Quentin Tarantino’s war against Gawker Media for “promoting itself to the public as the first source to read the entire screenplay illegally” may have come to an end. The critically acclaimed director filed a lawsuit against Gawker for making the screenplay available for download. He sued them for contributory copyright infringement for linking to a site that is being sued for direct copyright infringement. The lawsuit against Gawker has been thrown out of court by Judge John F. Walter.
The lawsuit reads:
“There was nothing newsworthy or journalistic about Gawker Media facilitating and encouraging the public’s violation of Plaintiff’s copyright in the screenplay, and its conduct will not shield Gawker Media from liability for their unlawful activity,”
Gawker says Tarantino used the story as a “shrewd publicity strategy” that turned “The Hateful Eight” leak into a news frenzy. Judge Walter granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss the director’s legal complaint. Tarantino still has an opportunity to re-file the case by May 1 if there are any key changes identified.
In the ruling on Tuesday, April 22, Judge Walter also said:
“[N]owhere 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.”
“Court GRANTS Defendant’s Motion on the grounds that Plaintiff has failed to adequately plead facts establishing direct infringement by a third party or facts that would demonstrate Defendant either caused, induced, or materially contributed to the alleged direct infringement of those third party infringers.”