Tarantino in Hot Water Over Pulp Fiction NFTs

Miramax, which still owns the rights, sues him
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 17, 2021 3:00 AM CST
Miramax Sues Tarantino Over Pulp Fiction NFTs
Director Quentin Tarantino acknowledges the applause after receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 16th edition of the Rome Film Fest in Rome, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Quentin Tarantino is planning to auction off non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, related to his iconic film Pulp Fiction, he announced at a crypto-art convention this month. But not if Miramax has anything to say about it: The studio, which still owns the rights to the movie, sued the filmmaker for copyright infringement, trademark infringement, breach of contract, and unfair competition Tuesday, Variety reports. Miramax says Tarantino didn't consult the studio before planning the sale, and that a cease-and-desist letter sent to him prior to filing the lawsuit did not deter him from moving forward.

Tarantino said the NFTs would be "exclusive scenes" from Pulp Fiction; they are based on excerpts from his original handwritten script and will also include art and Tarantino's commentary. Seven NFTs are planned, some of them including scenes that were cut from the final version of the film, per the Hollywood Reporter. "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," says a Miramax lawyer.

The studio also says Tarantino's move is hindering its own plans to get involved in the NFT market with Pulp Fiction NFTs. Tarantino's lawyer, however, says the filmmaker's contract with Miramax allowed him to retain certain rights including the right to publish his screenplay, which is what he's doing with the NFT sale. The studio, however, argues that since NFTs are a one-time sale, Tarantino is not publishing his script and Miramax should be the one with NFT rights related to the film. Since NFTs had not even been dreamed of when the movie came out, the issue of who owns the rights is integral to the suit. (More Quentin Tarantino stories.)

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