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

Soulskill posted about 8 months ago | from the when-it-makes-somebody-mad dept.

The Media 166

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 Tarantino had kept the script for his ensemble western The Hateful Eight unpublished, but someone obtained a copy and posted it online.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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Can someone please kill the fucker (3, Insightful)

c5402dc53929211e1efb (3084201) | about 8 months ago | (#46095769)

who started this idea that a hyperlink is infringement?

Re:Can someone please kill the fucker (5, Insightful)

tysonedwards (969693) | about 8 months ago | (#46095793)

No one. The current argument is that a hyperlink to infringing work "advocates infringement".

Re:Can someone please kill the fucker (2)

fatphil (181876) | about 8 months ago | (#46095835)

Which it doesnt.

However, it does abet infringement.

Re:Can someone please kill the fucker (4, Funny)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 8 months ago | (#46096361)

What's clear is that QT will

strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who would attempt

to link his unpublished script.

Re:Can someone please kill the fucker (4, Funny)

fatphil (181876) | about 8 months ago | (#46096443)

Torrents, motherfucker, do you seed it?

Re:Can someone please kill the fucker (1)

cyborg_zx (893396) | about 8 months ago | (#46097881)

What?

Re:Can someone please kill the fucker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46095907)

So should they instead say something like, "We don't advocate infringement of copyright, but if you plan to make 'fair use' of the material in question you can probably find it with this Google search (search terms here)"?

Re:Can someone please kill the fucker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46095823)

Asking for (and probably paying for) the leak can be

Re:Can someone please kill the fucker (4, Interesting)

lgw (121541) | about 8 months ago | (#46095855)

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:Can someone please kill the fucker (2)

w_dragon (1802458) | about 8 months ago | (#46096221)

DMCA takedowns apply to sites that host user-created content. It does not apply to content that a site creates itself.

DMCA notices for webmaster content, sent to host (4, Informative)

raymorris (2726007) | about 8 months ago | (#46096897)

You've got it backwards. DMCA applies very much to content added by the webmaster. DMCA specifies how a web hosting company ought to respond to complaints of copyright infringement in their servers / datacenter. Some sites with user-generated content have argued that they are effectively hosting the user content.

If the web host follows the procedure, they are immune from claims of contributory infringement and the like. The process is:

Copyright owner sends a sworn notice to the host, specifying exactly which content is theirs (infringing).

Web host chchecks that the NOTICE complies with the law - it's properly signed, etc.

Web host informs the webmaster and temporarily blocks the content.

The webmaster may reply saying it's not infringing.
DMCA specifies this counter-notice should be signed, etc.

Web host puts the content back upon receipt of proper counter-notice.

Copyright owner could sue in federal court to try to get it taken down again.

Webmaster can sue if the original notice is bogus.

Unfortunately, many people aren't well informed about the counter notice and their right to sue someone who files a bogus notice.

Note that the web host does not make any judgement as to whether the claim is valid. They have no discretion about taking it down temporarily and putting it back up when they receive a notice under DMCA. Their only decision is whether or not they've actually received a DMCA notice. For example, "Slashdot stole my shit" is not a notice under DMCA. A good friend of mine, and long time customer, won a suit on the basis that the alleged DMCA notice was not in fact a proper notice under DMCA because it didn't specify exactly what was claimed to be infringing.

Re:Can someone please kill the fucker (3, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 8 months ago | (#46097025)

I used to handle DMCA requests. They apply to anything and everything. You'd think they just apply to actual content, but they also apply to links, torrent files (which are basically just links) and even "activity" (i.e. you get a letter from your ISP for what you supposedly have done with no proof) The whole problem with DMCA is it's so completely vague and nearly impossible to figure out if you're in the right or wrong that the content owners (or even people pretending to be them) can basically make a threat and you have little recourse but to comply or get sued. Even if you win you've spent a lot of money just to keep a link up and usually content owners pockets are very deep.

