Gawker Threatened For Publishing Quotes From Book Proposal, Adds 'Commentary' In Response

from the nauseating-and-cloying-precociousness-that-permeates-the-entire-proposal dept

Apparently, Gawker recently got its hands on a book proposal from someone named Lena Dunham, who received a rather significant $3.7 million advance for the work. I've never heard of Dunham, though $3.7 million book advances are pretty rare. You generally have to be someone pretty big to get that. Either way, Gawker, as it is known to do, published the book proposal and made fun of Dunham and the writing. Gawker's initial post definitely did seem a bit gloating and childish in mocking Dunham, but that's kind of the point of Gawker, I believe. Either way, Dunham went legal. Her lawyer contacted Gawker and demanded removal of the proposal, along with all of the quotes from it. In response, Gakwer did remove the full proposal, but left in the quotes but added commentary which is unlikely to make Dunham particularly happy. Here are two examples, though there are many more.

I've been in therapy since I was seven.

Update: Lena Dunham's personal litigation counsel Charles Harder has contacted Gawker to relay a demand from his client, Lena Dunham, that we remove the above quote from our web site. In order to clarify our intent in quoting the above matter from Dunham's proposal, we have decided to append the following commentary: The quoted sentence is revelatory of Dunham's character in that it provides evidence that she has been examining her own thoughts and desires analytically from an absurdly young age. It is also indicative of a nauseating and cloying precociousness that permeates the entire proposal.

When I was about nine I developed a terrible fear of being anorexic.

Update: Lena Dunham's personal litigation counsel Charles Harder has contacted Gawker to relay a demand from his client, Lena Dunham, that we remove the above quote from our web site. In order to clarify our intent in quoting the above matter from Dunham's proposal, we have decided to append the following commentary: The quoted sentence is indicative of Dunham's self-dramatizing narcissism inasmuch as it presents what is obviously a desire for an attention-grabbing condition as a fear of developing said condition. It is also indicative of a nauseating and cloying precociousness that permeates the entire proposal.

Of course, by adding commentary, Gawker is clearly trying to show that it's quoting was fair use. Given the short nature of the original quotes, they probably could make a decent fair use claim on the original post as well, even without the additional commentary (and, of course, if sued, they could still get dinged for the original quotes sans commentary). But, still... the end result of all of this is that Gawker just gets that much more attention, and Lena Dunham's "nauseating and cloying precociousness" gets a further hearing. I fail to see how that benefits Dunham at all. Going legalistic just because you don't like how someone covers your work -- even if you have a legitimate copyright claim -- is often not a particularly intelligent business decision.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Dec 2012 @ 7:47am

    Re:

    She is also experienced in Hollywood accounting, where the promise of royalties is not worth the paper it is written on, hence she will not write her book until paid what she thinks it is worth.

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