Quentin Tarantino sued for auctioning Pulp Fiction NFTs
Los Angeles, CA – Miramax film studio sues Pulp Fiction director Quentin Tarantino over auction plan TVN, or non-fungible tokens, linked to the groundbreaking 1994 film.
Tarantino announced this month that he plans to sell page footage of scenes from an early handwritten version of the Pulp Fiction script as NFT, including audio commentary. Tarantino has teamed up with tech company SCRT Labs to auction seven tokens based on the film.
Miramax, which published Pulp Fiction, accused Tarantino on Tuesday of breach of contract, copyright infringement and trademark infringement, claiming he was not licensed to sell NFTs.
Miramax, owned by Qatar-based BeIn Media and ViacomCBS, said in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles that the company sent Tarantino a cease and desist letter after learning about plans to the NFT, but Tarantino refused to comply with its demands.
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“Tarantino’s conduct forced Miramax to take this legal action against a valued employee in order to uphold, preserve and protect their contractual and intellectual property rights relating to one of Miramax’s most iconic and valuable cinematic properties. “the company said in its complaint.
âLeft unchecked, Tarantino’s conduct could mislead others into believing Miramax is involved in his business. And it could also mislead others into believing they have a right to pursue offers. or similar offerings, when in fact Miramax owns the necessary rights to develop, market, and sell NFTs related to its in-depth movie library. “
A representative for Tarantino did not respond to a request for comment from Los Angeles Times.
Miramax accuses Tarantino of “seizing money”
Pulp Fiction was critically and commercially successful and established Tarantino as a major cinematic force following the success of Reservoir Dogs. It won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for several Oscars, including Best Film. He won the Screenplay Award, which Tarantino shared with Roger Avary.
Miramax has also released Tarantino films, including Jackie Brown and the two Kill Bill films. Miramax was then directed by Harvey and Bob Weinstein, who then continued their relationship with Tarantino at the Weinstein Co. Pulp Fiction remains one of the most prized pieces in the Miramax film library.
“It was deeply disappointing to learn of this deliberate, premeditated, and short-term seizure of money by the Tarantino team to unilaterally circumvent Miramax’s rights to ‘Pulp Fiction’ through the illicit development, promotion and distribution of NFT, “said Bart Williams, an attorney at Proskauer Rose LLP, who represents Miramax.
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NFTs are essentially certificates of authenticity for items, such as digital artwork, sports memorabilia, and concert tickets. Unique digital files, which are stored and tracked on a blockchain network, have gained popularity with investors this year, especially among cryptocurrency enthusiasts.
The phenomenon caught the attention of the general public when an NFT for a digital collage by graphic artist Beeple was auctioned for $ 69 million.
The rise and rise of NFTs
For artists and businesses, including filmmakers and movie studios, NFTs have become an intriguing new way to monetize and promote their work. Warner Bros. from WarnerMedia has worked with NFT’s platform Nifty’s to sell avatars for upcoming Matrix Resurrections and the recent Space Jam: A New Legacy as virtual tokens.
But as independent artists have sought to ride the wave of new demand for their work across this asset class, studios have sought to assert control over how intellectual property is used, including for them. NFT based on popular superheroes.
In its complaint, Miramax cited a 1993 agreement with Tarantino to argue that the filmmaker’s reserved rights for Pulp Fiction were limited to the soundtrack album, music edition, live performance, print publication. , interactive media, film and television resale and remake rights, and television. rights to series and spin-offs.
âTarantino’s reserved rights do not include any rights or media that were not known at the time of the original rights agreement,â the complaint says. Tarantino did not consult Miramax on the creation of Pulp Fiction NFT, Miramax said.
Cover photo: IMAGO / Cinema Publishers Collection