Eventually this vagueness will get the law struck down when someone goes so far with it that it reaches a high enough court. But until then we're stuck with this bullshit.

only if the LINK is infringement. stolenmovies.com (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 8 months ago | (#46096963)

Imagine stolenmovies.com charges $5 / month for access. Within the protected member's area of stolenmovies.com, members see a Netflix style interface where they can browse and search for movies. When you actually click "play" to play a movie, it plays a short commercial, then redirects to http://randomhackedmachine.ru/... [randomhackedmachine.ru]

In that case, stolenmovie.com would be infringing, criminal infringement even. Since the site infringes, one could use a DMCA notice to have it shut down for a day or two.

On the other hand, say CNN.com does a news story about Justin Boober dancing in the street with three strippers. CNN links to a YouTube page which embeds a video of this newsworthy event. That video turns out to be infringing. (modulo fair use) because it was uploaded without the videographers permission. The news story is not infringing.

There are several factors that are different. It largely comes down to intent. Stolenmovies.com is blatantly trying to unfairly profit from other people's work. CNN is covering the news. Both link to an infringing work, but for different reasons, with different intent. CNN's position would be even stronger if they were non-profit. It would be weaker if they KNEW that the video was infringing.

Re:Can someone please kill the fucker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46095931)

who started this idea that a hyperlink is infringement?

The only way to access a file using standard HTTP is via a hyperlink, even if it's a locally stored file.
So your question should actually read "Who started this idea that a link to a 3rd party resource" is infringement?"

Re:Can someone please kill the fucker (4, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | about 8 months ago | (#46096027)

It is really hard for people who do not understand the workings of the internet to comprehend the consequences. These people simply use the internet with little understanding, or fear it and don't work to leverage it to their advantage. Tarrantino is a wonderful writer and director, but I don't know that has any technical skills or how much he understands what is possible and not possible. He may or may not see that linking is just a citation. This is probably true of a lot of other people.

My favorite story of this is SMBC, the web comic. The writer of this comic got really, really mad when some right wing religious nuts linked to the comic. I mean threw a real temper tantrum. A lot of allegedly intelligent people also went along with him. What I found funny is that SMBC clearly was using a prepackaged web application, and just like most prepackaged web application for comics, there was instructions right below the comic telling anyone who wanted to how to link to the comic so they could display the comic on their own webpage. Now, if whoever ran the website were technically proficient, or even just knew how to read, they could have adjusted the text so that people could would have to make a copy of it rather than pull it off the server every time, or they could have added a note saying that only certain like minded people were allowed to read the comic, and everyone else was to go away. Likewise, if SMBC did not like deep linking, it is possible to filter requests based on domains. I have worked on custom web servers, and I assure it is non trivial but not difficult.

So to answer your question, never. Most people are never going to understand the technology.,

Re: Can someone please kill the fucker (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46096623)

I'm sorry, but I don't believe linking is the same as a citation... That's a completely bullshit way of justifying it to yourself. And also, gawker is marginally even a news source. Writing about a copywrited work obtained illegally is one thing (They didn't pay for it, so regardless of who posted it, taking it and reading it for yourself is still illegal), but then linking directly to the illegally obtained material has no journalistic value. These aren't documents posted by Snowden for everyone to scrutinize and confront their governments... This is a privately owned work of fiction that someone is eventually hoping to make some money on. Basically you're saying that since digital copies of books like the hunger games exist, linking directly to copies that someone has made available online is perfectly fine regardless of the consequences. I don't agree with DMCA, but I also don't believe in stealing and then getting pissed of and whiny when you can't get everything you want for free. And gawker? Journalist? Really?? Hahaha I'll just leave it at that...

Re: Online Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46096861)

How would cite an online source? Hyperlinks...!

Re: Can someone please kill the fucker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46097079)

If we could everyone had the same beliefs, or if we could force others to believe as we do. What a wonderful wold it would be. This is what was said about SMBC. If the authors could force the beliefs to be reality, then the tantrurm would have been justified. While I get your point, and your argument, widely accepted standards, which value original sources, not hearsay, differs.

APA citation [purdue.edu] : Contributors' names (Last edited date). Title of resource. Retrieved from http://web/ [web] address for OWL resource

Of course it does not need an anchor tag, but if the address is there, most can cut and paste.

