A little over a week after a federal judge dismissed Quentin Tarantino‘s copyright infringement lawsuit against Gawker over the site’s posting of his leaked screenplay The Hateful Eight, the Oscar-winning writer-director filed an amended complaint. The 15-page complaint is now just one claim: Copyright infringement.
Quentin Tarantino legal team had until today to file the amended complaint after Judge John Walter ruled April 22 that the plaintiff was not able to display a particular case of infringement facilitated by Gawker’s actions. Walter did, however, leave Tarantino a window to refile.
In his initial complaint filed in January, Tarantino alleged that Gawker “crossed the journalistic line” when it published a link to his script for “The Hateful Eight” in January and contributed to copyright infringement.
Gawker attacked Tarantino’s lawsuit as shallow. According to the motion to dismiss, “Because plaintiff did not allege any facts showing that an infringing act actually was undertaken by a third party — merely accessing the script by clicking on the link is legally insufficient — plaintiff did not state a claim for contributory infringement.”
However, while dismissing the case, Judge John F. Walter ruled that the “Pulp Fiction” filmmaker hadn’t made his case.
“Anyone who sought to read or obtain the Screenplay from the Screenplay Download URL necessarily had to first download a PDF copy of the work onto their own computer,” says the amended complaint. “On January 23, 2014, after Gawker obtained the Screenplay Download URL in response to its request for leak of an unauthorized infringing copy of the Screenplay, Gawker itself illegally downloaded to its computers an unauthorized infringing PDF copy of the Screenplay — read it and learned that the PDF download document was 146 pages — directly infringing Tarantino’s copyright.”
The amended lawsuit also says that the director sent a takedown notice pursuant to the DMCA, and that after the script was taken off its original location at AnonFiles, Gawker pointed elsewhere.
“On January 26, 2014, after a Gawker reader and third-party infringer had downloaded a copy of the Screenplay which originated from the AnonFiles Screenplay Download URL (prior to the page being disabled) and thereafter uploaded a PDF copy to the website Scribd.com, Gawker amended and updated its January 23rd Article, writing: ‘the script has been made public online here and here,’ to add the text ‘and here’ into its article — with the subsequent text ‘here’ an additional new URL click-through link directly to a subsequent replacement available copy of the complete Screenplay, hosted on the website Scribd.com.”
Tarantino has said that he is still working on the script during a live-reading with Bruce Dern, Samuel L. Jackson and other actors earlier this month.