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Quentin Tarantino sues Gawker over leaked script

Quentin Tarantino filed a lawsuit against Gawker on Monday over a post on the news and gossip website that directed readers to a leaked copy of the Oscar-winning screenwriter and director's latest film project.

Tarantino's lawsuit accuses Gawker Media LLC of copyright infringement for posting a link last week to the 146-page script -- a planned Western titled "The Hateful Eight."

A link to the script was posted on Gawker's Defamer blog and remained active as of Monday, despite demands from Tarantino's lawyers to take it down, according to the lawsuit filing.

"There was nothing newsworthy or journalistic about Gawker Media facilitating and encouraging the public's violation of (Tarantino's) copyright in the screenplay, and its conduct will not shield Gawker Media from liability for their unlawful activity," the lawsuit states.

An email sent to Gawker from the Associated Press seeking comment was not immediately returned.

The 50-year-old "Django Unchained" filmmaker blasted the leak last week and said he would abandon the project as a feature. His lawsuit states he planned to publish the screenplay, a practice that in the past has earned him hefty royalties and advances. His lawsuit states his damages as a result of the Gawker post will be more than $1 million. 

 The leak of Tarantino's script was initially limited to a few people, his lawsuit states, and "The Hateful Eight" script did not appear online until after Gawker posted an item encouraging anyone who had a copy to leak it to them.

Last week, Tarantino told Entertainment Weekly the names of the actors he had given the script to before the leak -- he says they were current Oscar nominee Bruce Dern, Michael Madsen and Tim Roth. All three men have worked with Tarantino on past film projects. The director was adamant that he gave the script only to those three actors and their agents.

"I give it out to six people, and if I can't trust them to that degree, then I have no desire to make it. I'll publish it. I'm done. I'll move on to the next thing. I've got 10 more where that came from," Tarantino said.

During his career, Tarantino has won two screenwriting Academy Awards for his films "Pulp Fiction" and "Django Unchained." He also received best director Oscar nominations for "Pulp Fiction" and "Inglourious Basterds."

In October 2012, former wrestler and reality TV star Hulk Hogan sued Gawker after the site posted a video of him having sex with the wife of his best friend. The site complied with a judge's order in April to remove the video, but left a story and reader comments on its site.

Tarantino's lawsuit was first reported Monday by The Hollywood Reporter.

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