A U.S. District Court judge in California dealt a blow to Quentin Tarantino’s case against Gawker for promoting a leaked online copy of his script for The Hateful Eight. The Honorable John F. Walter ruled on April 22 that Tarantino “has 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.”
Tarantino had planned to make The Hateful Eight his next film, but the director angrily vowed to abandon the project after a script leaked online in January. Gawker was one of multiple web sites that covered the news and linked to the leaked screenplay, and Tarantino sued the site for copyright infringement and contributory copyright infringement. In court papers courtesy of Deadline, Walter ruled that Tarantino failed to “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.”
The court left the door slightly open for Tarantino, giving his attorneys until May 1 to amend and refile the secondary claim for contributory infringement against Gawker.