Miramax has filed a lawsuit against filmmaker Quentin Tarantino for announcing a line of non-fungible token (NFT) collectibles based on his famous film Pulp Fiction. The case, which was filed in federal court in California, claims copyright and trademark infringement as well as a violation of contract, setting the stage for a fight over who has the rights to distribute NFTs for a film: the artist or the copyright holder.
Miramax had already given Tarantino a cease and desist letter urging him to discontinue plans to sell the Pulp Fiction NFTs, but Tarantino instead “intensified and enlarged” his intentions, according to the 22-page lawsuit, which is publicly available courtesy of Deadline.
Despite knowing that Miramax holds a majority of the picture’s rights, Tarantino allegedly kept his plans to distribute the NFTs of the film a secret from the studio, according to the lawsuit.
Tarantino was “ready to capitalize in on the [NFT] explosion,” according to Miramax’s complaint, when he announced the collectibles in cooperation with SCRT Labs as one of the first initiatives to debut on the Secret Network blockchain network. The seven NFTs scheduled for release are supposed to be based on Pulp Fiction’s original script and include exclusive audio commentary with previously unpublished information that can only be viewed by the individual owner.
The studio goes on to state that Tarantino signed over “nearly all of his rights” to the movie to Miramax in 1993, including the rights to sell Pulp Fiction exclusives and secrets.
Miramax said it is seeking compensation for damages from Tarantino, and brought forward the lawsuit to “enforce, preserve and protect” its “intellectual property rights” and protect its copyright from other Miramax collaborators who believe “they have the rights to pursue similar deals”.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Tarantino’s counsel argues the director’s right to “screenplay reproduction” permits for the manufacture of the NFT collectibles. Meanwhile, Miramax claims to have the right to make NFTs based on Pulp Fiction and even plans to do so.