Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino and studio Miramax have settled a lawsuit over non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, based on Pulp Fiction. A new court filing indicates the sides will request to dismiss the suit in the coming weeks, and they offered a joint statement, as reported by Deadline. “The parties have agreed to put this matter behind them and look forward to collaborating with each other on future projects, including possible NFTs,” they said. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
Tarantino introduced his NFT lineup last year at the height of NFT mania, promising each one would unlock a “secret” about his 1994 film. Tarantino said the NFTs were linked with media from the screenplay, which he retained rights to, but Miramax sued on the grounds that NFTs constituted an “emerging technology” that it could contractually profit from. “Whatever limited rights Mr. Tarantino has to screenplay publication, they do not permit the minting of unique NFTs associated with Miramax’s intellectual property,” wrote the company’s attorneys in January, when the first NFT sold for $1.1 million to a collective linked with its sales network Secret.
Had it proceeded, the case could have set a precedent for future NFTs based on films or other media. Warner Bros. and other studios have sold NFTs to promote films like Space Jam: A New Legacy and The Matrix Resurrections, and the Miramax case could have settled whether these sale rights are guaranteed by existing trademark and copyright contracts that don’t explicitly mention NFTs.
But as TorrentFreak notes, Tarantino and Miramax met last week to discuss a settlement, and the case now seems unlikely to go to trial. Meanwhile, the NFT and cryptocurrency markets have cratered since the suit was filed — so if more tokens are released in the near future, it’s doubtful the stakes will be nearly as high.