- - Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Actor Daniel Day-Lewis is donating papers belonging to his father, the poet Cecil Day-Lewis, to Oxford University.

The archive, which fills 54 boxes, includes early drafts of the poet’s work, as well as letters from actor John Gielgud and famous literary figures such as W.H. Auden, Robert Graves and Philip Larkin, according to The Associated Press.

Daniel Day-Lewis stars this year in the much-anticipated film “Lincoln,” about the assassinated U.S. president. He and his sister, Tamasin, said Tuesday they are thrilled that their father’s papers will be housed at Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries and become accessible to students and researchers.

Cecil Day-Lewis, who studied classics and became poetry professor at Oxford, was appointed the U.K. poet laureate in 1968. He also wrote mystery novels and stories under the name of Nicholas Blake. He died in 1972.

Faulkner estate sues over quotes in movie, ad

William Faulkner wrote that the past is never dead. His heirs say their copyright to that phrase is very much alive.

The author’s literary estate is suing Sony Pictures Classics for using a paraphrase of the line in Woody Allen’s 2011 film, “Midnight in Paris,” The Associated Press reports. It’s also suing Northrop Grumman Corp. and The Washington Post Co. for using another Faulkner quote in a newspaper ad for the defense contractor.

The first lawsuit, filed Thursday in federal court in Oxford, Miss., said Sony infringed on the copyright when actor Owen Wilson slightly misquoted the line from Faulkner’s “Requiem for a Nun.” He said, “The past is not dead! Actually, it’s not even past.”

The second lawsuit, filed Friday in Jackson, Miss., makes similar claims about the ad, which used a passage from a 1956 essay Faulkner wrote in Harper’s Magazine. The quote, which says in part “We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it,” was the conclusion to an essay criticizing the South’s response to school integration.

Sony said the quote is “fair use,” a legal term meaning the user doesn’t have to license or pay for it.

“This is a frivolous lawsuit and we are confident we will prevail in defending it,” a Sony Pictures spokeswoman said in a written statement.

Northrop Grumman declined to comment. The Washington Post did not return a phone call Monday.

David Olson, a Boston College law professor who specializes in patent law and copyright, said he agreed the estate is overreaching legally.

Lee Caplin, who represents the estate, disagreed. He said these are the first lawsuits it has ever filed. Mr. Caplin said the estate recently licensed a quote to the sitcom “Modern Family.” He contrasted that to Mr. Allen’s use of the quote in the movie.

“He just wanted to kind of take it and he felt entitled,” Mr. Caplin said of Mr. Allen.

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