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Quentin Tarantino loses first round of script lawsuit with Gawker

By Steve Almasy, CNN
April 23, 2014 -- Updated 0300 GMT (1100 HKT)
Oscar winning screenwriter and director Quentin Tarantino says he is still working on the script for the Western.
Oscar winning screenwriter and director Quentin Tarantino says he is still working on the script for the Western.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Links to an unproduced movie script were posted in January
  • The famed director and writer filed suit against one of the more popular websites that posted link
  • Judge rules that Tarantino didn't show there was a copyright infringement
  • Tarantino reportedly is revising the script and might move ahead with making the film

(CNN) -- A lawsuit filed by Academy Award winning screenwriter and celebrated director Quentin Tarantino against the Gawker website for linking to a script for a future movie project was dismissed Tuesday by a federal judge.

In January, Gawker posted links to the script for "The Hateful Eight," an unproduced Western. Tarantino failed to prove that was an act of direct copyright infringement, said Judge John F. Walter of the Central District of California.

The judge said he would allow Tarantino's attorney to amend arguments and refile the complaint by May 1.

Although Gawker did not post the script to its own site, Tarantino's attorney charged the script would not have been widely accessible if Gawker had not linked to it.

Gawker turned down repeated requests to remove links to download the script, Tarantino's complaint charged.

Tarantino told the gossip site Deadline that he had given the script to only six people, including actors Michael Madsen, best known as the killer in "Reservoir Dogs," as well as Bruce Dern and Tim Roth. "Reservoir Dogs" was Roth's breakthrough film.

Somehow, the script leaked. It was posted through a site that lets users anonymously upload and download files.

CNN's attempts to reach Tarantino for comment on Tuesday were unsuccessful. Gawker didn't mention the decision on its website.

According to CNN affiliate KTLA, Tarantino held a three-hour reading of the script over the weekend and told audience members he was working on changes to it. Although Tarantino had spoken of shelving the project when the links to the script were posted, he said making the film is still possible.

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