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Quentin Tarantino Vs. Gawker: When Is Linking Illegal For Journalists? 166

Posted by Soulskill
from the when-it-makes-somebody-mad dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Jon Healey writes in the LA Times that a new lawsuit against the Gawker Media site Defamer for linking to an infringing copy of an unreleased screenplay should send chills down the spines of every reporter who writes about copyright issues. Tarantino had kept the script for his ensemble western The Hateful Eight unpublished, but someone obtained a copy and posted it online. In its piece, Defamer quoted only a brief excerpt and a short summary published earlier that day by the Wrap. But it also included two links to the leaked screenplay on a file-sharing site called AnonFiles. In a complaint filed in federal court in Los Angeles, Tarantino's lawyers say they repeatedly asked Gawker Media to remove the links, to no avail. John Cook, Gawker's editor, responded with a post that rebuts the complaint's most damaging allegations, saying Defamer had no involvement whatsoever in the leak or the script's posting online. Cook also quotes Tarantino's comments last week to Deadline Hollywood, in which the filmmaker said he likes having his work online for people to read and review. 'Reporters often assume that providing links to items of public interest is perfectly aboveboard, even if the items themselves aren't. If this case goes to trial, it could help clarify what links simply can't be published legally, regardless of the news value,' writes Healey. 'I'm not arguing that what Gawker did was legal — that's a judge's decision. I'm just saying that there's a journalistic reason for Gawker to do what it did, and those of us who write about copyrights struggle often with the question of how to report what seems newsworthy without crossing a line that's drawn case by case.'"
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Quentin Tarantino Vs. Gawker: When Is Linking Illegal For Journalists?

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  • Let's all discuss (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sean (422) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @07:31PM (#46095785)

    What the pirates over at TPB are saying. Find those comments here:

    http://thepiratebay.se/torrent... [thepiratebay.se]

  • by shri (17709) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (cmarirhs)> on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @07:42PM (#46095843) Homepage

    From what I gather this is a civil issue. Not a criminal issue. Would you post links to Google maps pointing people to houses in your neighbourhood that are not locked? Sure there is some vague journalistic value to posting such links... but there is also an issue of responsibility.

  • by lgw (121541) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @07:44PM (#46095855) Journal

    Do DMCA takedown requests apply to links to? When I first read about this case, it was snowballing from a refused DMCA takedown request.

    Also, it's important to note that this isn't a link to a torrent tracker for a released film, or any other such "already made public" data. This is a script for an early-phase movie, so the money lost by making it public isn't wrapped up in BS "piracy" numbers. If QT can show real financial losses due to Gawker's inclusion of links, it will actually be an interesting case. If not, then maybe it's just free advertising.

  • Re:Let's all discuss (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fatphil (181876) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @08:55PM (#46096291) Homepage
    You've pretty much nailed it, however what you've almost entirely forgotten is that there have to be a whole load of film references embedded in people's names, place names, settings, vignetes, blocking, scenes, etc. so that the ultra-cool l33t film buffs can say "I particularly liked the Kurosawa-influenced bathing scene in the helicopter", "oh, yes, delightful, in particular with it raining inside at the time - pure Solaris!", "complete with the Ennio's soundtrack - classic!", "Indeed, he's a genius, and he cares so much for us real fans who appreciate all these details". Go suck a tailpipe, he's just recycling, that's all.

    However, I did enjoy the first one *immensely*, and the second one *a lot*, but every subsequent one less than the previous. I've skipped a bunch, but Django was bollocks. Sorry, but it was pure unadulterated shite.
  • by Scorpinox (479613) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @11:19PM (#46097029)

    What baffles me is how Gawker would think to do this and expect their advertisers not to care. Why would a movie or game company give them any money after they've shown they're willing provide easy links to copyrighted material? Whether or not linking is illegal, advertisers are under no obligation continue supporting them. I sure as hell wouldn't pay to have a banner ad for some peice of media next to a link to a torrent or rapidshare link.

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