The Miramax film studio sued “Pulp Fiction” director Quentin Tarantino over plans to auction NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, related to the groundbreaking 1994 film.
Tarantino announced this month that he plans to sell page images of scenes from an early handwritten version of the “Pulp Fiction” script as NFT; they would also include audio commentary. Tarantino has partnered 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 allowed to sell the NFTs.
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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 the plans to the NFT, but Tarantino refused to comply with its demands.
“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. “Left unchecked, Tarantino’s conduct could mislead others into believing Miramax is involved in his business. And it could also mislead others into believing that they have the right to pursue similar offers or offers, when in fact Miramax has the rights to develop, market and sell NFTs related to its library. of in-depth films.
A representative for Tarantino did not respond to The Times’ request for comment.
“Pulp Fiction” was a critical and commercial success and established Tarantino as a major cinematic force after 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.
NFTs are basically 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.
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 platform Nifty’s to sell avatars for upcoming “Matrix Resurrections” and the recent “Space Jam: A New Legacy” in the form of 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’s album, music edition, live performance, music. print publication, interactive media, theatrical and television sequels and remake rights, and television series and spinoff rights.
“Tarantino’s reserved rights do not include any rights or media that were not known at the time of the original rights agreement,” the complaint says. Tarantino did not consult Miramax on the creation of NFT “Pulp Fiction,” Miramax said.