Re:Can someone please kill the fucker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46096201)

It was the Mormons. No, really.

Re:Can someone please kill the fucker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46096731)

You're not from Missouri are you?

Re:Can someone please kill the fucker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46096863)

At least our fine governor of Missouri, Lilburn Boggs, had the good sense to issue a bounty on the heads of Mormons to drive them out. How many of your weak state governors have ever put a bounty on an entire population?

Re:Can someone please kill the fucker (3, Informative)

minstrelmike (1602771) | about 8 months ago | (#46096225)

who started this idea that a hyperlink is infringement?

The print media. I believe Time or some similar magazine wanted users to actually visit _their_ site without a wrap around banner from some other aggregating site. (Time has a specific look and feel and red border that is supposed to go with every story).
Those were the first court cases, providing pop-up links to a story that displayed in your own company's ad-banner window were judged illegal. Of course, that's got nothing to do with Quentin's issue except for the word "hyperlink" so of course it rules the roost as far as the legal community is concerned.

Re:Can someone please kill the fucker (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 8 months ago | (#46096271)

It isn't infringement but the sharing of URLs can be construed as contributory infringement.

Re:Can someone please kill the fucker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46096389)

Of course it's infringement. This is different from a phone company or ISP carrying something that is illegal.

This is someone PURPOSEFULLY linking to illegal content. Obviously it's infringement.

Re:Can someone please kill the fucker (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46096639)

obviously not

Re:Can someone please kill the fucker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46096853)

Calm yourself Beavis! This appears to be a civil matter, and not even after what you're screaming about!

On one hand, Gawker is just 1 level above useless on the Internet. Sorry folks, but the vast majority of their reporting and analysis is absolute garbage!

On the other hand, Quentin Tarantino seems butthurt that people he trusted in his business, weren't trustworthy. And instead of suing them, or blacklisting them in his industry, he's going after Gawker.

Is there any way we can expunge everyone involved off the planet?

Ignore the hyperlink (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | about 8 months ago | (#46097087)

In this case, the web site "quoted a brief excerpt and a short summary". So they not only linked to the material - they had a (partial) copy of it as well.

Fair use - as in a movie review - does not apply here, since it is not a published work. So, link or not, Defamer/Gawker are guilty of copyright infringement.

Re:Can someone please kill the fucker (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about 8 months ago | (#46097165)

The whole DeCSS trial started it. The first ruling made hyperlinking illegal so everyone here tried to be edgy by posting the URL so it could be copied and pasted instead.

Joy!sdfsffsdfsd (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46095781)

Ahh the joy of watching leftards at odds. Grab the popcorn ladies and gentlemen.

Let's all discuss (5, Interesting)

Sean (422) | about 8 months ago | (#46095785)

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

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

Re:Let's all discuss (1)

fatphil (181876) | about 8 months ago | (#46095853)

Is that gonna be the new goatse?

"Oh noes! I've just been tricked into grabing another bloody copy of Tarantino!"

And maybe you're a MAFIAA plant who needs more members of the public to trample?

Re:Let's all discuss (5, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 8 months ago | (#46096127)

I enjoy Tarantino films as much as the next red blooded male, but really, what is a Tarantino script:

1. Introduce quirky archetypal characters.
2. Gory death scenes cast in a humorous light.
3. Lots of dialog between quirky archetypal characters.
4. Absolutely astonishing amount of blood and gore, with lots of humorous hip dialog, so you laugh as someone is shot, stabbed, torn apart, beheaded or otherwise eradicated.
5. Final dialog scenes, perhaps some gore, but inevitably leading to...
6. Over the top death and destruction on a scale that makes the mind revolt against what its seeing, with inevitably satisfying catharsis as the Tarantino-esque definition of good triumphs over the difficult to differentiate definition of evil fails.
7. Close with Morricone score or slightly obscure funky 1970s R&B song.
8. Profit!!!!!!

I only hope he doesn't sue me.

Re:Let's all discuss (3, Interesting)

fatphil (181876) | about 8 months ago | (#46096291)

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.

