Entertainment Woody Allen book publishers threaten to sue over docu-series audio
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The publishers of Woody Allen's 2020 memoir, Apropos of Nothing, are threatening to sue HBO bosses over the alleged unauthorised use of excerpts from the audiobook in new docu-series Allen v. Farrow.
Skyhorse Publishing bosses claim neither the producers of the project nor HBO executives approached them and requested permission to use samples from the audio version of Woody's book, narrated by the filmmaker himself.
"Skyhorse received information second hand only at the very end of last week that each of the documentary's four episodes makes extensive use of audiobook excerpts," a spokesman for Skyhorse told Deadline on Monday - the day after the first episode aired in America.
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"Promptly on Friday, February 19, our attorney notified HBO's in-house counsel by letter that if the use of the audiobook were anywhere near what we were hearing, it would constitute copyright infringement. HBO has not responded to our letter.
"Having now seen the first episode, we believe that its unauthorised use of the audiobook is clear, willful infringement under existing legal precedent, and that the other episodes will infringe, too, if they appropriate the audiobook in a similar manner.
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"We will take the legal action we deem necessary to redress our and Woody Allen’s rights in his intellectual property."
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HBO bosses have not responded to the threat.
Allen v. Farrow details the director's relationship with Mia Farrow and the former couple's subsequent war of words after Woody left the actress for her adopted daughter Soon-Yi Previn. The series also covers accusations of sexual child assault against Allen, who Mia claims molested their adopted daughter Dylan Farrow in 1992, when she was seven.
On Sunday night, a spokesperson for Allen and Previn revealed they were approached to take part in the docu-series less than two months ago and given only days to respond, declining to do so.
"These documentarians had no interest in the truth," the spokesperson said. "Instead, they spent years surreptitiously collaborating with the Farrows and their enablers to put together a hatchet job riddled with falsehoods."
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