Lawsuits claim illegal uses of famed Faulkner words


OXFORD – Nobel laureate William Faulkner reaches out from the grave to legally slap the hands of two giant corporations and a Pulitzer prize winning newspaper.
His lawyers say they used the iconic writer’s words without his permission.
“These people should have known better,” said Lee Caplin, a Los Angeles producer, who recently worked in Mississippi with actor-director James Franco on the film version of Faulkner’s “As I Lay Dying.”
Caplin, manager of the Faulkner estate and Faulkner Literary Rights LLC, brings the lawsuits through the Oxford law firm Mayo and Mallette.
FLR, a Virginia company established by Faulkner’s daughter Jill Faulkner Summers, owns all rights, titles and interest in his name, image and likeness.
Two lawsuits on file this week in Mississippi federal courts ask for compensation and other damages against defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corp. and The Washington Post Co., in the Southern District, and against Sony Pictures Classics Inc. and up to 100 persons yet to be named, in the Northern District.
The defendants have yet to respond to the allegations.
FLR claims two different Faulkner quotes were used without permission and for the financial benefit of Northrop Gumman, in a full-page ad published in The Washington Post, and by Sony in its Woody Allen movie “Midnight in Paris.”
The company asks for a jury trial in each.
• Read more details in Friday’s Daily Journal.

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