Woody Allen's Publisher Threatens Lawsuit Over HBO Documentary

Woody Allen's Publisher Threatens Lawsuit Over HBO Documentary
Image:Ander Gillenea (Getty Images)

During Sunday night’s premiere of Allen v. Farrow, viewers heard horrific allegations against Woody Allen in HBO’s searing new documentary, courtesy of filmmakers Amy Ziering and Kirby Dick, and featuring Ronan Farrow, Mia Farrow, and others. They also heard an audio sample of Woody Allen’s unasked-for biography, Apropos of Nothing, the use of which his publisher says constitutes a copyright violation.

The LA Times reports that Skyhorse Publishing is contemplating filing a copyright infringement suit against HBO and the team behind Allen v. Farrow for their use of clips from the Apropos of Nothing audiobook, read by Allen himself. In a statement obtained by the Times, Skyhorse president Tony Lyons claimed “neither the producers nor HBO ever approached Skyhorse to request permission to use excerpts from the audiobook.” He added, “Skyhorse received information secondhand only at the very end of last week that each of the documentary’s four episodes make extensive use of audiobook excerpts.”

Lyons also claimed:

“[W]e believe that its unauthorized 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. … We will take the legal action we deem necessary to redress our and Woody Allen’s rights in his intellectual property.”

HBO, meanwhile, did not return requests for comment from the outlet.

Allen himself has also lashed out against the documentary. A joint statement with his wife Soon-Yi Previn read: “These documentarians had no interest in the truth.”

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