Jeff Smith noon, March 8
Sony's Midnight lawsuit has bright ending
Woody not guilty of plagiarizing Faulkner's "Nun"
You're not going to believe this. The estate of William Faulkner took Sony Pictures Classic to court all over Woody Allen's winnowing a line of dialog from the novel Requiem for a Nun.
Owen Wilson's character in Midnight in Paris paraphrases the author's work saying, “The past is not dead. Actually it's not even the past." Faulkner's line reads: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
The estate of Breakfast at Tiffany's author Truman Capote should go after John Sayles for pilfering Holly Golightly's advice to her ex-husband, Doc, in his script for The Howling. In both book and film, Capote's Holly tells Doc, "You can't give your heart to a wild thing: the more you do, the stronger they get". Sayles' variation reads: "You can't tame what's meant to be wild, doc. It just ain't natural."
U.S. District Court Judge Michael P. Mills ruled against Faulkner Literary Rights LLC. The Oxford, Mississippi magistrate wrote that it is “difficult to fathom that Sony somehow sought some substantial commercial benefit by infringing on copyrighted material for no more than eight seconds in a ninety minute film."
Read more about the dismissal in Variety. I'm heading over the the County Jail. They're having a two-for-one special on lawyers.
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- Midnight in Paris Woody Allen's Biggest Grosser to Date — July 18, 2011
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- Too Brief a Treat: The Letters of Truman Capote — Nov. 18, 2004