Saturday, November 3, 2012

LEGAL COMMENTARY: Bullshit IP Lawsuit #23001

The suit was filed on Thursday in Federal District Court in Oxford, Miss., against Sony Pictures Classics, which released “Midnight in Paris,” and reported by Variety (registration required). It hinges on a single scene in the film, when its time-traveling protagonist, played by Owen Wilson, states: “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.”  
Faulkner’s original formulation of the line in “Requiem for a Nun,” which was published in 1950, is: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” Even so, Faulkner Literary Rights says that the film, for which Mr. Allen won the Academy Award for original screenplay, is violating its copyrights.
Yes, that's right, it's a lawsuit over TWO SENTENCES. In a movie, where the movie is clearly quoting the source material. With attribution.