Tarantino script leak violates rights

Times-Herald Editorial Staff
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Quentin Tarantino arrives at the Directors Guild of America Awards. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Dan Steinberg)

Quentin Tarantino has been making entertainment headlines over a lawsuit.

It started when Tarantino’s unproduced script, called The Hateful Eight, was leaked last week. Tarantino, quoted on the film website Deadline, said he only “gave it to six people” and he was “very, very depressed.”

He had only completed a first draft and now said he’ll move onto another project. He told Deadline he gave the script to three actors, one of whom “let their agent read it, and that agent has now passed it on to everyone in Hollywood.”

This week, Tarantino announced he was suing Gawker Media for “allegedly facilitating the dissemination of copies of his unproduced script, The Hateful Eight,” The Hollywood Reporter website reported.

The article added soon after Tarantino’s script was leaked, Gawker’s Defamer blog posted a link to the 146-page script under a headline titled “Here Is the Leaked Quentin Tarantino Hateful Eight Script.”

Gawker Media, who many of us will recall had sought to crowdfund the purchase of a video of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine, defended its position.

Deadline Hollywood reported Gawker editor John Cook said Tarantino should blame himself for the leak.

“Tarantino loudly turned The Hateful Eight leak into a topic of intense news interest by speaking about it at length to Deadline Hollywood,” said his statement. “Tarantino’s very public complaints about the leak … were picked up and amplified afterward by dozens of news sites, including Defamer.”

The main point being overlooked here is that leaks like these shouldn’t happen. It is a violation of someone’s incomplete works and their rights. Without permission, no one should publish it or share it in any way.

Imagine writing what we believe is a masterpiece, but prior to finishing it, someone we share it with leaked it to everyone to read.

Tarantino has every right to be upset.

But it’s not the first time something has been leaked online before. Take Stephenie Meyer for example.

The author of the popular Twilight series had part of a draft of her book Midnight Sun posted online illegally and without her permission. The book was to take place at the same time as Twilight except told from Edward Cullen’s point of view instead of Bella Swan’s. She gave up on the project also.

“I think it is important for everybody to understand that what happened was a huge violation of my rights as an author, not to mention me as a human being. As the author of the Twilight saga, I control the copyright and it is up to the owner of the copyright to decide when the books should be made public; this is the same for musicians and filmmakers,” Meyer wrote on her website on Aug. 28, 2008. “Just because someone buys a book or movie or song, or gets a download off the Internet, doesn’t mean that they own the right to reproduce and distribute it.”

She couldn’t have said it better. No matter how it happened or no matter who is to blame, there is no arguing that it shouldn’t have happened in the first place.

All Times-Herald editorials are written by the editorial staff.

Geographic location: Hollywood, Toronto

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