Quentin Tarantino’s lawsuit over the leaked The Hateful Eight script has ended with a fizzle rather than a bang. Despite filing an amended complaint on May 1, the director has now opted to withdraw the lawsuit against the website Gawker altogether.
The brouhaha with Gawker all started when the website published the leaked script of Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight. The director turned around and brought a lawsuit against the site for copyright infringement. On April 22, Judge John F. Walker tossed out Tarantino’s suit, citing that it did not display a “case of infringement facilitated by Gawker’s actions.” After filing an amended complaint on May 1, Tarantino has now voluntarily dropped the suit, although he still reserves the right to bring another action after further investigation.
The question now arises again about whether or not Tarantino will carry on to make The Hateful Eight into a film. Between the Gawker lawsuit, the live script reading, and all the publicity that Tarantino’s public outcry against copyright infringement has given thee project, it seems like a waste if he does not actually make the movie in the end. Of course, that will also make it appear as though Tarantino has done all of this for the publicity (not that he needs it).
The fact that the case was dropped further draws into question the issue of online ethics and the leaking of scripts and script details by websites like Gawker. Hopefully this whole debacle will not result in websites feeling like they are legally immune to response from writers and directors over leaked scripts. Tarantino had a legitimate gripe about his script being published without his consent, and had a chance to make this into an important case for writers everywhere.
For now at least, the Gawker/Tarantino debacle has come to a conclusion. Whether Tarantino opts to file another complaint later on remains to be seen. Given the remarkable publicity that this whole thing has provided for The Hateful Eight though, he just may.