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Faulkner Estate Loses Copyright Lawsuit

OXFORD, Miss. — A copyright lawsuit has dismissed by a federal judge. Back in October the Faulkner Literary Rights LLC filed a lawsuit against Sony Pictures Classics Inc., which accused Woody Allen’s film, “Midnight in Paris” of lifting a line from William Faulkner’s work “Requiem for a Nun,” specifically the line, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

U.S. District court Judge Michael Mills, in Oxford, wrote that it is “difficult to fathom that Sony somehow sought some substantial commercial benefit by infringing on copyright material for no more than 8 seconds in a ninety minute film.”

The court also rued that the use of the quote was “transformative” which is a factor that courts use to decide if copyrighted material falls under fair use.

 

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