A US judge threw out a lawsuit by Quentin Tarantino seeking $1 million from a gossip website for helping leak a screenplay for his latest planned movie.
US District Judge John F. Walter said Wednesday that Tarantino had failed to demonstrate “direct infringement” by the Gawker website of his copyright for the script of “The Hateful Eight”.
The “Pulp Fiction” director announced in January that he had scrapped plans to film the movie as his next project because the screenplay had been leaked.
He subsequently filed a lawsuit accusing Gawker Media of “predatory journalism” over the 146-page script.
But in a motion for dismissal Gawker Media said it only provided a link to an online location where the screenplay could be viewed, and as such did not provide a “scoop” because the document was already available.
The motion insisted Gawker did not violate the “plaintiff’s right to first publication, as the script was online prior to Gawker’s links.”
It said that “Tarantino himself set in motion the circumstances by which the script circulated.”
Tarantino’s lawsuit, filed in January, cited Gawker Media and Anonfiles.com, the anonymous website where the screenplay was posted.
It sought at least $1 million for violation of copyright by the person who published it online, and the same amount for contributory violation of copyright — the claim specifically targeting Gawker.
The “Reservoir Dogs” and “Django Unchained” filmmaker had gone on the warpath a week earlier, telling Deadline.com that he believed the screenplay was leaked by someone linked to only six people with whom he shared it.
But Tarantino held a reading of his script last weekend, telling an audience that he was still working on the film.