Miramax, the studio behind Pulp Fiction, sued director Quentin Tarantino this week for planning to sell NFTs related to the iconic film. Tarantino replied, to paraphrase, “I don’t remember asking you a gd thing.”

The scuffle brings questions about ownership and intellectual property to the forefront of NFT watercooler chats.

The backstory: At the NFT.NYC conference earlier this month, Tarantino announced his plan to sell NFTs of his first handwritten drafts of Pulp Fiction’s screenplay. Within days, Miramax sent Tarantino a cease-and-desist letter that the director ignored—prompting the studio to sue him over copyright infringement.

From Miramax’s POV, Tarantino does not own the rights to his Pulp Fiction scripts and thereby cannot sell them, even as digital tokens. But according to Tarantino’s lawyer Bryan Freedman, “Miramax is wrong—plain and simple.”

Zoom out: Legal experts say whoever owns the copyright of an asset has the right to sell an NFT of it, but creative projects that involve numerous assets don’t always have a clear contract of who owns what. Expect this to be the first of many high-profile squabbles over NFT rights in the future.—JW