Re:Let's all discuss (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 8 months ago | (#46096307)

Inglorious Basterds was worth it just for Waltz's performance. Django was alright, but the final scene was way out there for even Tarantino.

My favorites remain Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown.

Re:Let's all discuss (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 8 months ago | (#46096303)

Simplifying Tarantino to quirky characters discussing of minutiae while the oldies play on the diner jukebox is like saying the Ramones only use three chords on the downbeat.

Re:Let's all discuss (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46097305)

Tarantino films are almost always extremely shallow with little to no interesting social commentary. Fans of his like to pretend there's depth because of the overuse of banal references to pop culture. The primary difference between him and Michael Bay is that Bay knows he's making fun, yet ultimately dumb, movies.

Re:Let's all discuss (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 8 months ago | (#46096595)

I enjoy Tarantino films as much as the next red blooded male, but really, what is a Tarantino script:

Suddenly, a wild lawyer appeared and that poster was never heard from again. Well, anyway. Tarantino hasn't thought things through... or rather, he's stubbornly short sighted and cares only about item 8 on your list. But here's the problem: The moment you take away fair use like this, published or not, copyrighted or not, you pretty much make an end of democracy. What a bold claim! Surely you must be trolling! Except I'm not: How do you think a democracy can exist if the population is illiterate and doesn't know anything about anything because it's suddenly illegal to talk about? Because that's what copyright will do if it's left unchecked: Everything can be copyright, and if you eliminate fair use, then what's left is a tax on all communication, thought, ideas, and exchanges. There is no more public domain, and people may not even be entitled to speak their own words in public because those can be copyrighted too. Now it becomes a case of only those with money can speak, write, etc.

No work of art is worth losing your entire cultural identity for.

Re:Let's all discuss (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46097251)

In a way, what Tarantino has done with the French New Wave and with David Lynch is what Pat Boone did with rhythm and blues: He's found (ingeniously) a way to take what is ragged and distinctive and menacing about their work and homogenize it, churn it until it's smooth and cool and hygienic enough for mass consumption. Reservoir Dogs, for example, with its comically banal lunch chatter, creepily otiose code names, and intrusive soundtrack of campy pop from decades past, is a Lynch movie made commercial, i.e., fast, linear, and with what was idiosyncratically surreal now made fashionably (i.e., "hiply") surreal [...] D. Lynch is an exponentially better filmmaker than Q. Tarantino. For, unlike Tarantino, D. Lynch knows that an act of violence in an American film has, through repetition and desensitization, lost the ability to refer to anything but itself. A better way to put what I just tried to say: Quentin Tarantino is interested in watching somebody's ear getting cut off; David Lynch is interested in the ear.

- David Foster Wallace

Re:Let's all discuss (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 8 months ago | (#46098001)

Most movies follow the exact same script.
The thing that makes Tarantino movies stand out is the quality of the dialog scenes.

Re:Let's all discuss (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46096077)

The pirate bay is just as bad as the people who want to take them down. They spread malware like a bitch, advertise scams, and generally have no regard for anyone or anything. I know you think they're on your side, but they're not. They're out to make money any way they can. The only side they're on is their own.

Re:Let's all discuss (1)

reub2000 (705806) | about 8 months ago | (#46096753)

Did anyone claim they where "for the people" or any other such nonsense?

Re:Let's all discuss (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46096783)

I guess that's why they're the basis of a political party with a primary platform of less restrictive copyright and information freedom.

Re:Let's all discuss (1)

Patent Lover (779809) | about 8 months ago | (#46096591)

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

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

Infringer! Cease and decist!

when is it illegal for journalists? (3, Insightful)

bazmail (764941) | about 8 months ago | (#46095787)

when it's illegal for everyone else. presumably. there is no special law for journalists. very few journalists kicked up a fuss when Joe public was losing his house because hr linked to copyrighted material. but now that one of their own is in the firing line its a big deal? fuck journalists. where were they when the content mafia took over the nation?

