through a conveniently anonymous URL by simply clicking button links on the Gawker page, and brazenly encourages Gawker visitors to read the screenplay illegally with the invitation to ‘Enjoy!’ it.”
Gawker Media responded with a six-point post entitled, “Quentin Tarantino Sues Gawker Over Link to Script He Wants Online,” which notes that the company thinks Tarantino is to blame for the leak, as he spoke on the availability of his work to Deadline Hollywood and made his complaints of the leak very public and, therefore, newsworthy. “It was Tarantino himself who turned his script into a news story, one that garnered him a great deal of attention,” reads one section.
The item also details how the media is not the source of the script’s leak, reading: “Someone unknown to Gawker put it on a website called AnonFiles, and someone unknown to Gawker put it on a different website called Scribd. Last Thursday, 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.”
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The post also clarifies that Gawker Media is not being sued for copyright infringement, but “contributory copyright infringement for linking to a site that is being sued for direct copyright infringement.” Even more so, the company notes it was simply fulfilling its role as a news site and, with precedence on its side, is ready to take on the director in the legal battle.
“News of the fact that it existed on the Internet advanced a story that Tarantino himself had launched, and our publication of the link was a routine and unremarkable component of our job: making people aware of news and information about which they are curious,” concludes the post. “Gawker and Defamer are news sites, and our publication of the link was clearly connected to our goal of informing readers about things they care about. As far as I can tell (but I’m no lawyer!), no claim of contributory infringement has prevailed in the U.S. over a news story. We’ll be fighting this one.”
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