Quentin Tarantino Sued By Miramax Over Pulp Fiction NFTs

If you heard about Quentin Tarantino selling "Pulp Fiction" scenes as NFTs and thought, "How can he do that?" since the studio owns the movie — Miramax feels the same way. Now, to quote Marsellus Wallace, it's about to "get medieval on his a**" ... in court.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Miramax is suing Tarantino over his "Pulp Fiction" NFT scheme. It sent him a cease-and-desist letter, but he didn't comply, and now the studio is bringing a lawsuit against him. However, the case isn't as cut-and-dry as it might seem.

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, allow someone to purchase a digital asset and retain ownership of it even as it's reproduced. It's like having the original version of a famous painting in your collection while other prints or copies of it float around out there.

Tarantino's plan was to release seven exclusive, never-before-seen scenes from "Pulp Fiction" as secret content with hand-written script notes, art, and personal commentary from him. As THR notes, his NFTs would have come with a "publicly viewable portion as well as content (including the previously unseen script sections) only visible to the owner."

What makes the matter complicated is that Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction" contract with Miramax gives him some rights to "soundtrack album, music publishing, live performance, print publication (including, without limitation, screenplay publication, 'making of' books, comic books, and novelization, in audio and electronic formats as well, as applicable), interactive media, theatrical and television sequel and remake rights, and television series and spinoff rights."

A McRoyale with NFTs

NFTs aren't mentioned in Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction" contract because that contract was drawn up over 25 years ago, long before anyone ever sought to capitalize on this new digital trend. In its lawsuit, Miramax claims:

"Left unchecked, Tarantino's conduct could mislead others into believing Miramax is involved in his venture. And it could also mislead others into believing they have the rights to pursue similar deals or offerings, when in fact Miramax holds the rights needed to develop, market, and sell NFTs relating to its deep film library."

Tarantino's attorney maintains that he is acting within his rights, so the issue here revolves around defining NFTs within old contract terms. Miramax is plainly worried that Tarantino's unilateral move to sell NFTs based on a title in its library will set a precedent for other artists in the industry. It claims Tarantino and Secret Network, the group he is partnering with to sell NFTs, "chose to recklessly, greedily, and intentionally disregard the agreement that [he] signed instead of following the clear legal and ethical approach of simply communicating with Miramax about his proposed ideas."

While Tarantino fans might want bragging rights to own pieces of "Pulp Fiction," first the court needs to decide whether he holds the NFT rights and is in accordance with his contract. Whatever the outcome, the only guarantee is that someone in court or on the blockchain will be paying considerably more than you would for a five-dollar milkshake at Jack Rabbit Slim's.