Re:when is it illegal for journalists? (1)

fatphil (181876) | about 8 months ago | (#46095895)

Where were they? They were working for the massive media conglomerates, presumably. (Some of which are documented here: http://www.freepress.net/ownership/chart , but that's not an exhaustive list.)

Wouldn't this cause lots of work-arounds if legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46095805)

It definitely shouldn't be illegal to report on the script being leaked, but I can't see how it being legal to link to the leaked copy would work. That'd make it easy to have a "news" website that reports on all the newest music, TV, and movie leaks...by providing links to all of them. Honestly, though, having that be legal wouldn't bother me. There just needs to be some consistency. If my hypothetical news site would be illegal, then it should be illegal for Gawker too.

Thanks, now I now it's been leakes (1, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | about 8 months ago | (#46095813)

I'll go grab a copy.

Linking is not a crime, download is not a crime. Distributing without authorization is a crime. Find the people who leaked it, there at fault.

That said; I wonder how many scenes contain close ups of feet?

Re:Thanks, now I now it's been leakes (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46095877)

That said; I wonder how many scenes contain close ups of feet?

Twice as many as the scenes where someone gets brutally killed and their blood and guts is splattered; adding nothing to the story. And there will be 13 times more where someone is called 'nigger'; also adding nothing to the story.

I don't get why this guy is considered such a great filmmaker. He can be at times entertaining, like Justin Beiber, but a great filmmaker?

Re:Thanks, now I now it's been leakes (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 8 months ago | (#46096021)

It's becasue he is a great film maker.
I joke about his shots of feet, but he sets a tone, tells a story and excuse a movie very well.

Re:Thanks, now I now it's been leakes (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46096099)

he made one good movie and has been living on the name it got him since everything else has been crap but its been bloody so you know that gets it attention

Re:Thanks, now I now it's been leakes (2)

sexconker (1179573) | about 8 months ago | (#46096249)

he made one good movie and has been living on the name it got him since everything else has been crap but its been bloody so you know that gets it attention

He made a good movie? I guess I can send Satan a pair of ice skates now.

Re:Thanks, now I now it's been leakes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46096871)

"Jackie Brown" is a good movie.

Re:Thanks, now I now it's been leakes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46097329)

Style over substance summarizes Tarantinos entire career. The perfect director for frat boys, yuppies and fedora wearing autistic hipsters.

Re:Thanks, now I now it's been leakes (3, Insightful)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 8 months ago | (#46096189)

The best news of all is that Tarantino canceled the movie.

Re:Thanks, now I now it's been leakes (1)

Razordude (3505695) | about 8 months ago | (#46097517)

I'm rather surprised people are so polarized over Tarantino. I can't really say he's ever made a bad film (and he's certainly made many good ones), but people do like to joke about him.

Re:Thanks, now I now it's been leakes (1)

M. Baranczak (726671) | about 8 months ago | (#46097625)

I can't really say he's ever made a bad film

Then you've never seen "Death-Proof".

Think back to the scene at the very beginning of "Reservoir Dogs". A bullshit conversation that has nothing to do with the actual story, or with anything else for that matter, but somehow it fits right in. Now imagine a movie where that bullshit conversation takes up 90% of the running time, leaving barely any room for the old ultra-violence.

Re:Thanks, now I now it's been leakes (1)

Zeromous (668365) | about 8 months ago | (#46097677)

Death Proof is an homage to grind house and is fucking awesome for what it is. I'm sorry you can't appreciate art.

Re:Thanks, now I now it's been leakes (1)

czert (3156611) | about 8 months ago | (#46097843)

Now imagine an audience that actually appreciates the "bullshit conversation".

Re:Thanks, now I now it's been leakes (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 8 months ago | (#46097757)

He's basically a big nerd who instead likes to swagger around and pretend to be super cool. But other than that, I haven't liked a lot of his movies and felt they were overdone on violence.

Linking is problematic (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46095829)

Linking is one of the biggest legal dilemmas of modern days. In no Western country has a clear line been drawn when is linking illegal and when not when the content the link leads to is illegal.

Sometimes the fact whether the link is clickable or not also carries weight.

