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Earlier this month, it was reported that director Quentin Tarantino would be auctioning off seven uncut scenes from his film “Pulp Fiction” as nonfungible tokens. Now, Tarantino finds himself in hot water as Miramax, the studio which produced and distributed “Pulp Fiction”, is suing the director.
In addition to the uncut scenes, the NFTs were to include exclusive audio commentary from Tarantino himself as well as original handwritten scripts of the film. Miramax, however, claims that these were not his to sell. They filed a complaint in Los Angeles on Tuesday, claiming that the sale of the NFTs infringed on the “intellectual property rights relating to one of Miramax’s most iconic and valuable film properties”. While Tarantino owns the rights to publish the film’s screenplay, the studio believes the one-time sale falls outside that categorization.
Miramax was initially frustrated that the director left them in the dark regarding the sale. They had sent the director a cease and desist letter on Nov. 4, to which he promptly ignored and pushed on with his plans. The company was left with no choice but to move forward with a lawsuit. According the the suit, Tarantino “granted and assigned nearly all of his rights to ‘Pulp Fiction'” to Miramax in 1993. In response, Tarantino’s attorneys have stated that the sales fall under the partial rights Tarantino held from the production.
Since NFTs are a relatively new entity in the world of entertainment, this presents an interesting case. These particular NFTs are “secret”, so transaction and ownership data are encrypted. Thus, only the owner of the tokens can view the encrypted content. This would mean that Miramax is suing Quentin Tarantino over content they have not even seen.
It will be interesting to see how this situation plays out, though it is a rather unfortunate one. The original announcement of this sale was a major step forward for the distribution of nonfungible tokens as collectibles and a new way for artists to reach their followers. Additionally, Tarantino and Miramax had a long standing relationship stemming from their distribution of the director’s first film “Reservoir Dogs” in 1992. They would go on to release 4 more films together, and are now entangled in a lawsuit.
Do you think Miramax has a right to sue Quentin Tarantino? Let us know down in the comments.
This article originally published on GREY Journal.