Monday, November 5, 2012

William Faulkner's Estate Suing Woody Allen's Studio

1st NW Quadrant: The Approval Matrix

From the Telegraph By Sameer Rahim

In what Sony Pictures Classics is describing as a "frivolous lawsuit", the estate of the American writer William Faulkner is suing the company for breach of copyright. In a deposition filed at a court in the Northern District of Mississippi, the estate picks up on a quotation from the 2011 Woody Allen film Midnight in Paris... In the film Gil Pender (played by Owen Wilson) is transported back to the 1920s where he meets his literary heroes, including Scott Fitzgerald and Hemingway.

In describing his experience Pender says: "The past in not dead! Actually, it's not even past. You know who said that? Faulkner. And he was right. And I met him, too. I ran into him at a dinner party." The film actually slightly misquotes Faulkner. The original version is "The past is never dead. It's not even past," from Requiem for a Nun (1950).

Nevertheless the lawsuit claims: “The use of the infringing quote and of William Faulkner’s name in the infringing film is likely to cause confusion, to cause mistake, and/or to deceive the infringing film's viewers as to a perceived affiliation, connection or association between William Faulkner and his works, on the one hand, and Sony, on the other hand.”

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