Faulkner Literary org settles Washington Post suit

Author's rep sued over use of liine in Northrup Grumman ad

The entity that owns literary rights to William Faulkner’s works appears to have settled its suit against Northrop Grumman Corp. and the Washington Post Co. over the use of one of the famed author’s quotes in an ad the aerospace giant ran in the Post.

The two sides filed a stipulation for the dismissal with the U.S. District Court in Jackson, Miss.

Faulkner Literary Rights sued in October, claiming that Northrop Grumman’s use of a phrase from an essay that Faulkner wrote for Harper’s magazine, called “On Fear: The South in Labor,” infringed on its copyrights and created the false impression that Faulkner was somehow associated with the aerospace firm. The essay ran in the June 1956 edition of Harper’s in response to the Supreme Court’s Brown vs. Board of Education decision outlawing segregation in public schools. Faulkner Literary Rights noted in their suit that the ad used only a portion of the sentence.

The estate continues to press litigation against Sony Pictures Classics over a line that Woody Allen used in “Midnight in Paris,” in which the main character, Gil, played by Owen Wilson, slightly misquotes a line that Faulkner wrote in “Requiem for a Nun”: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” It’s among the author’s most famous lines. Sony maintains that it is a “fair use” of Faulkner’s work.