Pulp Fiction director Quentin Tarantino sued gossip website Gawker on Monday, seeking at least US$2 million for allegedly publishing the leaked screenplay for what was to be his latest movie.
Tarantino, who announced last week that he had scrapped plans to film The Hateful Eight as his next project, accused Gawker of infringing his copyright by publishing the 146-page screenplay, which he had only shown to six people.
“This action is necessitated by Gawker Media’s ... blatant copyright infringement by their promotion and dissemination of unauthorised downloadable copies of the leaked unreleased complete screenplay,” said the lawsuit, filed on Monday.
“Gawker Media has made a business of predatory journalism, violating people’s rights to make a buck. This time they went too far,” added the legal document provided by Tarantino's lawyer, Evan Spiegel.
The Reservoir Dogs and Django Unchained filmmaker went on the warpath last week, telling Deadline.com that he believed the screenplay was leaked by someone linked to only six people with whom he shared the screenplay.
“I’m very, very depressed ... I finished a script, a first draft, and I didn’t mean to shoot it until next winter, a year from now. I gave it to six people, and apparently it’s gotten out today,” he said last Tuesday.
His lawsuit said: “There was nothing newsworthy or journalistic about Gawker Media facilitating and encouraging the public’s violation of Plaintiff’s copyright in the Screenplay, and it’s conduct will not shield Gawker Media from liability for their unlawful activity.”
It sought at least US$1 million for violation of copyright, and the same amount for a second claim of contributory violation of copyright.
Tarantino said last week that he wanted to know who exactly leaked the screenplay, telling Deadline he wanted someone to “name names”.
“I don’t know how these ... agents work, but I’m not making this next. I’m going to publish it, and that’s it for now," he said.
“I give it out to six people, and if I can’t trust them to that degree, then I have no desire to make it. I’ll publish it. I’m done. I’ll move on to the next thing. I’ve got 10 more where that came from,” he said.