Civil issue .. not exactly "criminally illegal" (4, Interesting)

shri (17709) | about 8 months ago | (#46095843)

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.

Re:Civil issue .. not exactly "criminally illegal" (2)

Ichijo (607641) | about 8 months ago | (#46096139)

Would you post links to Google maps pointing people to houses in your neighbourhood that are not locked?

A better analogy would be a map of unsecured WiFi access points, because taking advantage of this information does not involve burglary. And yes, wardriving maps exist.

Re:Civil issue .. not exactly "criminally illegal" (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about 8 months ago | (#46096727)

A even more accurate analogy, would be pointing out the person who committed a criminal act and proof of it and then the victim suing me for doing so because 'er' 'um' 'er' just because. So gawker provides a link to the site pointing them out to police, lawyers, the victim and the Tarantino throws a hissy fit and tries to sue them.

Re:Civil issue .. not exactly "criminally illegal" (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 8 months ago | (#46096923)

Would you post links to Google maps pointing people to houses in your neighbourhood that are not locked?

'Unlocked' is one form of 'unprotected'. There was already a Westchester NY newspaper that published a list of houses where the owners were protected with a firearm. The exact inverse of this list is houses where the owners are not protected with a firearm, which makes for easy pickings by home invaders, or even 'just' robbers (no "herd immunity"). So, yeah, there is precedent.

Re:Civil issue .. not exactly "criminally illegal" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46097155)

To me the Irony is the fact Gawker probably has gone after others for "infringing" on there stories, now the tables are turned [to an extent] and they cry and moan about journalistic freedom.

I hope they lose and lose-- big time. I/m sick of the press/media getting away with forcing there own rules on everyone then complaining when there accused of doing the same. There just another tool for government propaganda anyway, or the numerous BS stories they waste time on, so f*** em..

When You Sollicit It? (5, Insightful)

nick_davison (217681) | about 8 months ago | (#46095847)

Tarantino's lawyers are arguing that it wasn't available online - until Gawker offered to pay anyone who leaked a copy.

It's not illegal to report a murder. It is illegal to say, "I'll pay $10,000 for the exclusive story for the person who kills my wife."

IANAL and I've no idea whether that analogy holds true for copyright but it's apparently the angle Tarantino's lawyers are pursuing - that it's not the linking so much as the linking to an act they solicited.

Re:When You Sollicit It? (5, Informative)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about 8 months ago | (#46095897)

The Dutch 'populist weblog' GeenStijl faced a similar suit from the Dutch edition of Playboy magazine.

They had linked to an archive that contained leaked pictures of a yet-to-be-published issue, and Playboy initially won in a lower court which sided with them on the suggestion that said linking was effectively publishing,

GeenStijl appealed, and a higher court found that since Playboy could not prove that the link was absolutely private, GeenStijl could not be seen as the the publishers.
( GeenStijl still had to pay a fine because the judge found that just mentioning it would have sufficed for the purposes of press, and posting a part of one of the images breached copyright. )

This leaves the door open for any news organization (or tabloid magazine) to upload things anonymously, then link to it, and claim innocence. On the up side, it means that you can still link to things and not get sued for it on the basis that you would be seen as the publishing party. In the U.S. there's still the DMCA to contend with, of course.

Re:When You Sollicit It? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46096769)

DMCA is an illegal act, and needs to be thrown out.

The fact that the DMCA says you cannot decrypt encrypted content, means that without the publishers giving you the keys to decrypt the content, it basically extens copyright to encrypted media to infinity.

This is 100% illegal, therefor the entire act is illegal and baseless and cannot stand.

Re:When You Sollicit It? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 8 months ago | (#46096029)

Nope.
It's like saying you will pay $10,000 to whom ever tells you who deep throat is.
It is in no way like murder.

Re:When You Sollicit It? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46096387)

okay fine. murder is hyperbole. but the point still stands, offering somebody money to do something known to be illegal is itself illegal.

Re:When You Sollicit It? (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 8 months ago | (#46096087)

Buying stolen property? Why, I'm sure a media organization of such high repute [wikipedia.org] would never do so!

