If you ever suspected that the chief beneficiary of ever-lengthened copyright protection would be the legal profession, go to the head of the class:
When settling previous intellectual disputes, Woody Allen has been able to produce esteemed men of letters to come to his defense (at least when Marshall McLuhan is hiding just off camera). But there is not much chance that William Faulkner will be able to speak up for him in this latest disagreement: Faulkner Literary Rights, the company that controls works by that Nobel Prize-winning author of The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying, has filed a lawsuit over Mr. Allen’s 2011 film Midnight in Paris and what it says is that movie’s unauthorized use of a line from Faulkner’s book Requiem for a Nun.
The line, as spoken by Gil Pender (Owen Wilson): “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, of course, was right. Sony Classics, Allen’s distributor, hopes to prove the lawyers are wrong.
(Via this Lauren Gilbert tweet.)