The red-hot copyright battle between Quentin Tarantino and Gawker is becoming a true pulp non-fiction. Two weeks before the dueling parties face off in federal court over the director’s copyright infringement lawsuit over the site’s promotion and dissemination of his leaked and now-shelved The Hateful Eight script, the outlet today offered a brand new theory as to why they’re being sued: Tarantino doesn’t like the way they talk about him. “As reflected by the vitriol in his papers, Tarantino’s claim against Gawker is animated by his displeasure with Gawker’s past and present reporting about him, rather than the possibility that some unknown persons may have accessed his script online,” said Gawker in a filing today (read it here). Having said that, Gawker doesn’t provide a single example of their reporting that may have teed the director off – though they’ve certainly had their fun and taken a bite or two out of him over the years.
Today’s filing was a reply of support to Gawker’s own March 10 motion to have Tarantino’s January 27’s $1 million copyright infringement and contributory copyright infringement suit against the site dismissed. Tarantino is going after Gawker for its post “Here Is The Leaked Quentin Tarantino Hateful Eight Script.” Last week the plaintiff in an opposition filing of his own (read it here) claimed the defendants “contrived” one story about the leak and then “fabricated” another so it could point readers to a site where the Hateful Eight script could be read. Today Gawker said that was rubbish and exactly why the case should be dismissed in the April 14 hearing. “Tarantino may have a legitimate beef with AnonFiles, and he can continue to pursue that claim,” says Gawker. “He has no legal or factual basis for his claim against Gawker.”
“In sum, none of Tarantino’s arguments in opposition to Gawker’s fair use defense are the least bit colorable,” claims today’s reply. “Instead, Tarantino misconstrues, misunderstands, and misstates both the applicable case law and Gawker’s arguments,” it adds with an alliteration flourish. With that said and today’s reply filed, the next act in this drama is for Judge John F. Walter to decide if the lawsuit lives or dies. That’ll come after both sides argue their case for and against the motion in front on him in downtown L.A.
Marty Singer, Henry Self III and Evan Spiegel of LA’s Lavely & Singer are representing Quentin Tarantino in the case. Robert Penchina and Thomas Curley of the NYC and Washington DC offices of Levine Sullican Koch & Sclutz are representing Gawker Media LLC and Gawker Entertainment LLC. Kevin Vick and Jean-Paul Jassy of LA’s Jassy Vick Carolan LLP are also attorneys for the defendants.