Re:When You Sollicit It? (2)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 8 months ago | (#46096153)

In reading through some of the articles, it sounds like it was available online prior to their article (other sites had reported on it days earlier), but that Gawker both induced infringement by encouraging people to check it out, and also profited from it by billing themselves as the ones to break the story on where the leaked script was located. IANAL, but it seems as if there may be a case there, even if they were not paying people to leak it directly.

Linking is like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46095887)

...giving away your source. If it's something illegal, there's absolutely no reason to do it. It's unprofessional.

Needs SCOTUS review (1)

Dachannien (617929) | about 8 months ago | (#46095899)

This is the sort of case that needs to be appealed to the Supreme Court instead of being settled, because there's plenty of uncertainty in prior court precedent as to whether linking to infringing content is itself an infringement (particularly with reference to DMCA takedown requests).

And then afterwards, Tarantino could write and direct a new movie about the case, which would probably include Ruth Bader Ginsburg mowing down hordes of zombie attorneys in slow motion with an M249.

Re:Needs SCOTUS review (1)

msauve (701917) | about 8 months ago | (#46096151)

"Ruth Bader Ginsburg mowing down hordes of zombie attorneys in slow motion with an M249."

Now, that's fiction.

She's the justice most opposed to civil rights as affirmed by the 2nd Amendment.

Linking vs. Hosting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46095925)

It's a more complicated issue than it may seem without serious contemplation. If linking infringing material is permissible, while hosting said material is not permissible, what is to prevent, let's say, Gawker, from uploading some infringing material to some server (in a way that is not traceable), and then linking to it? They would obviously profit from it, and would not face any potential downside. I'm not arguing for one side or the other, just pointing out that it may not be a black and white issue.

Don't know what I find more distasteful (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46095933)

That someone could consider hyper linking infringement or someone could consider gawker journalists.

Re:Don't know what I find more distasteful (5, Funny)

_xeno_ (155264) | about 8 months ago | (#46096889)

I know. Simply because it's Gawker, I have to side with whoever the other guy is. It's Gawker, after all. Gawker is to journalism as Slashdot is to editing.

Tarantino effect (1)

excelsior_gr (969383) | about 8 months ago | (#46095951)

Now everybody spoiler-happy dude will go read the leaked screenplay. The Tarantino effect is just like the Streisand effect, but bloodier...

Re:Tarantino effect (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46095993)

Problem here is that Tarantino said he wouldn't make the movie since it leaked from some actor's agent, and that now that it was out, he didn't mind people reading it. So the movie has been reduced to a script, permanently, unless Tarantino changes his mind which seems unlikely.

Adaptation (1)

tepples (727027) | about 8 months ago | (#46096529)

Is this the kind of screenplay that can be readily adapted to a stage play?

Re:Tarantino effect (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46096211)

Tarantino's a fuck. I hope he drops out of film, goes off and becomes a junkie and ODs before spring so we can be done with him.
 
He's a steaming lump of shit and a hipster bitch.

Re:Tarantino effect (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 8 months ago | (#46096297)

Sounds like you have the outline of a Tarantino movie!

Maybe not illegal but damages probably occurred. (1)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about 8 months ago | (#46095961)

Since Gawker is not just a journalistic outfit (and just barely that) but is also a business and a link farm, they were directly profiting from the theft of Quentin's work. They may not be criminally liable but Gawker and the author himself exposed themselves to a serious tort.

Ethics (1)

retech (1228598) | about 8 months ago | (#46096007)

The fact that someone actually questioned the ethics of Gawker is kind of funny. I thought everyone just knew the were the bottom feeders of bad journalism.

I'm an open society guy, but... (5, Insightful)

dAzED1 (33635) | about 8 months ago | (#46096317)

" I'm just saying that there's a journalistic reason for Gawker to do what it did"

Err...what "journalistic reason" could there possibly be for offering a ransom for an illegal activity, then publishing the results of that activity, for the sole purpose of generating adview/click revenue? Aside from gawker not even having any journalistic content, what in the world is the "journalistic reason" for that?

