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US judge throws out Tarantino's copyright infringement lawsuit

Sides with Gawker in leaked Hateful Eight script case
Thu Apr 24 2014, 11:39
Judge's gavel

A US JUDGE threw out a copyright infringement lawsuit this week against gossip website Gawker that was brought by Pulp Fiction director Quentin Tarantino, although the case might still be far from over.

In January, Gawker posted links to the script for The Hateful Eight, an unproduced Tarantino western film, which caused the director to scrap plans for the movie altogether.

While other websites also offered glimpses at the script, Tarantino argued that Gawker crossed the journalistic line with its headline, "Here is the Leaked Quentin Tarantino Hateful Eight Script," and said that the website encouraged copyright infringement.

The article linked to copies of the script on the Anonfile and Scribd websites, but Gawker argued that it was not a "scoop" as the document was already available. The website also said that because Tarantino shared the script with six people himself, one of which likely leaked it, he "set in motion the circumstances".

US District Court Judge John F Walter sided with Gawker in court on Tuesday, Torrentfreak reported, saying that Tarantino's lawyers had not proven that anyone had seen the script because of the article, thus failing to prove his copyright infringement claims.

Walter said, "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."

Judge Walter concluded, "The Court concludes that the fair use arguments, albeit persuasive and potentially dispositive, are premature and the Court declines to consider those arguments until Plaintiff has had an opportunity to demonstrate that he can state a viable claim for contributory copyright infringement," giving Tarantino's legal team a second chance to prove its claims. It has until 10 May to do so.

Despite all this, it is thought that Tarantino is working on another draft script for the movie. µ


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