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A week after declaring he would no longer make his next film "The Hateful Eight" because someone in his small circle had leaked the screenplay, director Quentin Tarantino has taken legal action against Gawker Media alleging copyright infringement for disseminating the script.
Tarantino's lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Monday, alleges that the web site Gawker disseminated "unauthorized downloadable copies of the leaked unreleased complete screenplay" and "expressly refused to remove their directions to and URL links to get the infringing materials." The director is demanding actual and statutory damages as well as Gawker's profits in the amount of at least $1 million.
"Gawker Media has made a business of predatory journalism, violating people’s rights to make a buck," the complaint states. "This time, they went too far."
The issue erupted last week when Tarantino learned through his agent that details of his next western, which he wrote and planned to direct, were circulating. Tarantino told Deadline.com that that one of six people with whom he shared his script had betrayed him.
Gawker Media's legal department did not respond to a request for comment from NBC News. But the site posted its reaction to the lawsuit on Monday afternoon and accused Tarantino himself of turning the issue into a news story when he complained to Deadline.
Gawker denies posting the script online and says its role was only to link to it. "Someone unknown to Gawker put it on a web site called AnonFiles, and someone unknown to Gawker put it on a different web site called Scribd," the post states. "Last Thursday, Gawker received a tip from a reader informing us that the script was on the AnonFiles site, after which Gawker published a story reporting that the script had surfaced online."