Caught in the Rye

Following up on her temporary restraining order from last month, U.S. District Court judge Deborah Batts has now permanently banned publication of an unauthorized sequel to J.D. Salinger’s classic novel, Catcher in the Rye, ruling that the book about a geriatric Holden Caulfield wandering the streets of New York after having escaped from a retirement home could not be considered as covered by the fair use exception to copyright law because it was not a critical parody that “transformed” the original. To the extent Defendants contend that 60 Years and the character of Mr. C direct parodic comment or criticism at Catcher or Holden Caulfield, as opposed to Salinger himself, the Court finds such contentions to be post-hoc rationalizations employed through vague generalizations about the alleged naivety of the original, rather than reasonably perceivable parody. Calefornia, the plagiarist cum parodier,has stated that he will appeal the decision. One presumes that with Internet methods of distribution, like Moll Flanders, Lady Chatterly, Mein Kampf, Spycatcher, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and other works banned from time to time, for better or worse reasons, the book will be widely read and readily available.

Categories: Copyright, Intellectual Property

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