Miramax has been on both sides of ‘Pulp Fiction’-related lawsuits recently.
Firooz Zahedi, the photographer behind the iconic Pulp Fiction poster, has lost a copyright claim to Miramax, having waited too long to sue for ownership.
Zahedi sued Miramax – the production company who produced Pulp Fiction – claiming in his deposition that Miramax used the image on “untold thousands of consumer products.” Zahedi shot the image with Uma Thurman in his private studio in 1994, which became the poster image for Quentin Tarantino’s now-classic film.
Ultimately, the long gap between the film’s release and the lawsuit put Zaheidi’s copyright claim out of the statute of limitation time frame. Another reason for the dismissal of Zaheidi’s copyright case stemmed from a revelation by Miramax’s lawyers, who found an Instagram post from Zahedi’s stepson that had Zahedi holding up a Mia Wallace action figure. “Happy Birthday to my Stepdad @fitzphoto [emojis] Turns out he didn’t get toy royalties for his famous photo of Uma TM … But at least he has the toy now..” Zahedi commented under the Instagram post, writing, “Thanks… Sometimes it’s best to settle for the little things in life.”
When the photo was posted in 2015, Zahedi knew that he claimed more rights in the photo than he thought, and the clock for suing Miramax started that year and ended in 2018. Copyright claims have been an oft-discussed issue in Hollywood, with a moving target for statute of limitation claims for copyright suits.
This is just one of Miramax’s recent legal troubles in regards to Pulp Fiction. Earlier this month, Miramax sued Tarantino for selling Pulp Fiction NFTs. In the lawsuit, Miramax states that the sale “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.”
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