Woody Allen’s memoir writer threatens to sue HBO over documentary

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Skyhorse Publishing, the imprint behind disgraced director Woody Allen’s 2020 memoir, is contemplating a lawsuit in opposition to HBO over its new documentary series, “Allen v. Farrow.”

The writer claims that the four-part investigative series, which debuted Sunday on HBO, sampled the audio model of Allen’s book, “Apropos of Nothing,” with out permission.

Now, Skyhorse is considering submitting a copyright-infringement swimsuit in opposition to the premium cable company and the filmmakers of “Allen v. Farrow,” wherein Allen’s adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, accuses him of sexual abuse.

“Neither the producers nor HBO ever approached Skyhorse to request permission to use excerpts from the audiobook,” said the president of Skyhorse, Tony Lyons, in a statement offered Monday to The Times. “Skyhorse obtained information second hand only on the very end of final week that every of the documentary’s 4 episodes makes in depth use of audiobook excerpts …

“[W]e consider that its unauthorized use of the audiobook is evident, willful infringement under current legal precedent, and that the other episodes will infringe, too, in the event that they acceptable the audiobook in the same method. … We are going to take the legal action we deem essential to redress our and Woody Allen’s rights in his intellectual property.”

In keeping with Skyhorse, an attorney for the writer contacted HBO final week to warn in opposition to utilizing Allen’s autobiography for the docuseries, which repeatedly pulls from “Apropos of Nothing” to current Allen’s perspective in his personal voice. Skyhorse says HBO has not responded to its message.

On Monday, the filmmakers behind “Allen v. Farrow” instructed The Times in a statement by way of HBO that they “legally used limited audio excerpts from Woody Allen’s memoir in the series under the Fair Use doctrine,” which “promotes freedom of expression by permitting the unlicensed use of copyright-protected works in certain circumstances,” in response to the United States Copyright Office.

In a joint statement released Sunday, Allen and his spouse, Quickly-Yi Previn, claimed that HBO offered them “only a matter of days” to answer the documentary “less than two months ago.” They declined to participate within the doc, which additionally casts suspicion on Allen’s relationship with Quickly-Yi. (Quickly-Yi — the adopted daughter of Allen’s ex-partner, actress Mia Farrow — started relationship the director when she was 21 and he was 57.)

“These documentarians had no interest in the truth,” learn Allen and Quickly-Yi’s statement. “Instead, they spent years surreptitiously collaborating with the Farrows and their enablers to put together a hatchet job riddled with falsehoods.”

Released in March 2020, Allen’s “Apropos of Nothing” was picked up by Skyhorse after it was dropped by Hachette Book Group, which printed “Catch and Kill,” authored by Allen’s son, investigative journalist Ronan Farrow. Hachette made the choice to cancel Allen’s memoir under stress from Ronan Farrow, who threatened to cut ties with the imprint over its publishing take care of Allen.

Ronan Farrow additionally seems in HBO’s “Allen v. Farrow,” which incorporates disturbing allegations from the Farrow family relating to Allen’s relationship with Quickly-Yi and alleged abuse of Dylan Farrow. The second episode of the docuseries premieres Sunday on HBO.

“Thank you to everyone for their kind words, the outpouring of support means more to me than I can say,” Dylan Farrow tweeted Monday. “Speaking the truth is so difficult, but I hope any fellow survivors who watched last night know they are not alone. The truth is something that cannot be changed.”

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