Quentin Tarantino Vs. Gawker, The Legal Breakdown (By An Actual Lawyer)

All right: stop what you’re doin, cause I’m about to ruin the image and the style that you’re used to.

Why I’ve called you all here. There is only one legal story going on right now, or at least, only one that delayed the next Quentin Tarantino movie. True, it has already been discussed on this site by Mon-CHEE-nee and A. Night Burns, two names synonymous with not being me.

In case you’ve been under The Rock–which, mazel tov, he’s a very attractive man–the key points of the Tarantino situation to date are thus:

1) QT announces not long ago that his next movie will be a western called The Hateful Eight;
2) he allegedly provides the script to only “six motherf*cking people”;
3) the script is leaked online;
4) an angry Tarantino announces that, as a result of the [synonym for leak], H8ful will now NOT be his next movie;
5) Defamer, a site owned by Gawker, posts links to the ill-gotten script. A weekend passes, and boom, we reach
6) Q files a lawsuit.

Sadly, he skipped step 5.5) speed dial B. Finch, but apparently somebody is still salty about Uma Thurman moving on with her life, I mean JESUS, she said you were through, man, it was years ago, write a duet with Taylor Swift or some sh*t. Anyway, he then had his lawyers rapidly file a complaint. Gosh, why does Tarantino always seem so hurried and excitable?

If you’ve ever wanted to see what a civil complaint written with a quickness and based on semi-rational rage looked like, your tedious, pedestrian dream has come true. Though it lacks the heinous, apparently-Microsoft-Word-has-a-“random”-setting prose of the Trouble With the Curve document filed in October, it is hardly a model of legal wordsmithery.

“This action is necessitated by Gawker Media’s, and the other defendants’, blatant copyright infringement by their promotion and dissemination of unauthorized downloadable copies of the leaked unreleased complete screenplay for Quentin Tarantino’s motion picture The Hateful Eight (the ‘Screenplay’).”

And we’re off! That’s the first sentence. A comma embargo is apparently in progress, because they should have used a couple more of them here. Seriously, try reading that out loud without sounding like a sophomore explaining Inception after his third Red Bull. To be fair, they are in a hurry to get the screenplay and the links to it taken down, so they neither dillied nor dallied when they wrote this. But I’m not here to be fair. There are typos and redundant explanations, which you would really want to avoid in a document that you knew would get a lot of attention.

Also, you can’t attribute everything to time constraints:

“Gawker Media has made a business of predatory journalism, violating people’s rights to make a buck. This time they went too far.”

That’s a type of writing known in these parts as “old timey.” “You’ve gone too far, friend of mine! Trying to line your pockets with some poor saps’ hard-earned scratch, airing dirty laundry and calling it news. Well that’s fish three days old, see, and I won’t buy it. And get a load of the gams on that dame!” Also, I don’t think they mean that the rights of people to make a buck were being violated, but that Gawker is violating peoples’ rights in order to make a buck for itself. I’ll stop saying “buck” now.

They go on to say that the screenplay was posted not on a Gawker site, but on a “conveniently anonymous URL.” Not a fan of the “conveniently.” Since the anonymity of the infringing websites is actually not convenient for Tarantino’s lawyers, they seem to be using the word sarcastically, and that just reads as passive-aggressive.