Woody Allen movie quotes William Faulkner, Faulkner estate sues

by Walter Olson on October 31, 2012

Sony Pictures has decried the suit as frivolous:

In Midnight In Paris, Gil Pender, the disillusioned Hollywood screenwriter played by Owen Wilson, says, “the past is 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 rightsholder[s] say the slightly paraphrased quote could “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.”

David Olson, a professor of law at Boston College (and no relation), disputed the notion that a license was needed just because the movie was intended to make a profit. “Commercial use isn’t presumptively unfair” he said. He said no one watches “Midnight in Paris” as a substitute for buying “Requiem for a Nun.” [Deadline.com, Washington Post]

P.S. “Is the complaint written in Faulknerese?” [@jslubinski]

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Woody Allen movie quotes William Faulkner, Faulkner estate sues « pundit from another planet
11.01.12 at 2:20 pm

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1 Rick Sincere 11.03.12 at 8:36 pm

When did quoting a sentence or sentence fragment from a work of several hundred pages in length become subject to licensing arrangements?

George F. Will had better beware. He’s a fat target for this kind of lawsuit.

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