Over the course of roughly a week, Quentin Tarantino’s scrapped project The Hateful Eight has gone from being a fanboy’s dream to a total nightmare. First, the director announced that he would be abandoning the film after the first draft of his script began making the Hollywood rounds without his consent. Then, every gossip rag and blog began scouring the Internet for the actual leaked script, prompting a host of hoaxes and imitators. Now, things are about to get very real in the legal sense, with Tarantino lawyering up to sue the website Gawker for posting the real script.
The site offered The Hateful Eight script for download via a link on their website, titling the article “Here Is the Leaked Quentin Tarantino Hateful Eight Script,” just in case you were not certain about it. This has proven to be the last straw for Tarantino, who made known his plans to adapt the draft into a novel rather than producing it as a film.
Here’s the full statement from the court papers (via The Playlist):
Gawker Media has made a business of predatory journalism, violating people’s right to make a buck. This time they’ve gone 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. Their headline boasts, ‘Here is the leaked Quentin Tarantino Hateful Eight Script’—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 an invitation to `enjoy’ it. There was nothing newsworthy or journalistic about Gawker Media facilitating and encouraging the public’s violation of Plaintiff’s copyright in the screenplay, and its conduct will not shield Gawker Media from liability for their unlawful activity.
Gawker refused to remove the links or the download, which means that this thing is headed into court.
While I am not the world’s wildest Tarantino fan, this is one instance of a website obviously stepping over the line. Everyone knows that the director did not want this script leaked, but Gawker still went right ahead and posted it anyways, effectively overriding Tarantino’s desire to keep his creative product from the public eye. Unfortunately, we’re never going to get to see The Hateful Eight in cinemas and it’s because of the near total lack of respect for artists that websites like Gawker have. I hope that Tarantino destroys them in court.
You can let us know what you think about the excitement surrounding The Hateful Eight script in the comments. Did Gawker overstep their bounds, or is Tarantino pitching an unwarranted fit?
Source: The Playlist