22nd jul, 2013

Woody Allen Dodges a legal bullet

One of my favorite blogs – The 1709 blog – has a great post about Sony Pictures being sued over Woody Allens movie “Midnight in Paris”.

In the movie Owen Wilson says “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.”

This offended the owners by the owners of the rights to the literary works of William Faulkner who sued Sony Pictures. Some of Owen Wilsons line is taken from a Faulkner work but is brilliantly incorporated in the dialogue.

The judge in the case wisely says in his opinion “At issue in this case is whether a single line from a full-length novel singly paraphrased and attributed to the original author in a full-length Hollywood film can be considered a copyright infringement. In this case, it cannot.”

One can only be thankful for interpreting copyright law in a balanced way.

The 1709 blog has a good point to finish of the post:

“This blogger is pleased with the outcome of this case. She wonders however if it is because of lawsuits like these being filed in the first place that sometimes copyright may not enjoy such a great reputation and be actually perceived as rather a bothering and risky obstacle along the way to producing new creative works”

So true….

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