Now that said, I think there's a moral/ethical reason for creators to willingly do it - and somewhat for the consumers to share it even if it is against the will of the one who created it - but that's because I'm a biased open society guy, and a complete nutjob. I can't though, in all my madness, envision a world/perspective/banana in which there is a "journalistic reason" for this. Someone help me here?

Re:I'm an open society guy, but... (1)

radarskiy (2874255) | about 8 months ago | (#46096919)

You see, someone lost a URL in a bar...

As an aside... (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 8 months ago | (#46096333)

Tarantino was his usual take-my-ball-and-go-home self about the leak.

He shared the script with a small circle of people, mostly Tarantino regulars (Madsen, Roth), but included the agents of a few people, including Bruce Dern's and Reggie Hudlin's. He pretty much blames someone at CAA for leaking it, and wanted a name on a platter; not getting one, he promised to shelf the film as some sort of punishment.

Re:As an aside... (1)

Scorpinox (479613) | about 8 months ago | (#46096961)

He's just a guy. A guy who spent a lot of time hand writing a script for a movie, and showed an early, unfinished copy of it to a few people. Now it's out there for people to criticize before it's even done. If I were him, I'd be pretty damn bummed out about it as well -- he's under no obligation to finish his own creative work if he no longer cares about it, and something like this could easily take all the passion out of a project.

Re:As an aside... (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 8 months ago | (#46097303)

You know how you keep a secret in a world where information is absolutely trivial to transmit?

There's quite a lot of jurisprudence (1)

sandbagger (654585) | about 8 months ago | (#46096335)

Regardless of the quality of the web site/newspaper, if the people running it had no fiduciary duty to protect the stock price of this or that studio, I don't think he has a leg to stand on legally.

Always watermark (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46096365)

This is why you should always add unique watermarks to each copy of any document that you don't want people to see, so you'll be able to decode the watermark and figure out who leaked it (aka the person you can sue for breach of contract).

Re:Always watermark (1)

zippthorne (748122) | about 8 months ago | (#46096701)

No, stop doing that. Or at least, do it in a less obvious way. I'm sick of paying up to $10 a pop for ebooks where words on practically every page are changed in sometimes jarring ways.

That book that was written in 2008 with the OCR error? Why would there even BE an OCR error in something that clearly should have been submitted and edited in electronic form in the first place. You're not fooling anyone.

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46096489)

Mr. Tarantino appears to be new to this thing called 'the Internet'.

He should probably call up his friend Barbara Streisand and ask her how it works!

Hyperlinks are NOT infringing - that's been proven (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46096751)

So this lawsuit is 100% without merit, period.

Too bad, so sad, and all the rest.

Let us know when you join the rest of us in the real world please.

Linking is illegal when (1)

hackus (159037) | about 8 months ago | (#46096973)

it rocks the boat.

No, not your little crappy dingy you people reading this are stuck in.

I am talking about the 1200ft Yacht over there.

-Hack

Like a movie from a book (1)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | about 8 months ago | (#46097013)

The best movies I know all come from a book. And most readers are usually the ones who want to see what the book gives on screen (eg LOTR). Thus saying "if the story leaks in a book, nobody will go see it in a theater" is wrong. So, does such leak have a bad impact on the movie success is yet to be proven. With all the media publicity it created (like /.), the leak is probably not so bad for QT (besides, one may wonder why it took Tarantino a week to sue the guy...).

Why would advertisers work with gawker after this? (3, Interesting)

Scorpinox (479613) | about 8 months ago | (#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.

Re:Why would advertisers work with gawker after th (1)

zippthorne (748122) | about 8 months ago | (#46097189)

Because advertisers are the absolute last people who are going to complain about someone distributing their ads for free....

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46097983)

1. Gawker somehow got hold of a copy of the screenplay and linked to it.
2. Tarantino asked them to remove the link.
3. Gawker refused.
So there's still a disagreement, and so Tarantino went to the courts. This is what courts are for, people. Resolving disputes between parties that haven't been able to sort things out among themselves.

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