Bosses at Gawker Media have asked a California judge to dismiss a copyright infringement lawsuit filed against them by Quentin Tarantino over the leaked script for his movie The Hateful Eight.
The Pulp Fiction filmmaker decided to scrap plans to shoot the western in January (14) after an early draft of his screenplay hit the Internet without his permission.
Editors at Gawker.com published a report about the leak, and shared links to other websites where the scripts had already been uploaded, but Tarantino took issue with their actions and accused them of having "crossed the journalistic line by promoting itself to the public as the first source to read the entire screenplay illegally".
He filed suit, seeking actual and statutory damages, as well as at least $1 million (£625,000) in compensation, but Gawker executives have now hit back, insisting they did nothing wrong, reports Deadline.com.
Lawyers for the defendants have asked Federal District Judge John F. Walter to throw out the case, stating, "Because there was no primary infringement to which Gawker's links contributed, plaintiff has failed to state a claim for contributory copyright Infringement.
"Even if plaintiff had been able to establish the elements of such a claim, Gawker's use of links to materials already posted to the Internet by third parties was privileged as a fair use."
Gawker representatives have requested their argument be heard in court on 14 April (14).