Quentin Tarantino really wants to sell NFTs involving the original screenplay to his 1994 Oscar-winning feature Pulp Fiction, starring John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson. The director wants to sell these NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, so badly that he continues to march straight into a lawsuit with Miramax, the studio that distributed the film and own the rights to the script.
Ownership of Pulp Fiction was originally settled way back in the ’90s, long before we would have to hear about the selling of NFTs every single day. However, this morning Tarantino announced the auction for the NFTs, despite an already pending lawsuit launched by Miramax in regards to the intellectual rights.
Tarantino first unveiled the auction back in November, which was swiftly met with a suit from Miramax over alleged breach of contract and other intellectual property violations. The director sought to sell seven uncut scenes from Pulp Fiction as NFTs. Despite refuting the claims, Tarantino did not continue with the sales at that time. The next steps for the suit are set to be laid out in February, though this announcement could spur an emergency block on the auctions.
Per the auction website, the NFTs will consist of “a single iconic scene, including personalized audio commentary from Quentin Tarantino. The collector who will purchase one of these few and rare NFTs will get a hold of secrets from the screenplay and a glimpse into the mind and the creative process of Quentin Tarantino.”
What’s unclear is how NFTs will fit into our previously laid laws around intellectual rights, and if Tarantino’s auction breaches the nearly 30-year-old contract. Whatever the result may be, it will most likely set a precedent concerning this ever-blossoming format of art sale. However, the battle appears far from over.
“Any claim that Tarantino has ‘defeated’ this lawsuit is verifiably false as Miramax’s claims and the litigation remains pending,” Proskauer Rose LLP partner Bart Williams writes to IndieWire. “There’s been no attempt to dismiss any of Miramax’s claims by Tarantino’s team, nor have they filed any counter claims or motions against Miramax, and since Miramax filed its lawsuit, the promotional website and Twitter account for the proposed sale have scaled back the unauthorized use of imagery from Miramax films (including Pulp Fiction). For anyone to presume Tarantino victorious at this time by merely filing his response to the complaint is inaccurate, misleading, and premature to say the least.”
As of right now, Tarantino and partner SCRT Labs (the creator of a privacy-focused blockchain) will auction seven chapters of the script between January 17 and January 31.