Quentin Tarantino enters the world of NFTs – and is immediately sued

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Quentin Tarantino has become embroiled in a dispute over who actually owns NFTs.

In 1994, Quentin Tarantino made cinema history with the Oscar-winning film “Pulp Fiction”. It was to change the entire film industry from scratch. He made the independent studio “Miramax” famous. Now, 28 years later, Tarantino is making history again.

Tarantino is one of the first directors to tap into the booming NFT market. In collaboration with secret network, Tarantino made handwritten, unpublished script pages in an NFT on Jan. 17 — and is quickly in a legal dispute — with Miramax.

Celebrities and NFTs

Since 2021, NFTs have been on everyone’s lips. And not just in the crypto world. The world of celebrities is now very aware of NFTs. Celebrities had a strong adoption of Cryptopunks, and later Bored Ape Yacht Club avatars captured the imagination. Profile pictures of many celebrities, athletes, actors, and cryptonerds have all jumped on the NFT bandwagon. Suddenly, NFTs became gangbusters and hit the mainstream. Everyone wanted to own one, and so NFT sales hit $10.7 billion in Q3 2021, more than 700%.

And so it’s no wonder the film industry is jumping on this bandwagon. Kevin Smith didn’t just sell his latest film “Killroy was here” as NFTbut also founded theJay and Silent Bob Crypto Studio”, where he sells the Smokin tokens. And Warner Brothers has released countless avatars on The Matrix, Space Jam, and others as NFTs.

But the attention of a wider mass of moviegoers was probably caught by another favorite of all moviegoers – Quentin Tarantino. In a video, the cult director explains that at first he didn’t even really know what an NFT was supposed to be. But he tells the storytellers that his handwritten script had been in his office for years. No one saw him except his typist. The names of the protagonists were also different, so Vincent’s character was called Edgar at that time. And it wasn’t until the process of scanning that Tarantino realized the power of NFTs and knew he had something special.

Quentin Tarantino chooses the Secret Network

The scanning process was taken over by SCRT Laboratories, the core development team behind Secret Network – on whose blockchain NFTs are published. Founded at MIT in 2015, SCRT Labs is dedicated to developing products and systems that accelerate the adoption of decentralized and privacy-focused technologies.

Secret Network is one of the first blockchains with industry-standard data protection that allows the user to create and use both permissionless and privacy-compliant apps. This unique feature protects users, secures applications, and opens up hundreds of never-before-seen use cases for Web3.

That’s why Tarantino chose the Secret Network. Secret NFTs are non-fungible tokens equipped with programmable privacy features that live on the Secret Network. The peculiarity of secret NFTs in the case of Tarantino is that only the owner can see the contents of the scenes. And so you can listen to the director’s audio commentary, which has never been heard before. All in all, this sounds like a great use case for NFTs for any movie fan. If it wasn’t for Miramax.

On November 16, 2021, Harvey Weinstein’s studio (now found guilty of sexual abuse) filed a complaint against Tarantino regarding the publication of the NFTs. Miramax claims that although Tarantino has certain rights to the 1994 film, he does not have the right to “unilaterally create and market NFTs”.

Pre-treated

I don’t think anyone should be surprised that NFTs aren’t explicitly listed in a 1993 treaty. The Oscar-winning actor and his lawyers have a similar view:

“Tarantino has every right to publish portions of his original handwritten screenplay for Pulp Fiction, a personal creative treasure he has kept to himself for decades.”

Or as Captain Koons, Christopher Walken’s character in Pulp Fiction, would say, “You can put your lament where the sun don’t shine.”

And here we are in January 2022, Tarantino sticking to his NFT exit plan and Miramax tightening his choice of words towards Guy Zyskind and secret laboratories:

“Regardless of the limited rights Mr. Tarantino has to publish scripts, they do not permit the production of unique NFTs associated with Miramax intellectual property, and his opposing position is the subject of an ongoing lawsuit,” the report continues. email from Proskauer Rose LLP. . “What you call in your press release a ‘never before seen handwritten script’ by Mr. Tarantino may not yet be ‘iconic’ or a ‘fan favourite’, so obviously you and Mr. Tarantino try to capitalize on Miramax’s content, intellectual property rights and brand.

Quentin Tarantino won’t be the only one with legal problems

And already we are on the most important topic that will come up again and again in the future about NFTs: Who has the right to an intellectual creation? The client or the creator? Is it possible to sell this right and also claim it for use cases that do not yet exist?

In general, the following applies to NFTs: Anyone who creates an NFT using a third-party work must ensure that they have permission from the copyright holder. Copyright provides a “set of rights” that belong exclusively to the copyright holder of a work. These rights include the right of reproduction, creation of derivatives, distribution of copies, public performance and communication to the public.

For the same reason a musician needs permission to sample or remix someone else’s music and sell it as their own, the creator of an NFT needs permission from the owner of the copyright of the work that he integrates into an NFT and offers for sale.
Now, one can hardly say that Tarantino is not the creator of the screenplay and therefore the author. He wrote it. On this scenario, which Miramax chose, he made a film that brought the studio to life in the first place. So is Tarantino breaking the law by posting it? At least not if you look at Guy Zyskind’s response on Twitter:

“Your attempt to bully and harass us and our community will not work.”

Who owns an NFT?

With this sentence, the CEO of Secret probably speaks to the soul of many people in the crypto scene. Or to paraphrase Mr. Pink, a character from Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs:

“I don’t want to kill anyone. But if I have to go out that door and you get in my way, somehow you get out of my way.

And so anyone who wants to be sure an NFT is from Tarantino can do so. here.

One thing is certain: the whole process and the attention will not have harmed the price. Currently, 13096 people have already registered for the auction of the 7 NFTs. Great deals !

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