Quentin Tarantino's Lawsuit Against Gawker Media Over The Hateful Eight Dismissed
Posted by Joseph Lee on 04.23.2014
But he can refile...
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Quentin Tarantino's lawsuit against Gawker has been dismissed. He initially sued the website for posting a link to a copy of his unproduced screenplay The Hateful Eight. A federal judge in California granted the website's motion to dismiss the copyright infringement lawsuit, but Tarantino can refile if makes changes. You can find the full decision here.
Gawker told its readers to "enjoy" reading the script when it linked to the full thing earlier this year. Tarantino claimed it was "contributing" to the infringement of his script and hurting its market value. Gawker said it only linked to the script to report the news that he was upset over the script leaking and vowing to cancel the film. They claimed it made the act a "fair use", which isn't punishable.
Gawker filed a motion to dismiss. The court didn't mention the "fair use" issue but granted the motion because Tarantino "failed to adequately plead facts establishing direct infringement by a third party or facts that would demonstrate [Gawker] either caused, induced, or materially contributed to the alleged direct infringement of those third party infringers." That means that Tarantino did not claim that specific people clicked on the link and infringed the copyright. Because he didn't do this, he didn't state a valid claim for infringement.
Here is an excerpt from the ruling by U.S. District Judge John F. Walter: "Nowhere in these paragraphs or anywhere else in the complaint does Plaintiff allege a single act of direct infringement committed by any member of the general public that would support Plaintiff's claim for contributory infringement. Instead, Plaintiff merely speculates that some direct infringement must have taken place. For example, Plaintiff's complaint fails to allege the identity of a single third-party infringer, the date, the time, or the details of a single instance of third-party infringement, or, more importantly, how Defendant allegedly caused, induced, or materially contributed to the infringement by those third parties."
Tarantino and attorney Marty Singer have until May 1 to change the suit to fix the errors.