Oct 29, 2012
By Michael Kramer
William Faulkner wrote that ” the past is never dead.”
Now his heirs say their copyright to that phrase is very much alive.
The author’s literary estate is suing Sony Pictures Classics for using a paraphrase of that line in Woody Allen’s 2011 film, “Midnight in Paris.”
The suit argues Owen Wilson’s character slightly misquoted a line from Faulkner’s “Requiem for a Nun” saying “The past is not dead! Actually, it’s not even past.”
Allen won the Academy Award for original screenplay last year for “Midnight In Paris.”
Sony says in a statement in part: “This is a frivolous lawsuit. There is no question this brief reference to a quote from a public speech Faulkner gave constitutes fair use and any claim to the contrary is without merit.”