Movie director Quentin Tarantino is being sued by Hollywood studio Miramax over his recent plan to auction off a series of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) based on his 1994 film “Pulp Fiction.” Miramax alleges that Tarantino’s planned offerings violate the copyright it holds to the director’s film, including the rights to the property he intends to sell as NFTs, according to a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

Fast facts

  • In Tarantino’s recent announcement, the NFTs slated to go on sale on digital marketplace OpenSea next month include the uncut first handwritten scripts of the film and exclusive custom commentary from Tarantino himself. Each NFT at auction contains “secret” content that is only viewable to the owner of the NFT, according to the privacy-focused blockchain Secret Network. 
  • Miramax, which is owned by Qatar-based owner beIN Media Group and ViacomCBS, said in the complaint that Tarantino’s limited “reserved rights” under operative agreements are too narrow for him to unilaterally produce, market and sell the Pulp Fiction NFTs, according to The Street
  • “This one-off effort devalues the NFT rights to Pulp Fiction, which Miramax intends to maximize through a strategic, comprehensive approach,” Miramax attorney Bart Williams wrote in a statement.
  • The studio seeks to forbid the sale of the NFTs and any similar violation of Miramax copyrights, and asks for Tarantino to pay its legal fees and any related costs. 
  • Tarantino’s attorney, Bryan Freedman, said in a statement to NBC News on Wednesday, “Miramax is wrong — plain and simple … Quentin Tarantino’s contract is clear: he has the right to sell NFTs of his hand-written script for Pulp Fiction and this ham-fisted attempt to prevent him from doing so will fail,” Freedman said. “But Miramax’s callous decision to disclose confidential information about its filmmakers’ contracts and compensation will irreparably tarnish its reputation long after this case is dismissed.”