The legal saga of The Hateful Eight continues. Quentin Tarantino has filed suit against Gawker Media for releasing his screenplay illegally online.
Last week, Tarantino rightfully expressed outrage after the premature release of his screenplay to agents across Hollywood. As a result, he announced he would not make the film as his next project. However, this was not the end of it. Gawker, a gossip blog/news source, later released the entire written screenplay on their site, under the headline “Here is the Quentin Tarantino Hateful Eight Script”. According to Variety, the page also provides links for downloading the script as well.
This author will not provide the link to the screenplay out of respect for the director.
Even though, Tarantino was in the middle of publishing the script only last week, Screenwriting Copyright Laws grant full rights to the writer even before publishing. To quote from the Writer’s Guild of America, “[C]opyright law vests the copyright holder with exclusive ownership of five rights: 1) reproduction of copies; 2) distribution of copies; 3) performance rights; 4) public display rights; and, 5) the right to prepare derivative works. A creator owns the copyright in a work simply by virtue of having created it ”. Roughly translating to: writers have rights as soon as they write.
What Gawker has done is textbook illegal copyright infringement and had no right to do so.
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