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Old 11-15-2012, 03:22 PM   #1
kennyc
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Woody vs Faulkner Copyright Battle

almost as (or maybe more-so) frivolous as the Apple/Samsung krapola

Quote:
Famed quotation isn't dead -- and could even prove costly
By Todd Leopold, CNN
November 11, 2012 -- Updated 1918 GMT (0318 HKT)

William Faulkner's line, "The past is never dead. It's not even past," is now at the center of a lawsuit.
Quote:
STORY HIGHLIGHTS

William Faulkner quotation subject of a lawsuit
Woody Allen used much-quoted line in "Midnight in Paris"; Faulkner estate suing
Studio believes line is protected by legal doctrine; if they're wrong, could affect other works
Faulkner, one of America's greatest writers, generally not known for pithy quotations
(CNN) -- It may be one of the most-quoted lines in American literature -- and if you dare to quote it, you might have to pay.

In late October, Faulkner Literary Rights -- which represents Nobel Prize-winning author William Faulkner's estate -- sued representatives of Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris" for misquoting the famous line, "The past is never dead. It's not even past."

In the film, about a writer who travels back in time to 1920s Paris, Owen Wilson's character lightly rephrases the line as "The past is not dead. Actually, it's not even past."

For the film's sin, Faulkner's estate is suing for copyright infringement and asking for "damages, disgorgement of profits, costs and attorney fees," according to the suit.

Defendant Sony Pictures Classics, which released "Midnight in Paris," quickly fired back.

"This is a frivolous lawsuit and we are confident we will prevail in defending it," the studio said in a statement, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Sony is defending the quotation as a "fair use" under copyright law, which is a defense that lets others freely reproduce copyrighted works for purposes such as criticism, comment and news reporting.
...
http://edition.cnn.com/2012/11/06/sh...uit/index.html
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:20 PM   #2
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Wow, and I thought the idea of Lebanon suing Homeland was dumb. This takes the cake, and comes from people who should know better.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:17 PM   #3
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If you think that lawsuit is bad, check out the followup, as the Faulkner estate also went afterthe Washington Post:
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/201...sentence.shtml

Quote:
The second lawsuit, filed Friday, was against the Washington Post and defense contractor giant Northrop Grumman. Why? Because Northrop Grumman ran an ad in the Washington Post that quoted (with attribution) a single sentence from a Harper's article that Faulkner once wrote.

The ad, which ran on July 4th, 2011, included: "We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it. -- William Faulkner."
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:29 PM   #4
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That's ridiculous!
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
If you think that lawsuit is bad, check out the followup, as the Faulkner estate also went afterthe Washington Post:
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/201...sentence.shtml
I'm a little worried about what the Faulkner estate could do to academia if it wins. Imagine a world without direct quotations.

I'm not sure I want to.
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:21 PM   #6
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Show Faulkner's estate that you support their right to protect his copyright by boycotting all of his works. Don't buy him, borrow him, read him or quote him. That way there's no possibility of stepping on their toes.
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Old 11-16-2012, 02:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teh603 View Post
I'm a little worried about what the Faulkner estate could do to academia if it wins. Imagine a world without direct quotations.

I'm not sure I want to.
The odds of them winning are pretty close to zero. To quote the US Copyright Office (you know, the people who are in charge of this stuff):

"Copyright law does not protect names, titles, or short phrases or expressions. Even if a name, title, or short phrase is novel or distinctive or lends itself to a play on words, it cannot be protected by copyright. The Copyright Office cannot register claims to exclusive rights in brief combinations of words such as:

...

• Catchwords, catchphrases, mottoes, slogans, or short advertising expressions"

They're betting on one or more of their victims making a payout of less than the legal fees for a trial. One never knows what a movie studio will do, since they have a vested interest in promoting the misinformation that ideas can be copyrighted, but the Washington Post does not, and likely has plenty of money for lawyers (if not lawyers on staff).

I'm thinking this will just go quietly away, and we'll never hear about it.
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Old 11-16-2012, 02:37 AM   #8
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When did Faulkner write that line? Because Owen Wilson said it in the 1920s, according to the film. They should counter-sue.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:55 AM   #9
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"Faulkner's Estate" sounds like a bunch of ignorant, greedy, A-holes to me. Faulkner's works should have have long since passed into the public domain. He died 50 years ago for Pete's sake. Yet another example proving current US copyright law is an absolute farce.
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:00 AM   #10
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And not only that but the "heirs" fought bitterly about it for ages, from what I hear...

but googling I'm not finding anything at the moment. Hmmmm

Last edited by kennyc; 11-16-2012 at 09:03 AM.
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:03 AM   #11
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I'm assuming the Faulknerites are missing the point that a good number of people that heard the quote might actually follow up and read the original source at some point. I'm one of those people.

Of course now that I've heard from the Faulknerites I've thought better of pursuing the original quote.
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:54 AM   #12
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Too bad, Faulkner is a brilliant writer.

His estate seems to be run by clowns, though.
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:50 PM   #13
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The bloke who runs the Estate is apparently Lee Caplin, a film producer and everything else, who has close relationships with Faulkner's wife and daughter, having grown up as a neighbour.
His literary independence and expertise is summed up by the quote
"Faulkner is regarded as the greatest writer of the English language of the last century, we're just lucky he was an American."

Last edited by Jozawun; 11-16-2012 at 12:51 PM. Reason: error
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jozawun View Post
The bloke who runs the Estate is apparently Lee Caplin, a film producer and everything else, who has close relationships with Faulkner's wife and daughter, having grown up as a neighbour.
His literary independence and expertise is summed up by the quote
"Faulkner is regarded as the greatest writer of the English language of the last century, we're just lucky he was an American."
Careful, you might get dragged into court for posting that quote!

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Old 11-16-2012, 03:56 PM   #15
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Never mind the quote!
He wrote F******r's name!
The writ is probably in the steno pool already.
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