Miramax sues Quentin Tarantino for alleged copyright infringement based on his planned sale of NFTs

  • In the Central District of California, Miramax has sued Quentin Tarantino for his planned “secret” sale of NFTs related to the 1994 hit movie “Pulp Fiction,” including exclusive, never-before-seen scenes, handwritten scripts, and exclusive audio commentary by Tarantino.
  • Miramax asserts Tarantino has breached his contract with Miramax, in which Tarantino allegedly granted ” ‘all rights (including all copyrights and trademarks) in and to the Film (and all elements thereof in all stages of development and production) now or hereafter known including without limitation the right to distribute the Film in all media now or hereafter known (theatrical, non-theatrical, all forms of television, home video, etc.),’ excluding only a limited set of Tarantino’s ‘Reserved Rights.’ ” Complaint para. 52.
  • For the copyright claim, Miramax asserts: “Except for Tarantino’s limited set of Reserved Rights, Miramax is the exclusive owner of rights under copyright in and to the motion picture Pulp Fiction, and all elements thereof in all stages of development and production. Miramax owns copyrights in and to Pulp Fiction (and, pursuant to the Original Rights Agreement and the Tarantino-Miramax Assignment, ‘all elements thereof in all stages of development and production’)…” Complaint para. 55.
  • Miramax alleges that Tarantino’s planned “Pulp Fiction” NFTs are unauthorized derivative works: “Through Defendants’ conduct alleged herein, including Defendants’ sale of rights relating to Pulp Fiction, and preparation and reproduction of derivative works based on Pulp Fiction without Miramax’s permission, Defendants have directly infringed Miramax’s exclusive rights in Pulp Fiction and the elements thereof in violation of Section 501 of the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 501.” Complaint para. 56.
  • My quick review: Miramax does seem to have a solid basis for its lawsuit. You can download the Complaint in Miramax v. Tarantino below.
  • UPDATE: Bryan Freedman, Tarantino’s lawyer, told Deadline: “Miramax is wrong – plain and simple,” Bryan Freedman tells Deadline of the suit. Quentin Tarantino’s contract is clear: he has the right to sell NFTs of his hand-written script for Pulp Fiction and this ham-fisted attempt to prevent him from doing so will fail.”
  • Of course, the lawsuit is free publicity for the sale of “Pulp Fiction” NFTs.