After being sued for copyright infringement by film studio Miramax following the announcement of his “Pulp Fiction” non-fungible token (NFT) collection in November, director Quentin Tarantino says the project will be released after all.
The situation has been a messy case study of applying Web 2 copyright laws to Web 3 products, with NFT sales falling into a grey area of the film’s distribution rights, which Tarantino only owns for the film’s screenplay.
Much of the confusion can also be attributed to the “secret” nature of the NFTs themselves – only the holders of the NFTs can view their content, a technology implemented by SCRT Labs’ Ethereum-based Secret Network.
The “Pulp Fiction” project has since tightened the language used to describe the content of the NFTs, explaining that the scenes are not actually video clips left out of the film’s final cut but images of the screenplay’s handwritten text accompanied by Tarantino’s voiceover.
“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,” Proskauer Rose LLP Partner Bart Williams, part of the studio’s legal team, told CoinDesk in an email.
A Miramax spokesperson said Tarantino filed an answer to the studio’s complaint last month and an initial scheduling conference in court is slated for Feb. 24.
Despite the legal proceedings, Tarantino and his collaborators at Secret Network say the NFTs will be released in seven “chapters” starting on Jan. 17 and ending Jan. 31. Each chapter is said to contain a different bonus scene NFT.
“The secret nature of the tech made things more complicated, absolutely,” Guy Zyskind, CEO of SCRT Labs, told CoinDesk in an interview. “But Quentin has the rights and we’ve known he’s had the rights the whole time, so we are excited to move forward with him with support.”