At one point in Allen’s highest-grossing movie ever, Owen Wilson’s character utters the troublesome line:
“The past is not dead! Actually, it’s not even past. You know who said that? Faulkner. And he was right. And I met him, too. I ran into him at a dinner party.”
Faulkner Literary Rights, who don’t appreciate the fact that it’s a freakin’ movie, and that people are quoted in freakin’ movies all the time, had this to say:
“The use of the infringing quote and of William Faulkner’s name in the infringing film is likely to cause confusion, to cause mistake, and/or to deceive the infringing film’s viewers as to a perceived affiliation, connection or association between William Faulkner and his works, on the one hand, and Sony, on the other hand.”
Although the estate will likely win this case on these grounds, c’mon! Who in their right mind would take that quote so far out of context that they would mistakenly believe Faulkner to have had a secret affiliation with Sony? We doubt that William Faulkner himself would even disapprove of Allen’s use of that line, but being dead for near enough fifty years, there’s no way to actually confirm such a thing.
On with the suing, then. Next they’ll say we can’t post lyrics to songs online!
Source: The Guardian