When Quentin Tarantino found out that copies of the script of his new movie ‘The Hateful Eight’ were circulating online, he decided to cancel the movie.
Then, on Monday after Gawker published links to copies of the 146-page screenplay, things took a turn for the worse. The filmmaker was outraged by Gawker’s move and filed a lawsuit claiming that the blog was facilitating copyright infringement.
“Their headline boasts ‘Here Is the Leaked Quentin Tarantino Hateful Eight Script’ – ‘Here,’ not someplace else, but ‘Here’ on the Gawker website,” the complaint states.
“The article then contains multiple direct links for downloading the entire screenplay through a conveniently anonymous URL by simply clicking button links on the Gawker page, and brazenly encourages Gawker visitors to read the Screenplay illegally with the invitation to ‘Enjoy!’ it.”
Several DMCA notices were sent to Google on behalf of the director, targeting the Gawker article as well as several other forum posts and news articles. Tarantino claims that the URLs in question are infringing on his copyrights, but Google sees things differently.
Of the 29 URLs Tarantino wants to have removed, Google took action for only a handful. The links that were disabled include copies of the leaked script on torrent sites and the file-hosting site Anonfiles.
The news articles, blog posts and forum threads, however, remained online.
The Gawker article Tarantino sued over, for example, is still listed in the search results. Google’s Transparency Report also points out that “no action” was taken to remove the URL in question.
Google’s “no action” in response to Tarantino
TF asked Google to explain why the Gawker page hasn’t been removed, but we have yet to hear back from them. It is worth pointing out that the copies of the screenplay that are linked from article have since been removed from Scribd and Anonfiles, so the article isn’t “infringing” anymore.
That said, Google also refused to remove links to other articles, which still have excerpts and screenshots of the leaked Hateful Eight script.
It is safe to say that the search engine is clearly taking a stand here, perhaps in part to protect their own interests. If the case against Gawker goes ahead, it is likely that Google will get involved to prevent a damaging precedent.
After all, the search engine is linking to millions of infringing files itself. Unlike Gawker, Google’s links are added to the search engine automatically, but a ruling on the issue is likely to have a broader effect.