Quentin Tarantino Shoulda Used HoGo
added: 02.04.2014, by Mike Spinney
Academy Award winning filmmaker Quentin Tarantino’s latest project, a Western entitled The Hateful Eight, is now on the scrap heap thanks to a leaked copy of the script obtained and published by Gawker Media. According to Entertainment Weekly, Tarantino has sued Gawker, claiming the site violated his “right to make a buck” by publishing the script in whole, rather than merely reporting on its leak. The show business publication reported:
“Gawker Media has made a business of predatory journalism, violating people’s rights to make a buck. This time they went too far,” it reads. “Rather than merely publishing a news story reporting that Plaintiff’s screenplay may have been circulating in Hollywood without his permission, Gawker Media crossed the journalistic line by promoting itself to the public as the first source to read the entire Screenplay illegally. Their headline boasts ‘Here Is the Leaked Quentin Tarantino Hateful Eight Script’ – ‘Here,’ not someplace else, but ‘Here’ on the Gawker website”
When I read the story, my spider senses started to tingle.
A document containing the original, artistic intellectual property of a well-known Hollywood figure? A document with a potential value in the millions of dollars? A document that was shared with a small cadre of insiders, at least one of whom violated Tarantino’s trust by leaking the script?
Quentin Tarantino’s experience is one faced every day by many thousands of other writers and creative types. These artists pour their hearts and souls into each page of a screenplay or manuscript hoping that a producer or publisher recognizes its potential and purchases the product. Whether that artist is looking for their first big break or, like Tarantino, they are a bankable commodity, the intrinsic value in their work cannot be realized unless it is shared with others.
The necessary act of distributing that document makes it vulnerable to theft and as Tarantino’s experience illustrates, that risk is one that is very real. And while Tarantino’s cachet in Tinsel Town may insulate him in the long-term, others may be less able to absorb the financial blow that such larceny delivers. For a struggling writer whose last shot at living the dream is riding on the treatment she just emailed to an unscrupulous producer it may be the difference between a breakthrough—or seeing an oddly familiar story on the big screen a few years later while struggling to make ends meet.
Had Quentin Tarantino taken a few simple steps to safeguard The Hateful Eight script (say, assigned permissions and copy protection using HoGo…), he might have been calling “action!” today rather than calling for justice.