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‘Faulkner v. Woody Allen’ leads to surprise ending – The Marion Star

Butler Snow and Butler Snow’s Anita Modak-Truran were recently mentioned in The Marion Star’s article ‘Faulkner v. Woody Allen’ leads to surprise ending:

To defend the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Mississippi, Sony hired two law firms, Loeb & Loeb of New York City and Butler Snow of Ridgeland.


The firms argued the lawsuit should be dismissed, and U.S. District Judge Michael Mills considered their request.

“The court has viewed ‘Midnight in Paris,’ read the book ‘Requiem for a Nun,’ and is thankful the parties did not ask the court to compare ‘The Sound and the Fury’ with ‘Sharknado,’ ” he wrote.

The judge marveled that the lawsuit was filed in the first place.


“How Hollywood’s flattering and artful use of literary allusion is a point of litigation, not celebration, is beyond this court’s comprehension,” he wrote. “The court, in its appreciation for both William Faulkner as well as the homage paid him in Woody Allen’s film, is more likely to suppose that the film indeed helped the plaintiff and the market value of ‘Requiem’ if it had any effect at all.”


In the end, the judge sided with Sony: “At case is whether the single line from a full-length novel singly paraphrased and attributed to the original author in a full-length Hollywood film can be considered a copyright infringement. In this case, it cannot.”


Caplin said the estate decided against appealing.

He praised Butler Snow as a good law firm. “Now they’re representing some of my projects,” he said. “I’m glad to have Butler Smith behind me as opposed to coming at me from the wrong direction.”


Anita Modak-Truran of the Butler Snow law firm, who represented Sony, ran into Caplin again.

He said they started off as opponents, “but Anita has a habit of turning adversaries into friends.”

She said she invited Caplin and the attorney for Faulkner’s estate to speak to the Mid-South Intellectual Property Association.


Caplin, a longtime Hollywood producer in charge of developing the Faulkner brand, said the estate had been wanting to make a documentary but had been busy with feature films adapted from Faulkner’s works, a number of them by actor-director James Franco.

“The stars kind of aligned,” Caplin said. “We were very fortunate to find out that Anita Modak-Truran at Butler Snow not only had a love for Faulkner, but was also an award-winning documentary filmmaker.”

To see the original article in its entirety and read more of The Marion Star’s coverage of Anita Modak-Truran, please visit