17 November 2021CopyrightAlex Baldwin

Miramax sues Tarantino over ‘Pulp Fiction’ NFTs

Miramax has sued Quentin Tarantino in an attempt to stop the director from auctioning non-fungible tokens (NFTs) related to the 1994 film “Pulp Fiction”.

Tarantino plans to auction off seven NFTs of screenplay pages from the 1994 film in December, but the director’s long-time financier and collaborator Miramax claims he needs its permission to go ahead with the auction.

Miramax sued Tarantino in the US District Court for the Central District of California, claiming that he made no effort to contact the company prior to his auction press campaign.

“The fact that Tarantino kept Miramax out of the loop is particularly problematic because he granted and assigned nearly all of his rights to ‘Pulp Fiction’ (and all its elements in all stages of development and production) to Miramax in 1993,” Miramax claimed in a complaint filed on Tuesday, November 16.

Miramax set a cease and desist letter to Tarantino two days after the auction was announced claiming that his narrow “reserved rights” for the picture were not sufficient to market the NFT.

In this instance, the director’s reserved rights were limited to ancillary media, including screenplay publication, print publications, and interactive media as well as the soundtrack album remake and sequel rights.

Tarantino’s counsel told Miramax that the right to “screenplay publication” covers the seven NFTs, which consist of “high-resolution digital scan[s] of Quentin’s original handwritten screenplay pages for a single scene from his screenplay for Pulp Fiction.”

However, Miramax contends that the proposed sale of original script pages or scenes is a “one-time transaction” that does not constitute “publication”.

Upon receiving the letter, Tarantino “intensified and expanded” his initial plans to sell the NFT, claimed Miramax.

Miramax has asked the court for damages and injunctive relief to block the director from hosting the auction and other violations of the IP rights.

In a statement given to Variety, Miramax attorney Bart Williams said: “This group chose to recklessly, greedily, and intentionally disregard the agreement that Quentin signed instead of following the clear legal and ethical approach of simply communicating with Miramax about his proposed ideas.

“This one-off effort devalues the NFT rights to ‘Pulp Fiction’, which Miramax intends to maximise through a strategic, comprehensive approach.”

This is the latest in a series of rights disputes around NFTs, with publishers, financiers and record labels attempting to stop artists and other rights holders from auctioning off NFTs of their IP.

In June, the now-defunct Roc-A-Fella Records  succeeded in getting a temporary restraining order against its co-founder Damon Dash, halting his plan to sell an NFT of Jay-Z’s debut album “Reasonable Doubt”.

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24 June 2021   Roc-A-Fella Records has succeeded in getting a temporary restraining order against its co-founder Damon Dash, halting his plan to sell a non-fungible token of Jay-Z’s debut album “Reasonable Doubt”.
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