Sony Sued for Letting Woody Allen Paraphrase Faulkner

October 26, 2012


Just as Sony is coming to terms with Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris somehow turning them a tidy profit, someone is looking to take that profit. Because come on, they thought they were going to make money off a Woody Allen film?

THR reports that someone over at Faulkner Literary Rights LLC apparently just watched the 2011 Allen comedy (they finally sent Beginners back to Netflix, I guess), and they were not pleased to find that Owen Wilson's Gil Pender has the line, "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."

And you know who said that? As noted, it was totally William Faulkner--Faulkner actual quote is, "The past is never dead. It's not even past," but close enough--and according to the lawsuit put forward by the writer's rights owners:

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.

Which is to say, because of that line, you probably thought that Midnight in Paris was a Bill Faulkner joint, and that Faulkner endorses PlayStation 3, right? Not the case! Turns out that aggressively-Woody Allen-like movie was, in fact, just a Woody Allen movie, and William Faulkner is dead. As such, Faulkner Literary Rights LLC is accusing Sony of copyright infringement, and is looking for unspecified "damages, disgorgement of profits, costs and attorney fees." The suit did not address whether Sony Bravia 5.1 surround sound speakers must cease bringing the sound and the fury to your Blu-ray home entertainment experience, but probably.

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