JACKSON — The past is never dead, William Faulkner wrote. His heirs, in two lawsuits, say their copyright rights are also very much alive.
The manager of the famous author’s literary estate is suing Sony Pictures Classics for using that “past is not dead” quote in Woody Allen’s 2011 film, “Midnight in Paris.” It’s also suing Northrop Grumman Corp. and The Washington Post Co. for using a Faulkner quote in a newspaper ad by the defense contractor.
Filed Thursday in federal court in Oxford, Miss, the first suit says Sony infringed on copyright rights. In the movie, actor Owen Wilson slightly misquotes Faulkner’s “Requiem for a Nun,” saying “The past is not dead! Actually, it’s not even past.”
The second suit, filed Friday in Jackson, Miss., makes similar claims about the ad.