July 20, 2013

'Midnight in Paris' suit is put to bed

From news service reports

JACKSON, Miss. - A federal judge in Mississippi has dismissed a lawsuit claiming that Woody Allen's 2011 film "Midnight in Paris" improperly used one of William Faulkner's most famous lines.

William Faulkner
click image to enlarge

American novelist William Faulkner is photographed at his home near Oxford, Miss., in 1950.

The Associated Press

Faulkner Literary Rights LLC sued Sony Pictures Classics Inc. in October in U.S. District Court in Oxford, Miss., Faulkner's hometown.

The lawsuit said a character in the movie took a line from Faulkner's book, "Requiem for a Nun."

"The past is never dead. It's not even past," Faulkner wrote in the book.

In the movie, actor Owen Wilson, says: "The past is not dead. Actually, it's not even past. You know who said that? Faulkner. And he was right. I met him too. I ran into him at a dinner party."

U.S. District Judge Michael P. Mills, himself the author of a book called "Twice Told Tombigbee Tales," dismissed the lawsuit in a ruling Thursday.

"The court has viewed Woody Allen's movie, 'Midnight in Paris,' read the book, 'Requiem for a Nun,' and is thankful that the parties did not ask the court to compare 'The Sound and the Fury' with 'Sharknado,' " the judge wrote.

The "Sound and the Fury" is a Faulkner classic. "Sharknado" is a recent television movie about tornadoes that fling sharks from the ocean onto land, with deadly consequences.

"At issue in this case is whether a single line from a full-length novel singly paraphrased and attributed to the original author in a full-length Hollywood film can be considered a copyright infringement.

"In this case, it cannot," the judge wrote.

Crowd-funded 'Veronica Mars' to hit big screen

SAN DIEGO - It's not a mystery: "Veronica Mars" is really coming to the big screen.

"Veronica Mars" creator Rob Thomas, star Kristen Bell and the rest of the cast previewed footage Friday at Comic-Con from the upcoming fan-funded film.

The cult television series about a teenage gumshoe was canceled in 2007 after three seasons.

Earlier this year, Thomas used crowd-funding site Kickstarter to pull in $2 million in less than a day to make a new movie.

He eventually gathered more than $5.7 million in 30 days.

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