Faulkner Estate Sues Over Midnight in Paris Quote

Incredibly common quote said with attribution

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 26, 2012 1:50 PM CDT

(Newser) – Maybe you've heard William Faulkner's famous quote, "The past is never dead. It's not even past." Well, don't you dare repeat it. Because Faulkner Literary Rights, a company that owns the rights to many of the literary giant's works, is suing Sony Pictures Classic and others because the quote was uttered once, more or less, with attribution, in Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

In the movie, Owen Wilson's character says, "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." The lawsuit alleges that the use of the quote and Faulkner's name is likely "to deceive the infringing film's viewers as to a perceived affiliation" between Faulkner and Sony. Because, clearly, everyone now believes William Faulkner helped write Midnight in Paris. The company wants "damages, disgorgement of profits, costs, and attorney fees."

In this image released by Sony Pictures Classics, Owen Wilson, left, and Rachel McAdams are shown in a scene from Midnight in Paris.
In this image released by Sony Pictures Classics, Owen Wilson, left, and Rachel McAdams are shown in a scene from "Midnight in Paris."   (AP Photo/Sony Pictures Classics, Roger Arpajou)
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