What a difference a week makes. On May 1, Quentin Tarantino was back in the legal ring to take another swing at Gawker with an amended complaint in his The Hateful Eight copyright infringement lawsuit. Now, he’s walked away from his $1 million rumble with the site over their posting of his previously leaked screenplay. “NOTICE is hereby given that… plaintiff Quentin Tarantino (“Plaintiff”) voluntarily dismisses the above-captioned action, in its entirety, without prejudice,” said a filing made in federal court by the Oscar-winning director’s lawyers Marty Singer, Evan Spiegel and Harry Self III late Wednesday (read it here). Of course, being smart attorneys, the trio hasn’t entirely lowered its client’s gloves. “This dismissal is made without prejudice, whereby Plaintiff may later advance an action and refile a complaint after further investigations to ascertain and plead the identities of additional infringers resulting from Gawker Media’s contributory copyright infringement, by its promotion, aiding and abetting and materially contributing to the dissemination to third-parties of unauthorized copies of Plaintiff’s copyrighted work,” adds the 2-page filing.
It is a sudden end to what was shaping up to be a potentially epic drama. After his Hateful Eight script leaked and then showed up online, an angry Tarantino had sued Gawker for the infringement and $1 million on January 27. Among other reactions, Gawker responded with its motion to dismiss on March 10. While considering the motion, Judge Waters had set a January 27 trial date while sending the parties into mediation last month. Then on April 22, Judge John F. Walker tossed Tarantino’s case saying it did not display a particular case of infringement facilitated by Gawker’s actions. Walker did allow Team Tarantino to file an amended complaint, which is what they did on May 1 – now focusing it down to one claim of copyright infringement (Direct and Contributory). That’s all behind us and the credits are on the screen – for now.
Deadline's Dominic Patten - tip him here.