Please don’t sue me, Mr. Faulkner!

The court interpreted the inclusion of the paraphrased quote in Midnight in Paris as actually helping Faulkner and the market value of Requiem if it had any effect at all.

From 1949; per Wikipedia description, image is in the public domain
I missed this initially, but a couple months ago, a federal judge in Mississippi nixed a lawsuit brought by the heirs of William Faulkner. In dispute was the claim that “Woody Allen’s 2011 film ‘Midnight in Paris’ [had] improperly used one of William Faulkner’s most famous lines.” The librarian in me was pleased with the outcome but ticked that the suit was filed in the first place.

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past,” Faulkner wrote in the book, ‘Requiem for a Nun.’ “In the movie, actor Owen Wilson, says: ‘The past is not dead. Actually, it’s not even past. You know who said that? Faulkner. And he was right. I met him too. I ran into him at a dinner party.'”

Read the judge’s ruling. The Faulkner heirs claimed violation of copyright law but SONY Pictures, the defendant, claimed the Fair Use provision in the law, Continue reading “Please don’t sue me, Mr. Faulkner!”