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Here we'll explore the nexus of legal rulings, Capitol Hill policy-making, technical standards development, and technological innovation that creates -- and will recreate -- the networked world as we know it. Among the topics we'll touch on: intellectual property conflicts, technical architecture and innovation, the evolution of copyright, private vs. public interests in Net policy-making, lobbying and the law, and more.

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May 12, 2004

No Infringement = A Lesser "Kill Bill"

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Posted by Ernest Miller

Famed movie lover and renowned director Quentin Tarantino doesn't think copyright infringment is all bad (Tarantino says film piracy "not 100% black and white"). At an "anti-piracy conference" it is reported that,

The former video clerk turned superstar-filmmaker said that he had bought bootleg copies of old, hard-to-get films in New York to help recreate scenes in his blockbuster "Kill Bill", the second part of which is being released in many countries.

So, not only does Tarantino admit to benefiting from the fruits of infringement, but he is also admitting copying of scenes from various films. If he wasn't making so much money for Hollywood, the MPAA would certainly be sending the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad after him.

Tarantino would also be guilty of encouraging film piracy in China: "In the case of China, I'm glad they're pirating it. In a closed Communist country I'd rather be seen than not seen," he said.

You can see a fairly extensive list of the films Tarantino referenced in Kill Bill Vol.1 and Kill Bill Vol. 2 here: The Quentin Tarantino Archives' Guide to the Movies that Inspired Kill Bill.

via Techdirt

Comments (3) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: IP Use


COMMENTS

1. cypherpunk on May 13, 2004 1:40 PM writes...

First, you left out some of QT's comments which didn't fit your spin:

"But, in a nod to arguments against piracy put forward during the day-long seminar by several prominent European anti-piracy industry figures, Tarantino did acknowledge copying threatened moviemaking.

"'There's a whole lot of livelihoods at stake,' he said, adding that he was forced to open 'Kill Bill' in cinemas everywhere at nearly the same time to counter losses from film pirates."

Second, Tarantino's recreation of classic scenes was not technically copyright infringement. He was inspired by those old movies and imitated them but did not actually incorporate footage from the films. If there was actual copyright infringement involved, don't you think some of the people involved with those old films would try to tap into the millions made by Kill Bill, and sue for infringement?

Permalink to Comment

2. Joseph Pietro Riolo on May 13, 2004 6:39 PM writes...

To Cypherpunk,

Perhaps, you are not familiar with the doctrine called "Substantial Similarity". Even if there is no copy being made, an imitation can be an infringing action.


Joseph Pietro Riolo
<riolo@voicenet.com>

Public domain notice: I put all of my expressions in this comment in the public domain.

Permalink to Comment

3. Ernest Miller on May 13, 2004 10:17 PM writes...

Cypherpunk,

1) I linked to the orginal article.
2) I was pointing out those aspects of the article I thought interesting.
3) My spin was entirely accurate ... Kill Bill would have been a lesser movie if Tarantino had acquired bootlegs.
4) The scenes from the movie copied (apparently rather closely since he talks of "recreating" them) would arguably be infringement according to Hollywood (and the law). He isn't sued because the studios would have a big fight on their hand that they might not win (imagine Hollywood lawyers arguing on behalf of creative use of previous works) and/or they would just settle for some significant chunk of change. As for who would be suing ... most of the films are probably owned by the major studios anyway.

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