Hermetically-sealed Catcher in the Rye author J.D. Salinger sued to prevent some Swedish writer from publishing an updated spinoff version of his book. And Salinger's won, for the moment! What a crock.
The judge has put the new book—described as "An Unauthorized Fictional Examination of the Relationship Between J.D. Salinger and his Most Famous Character"—on hold for ten days until she issues a final ruling. But she seems sympathetic to Salinger:
"It does seem to me that Holden Caulfield is quite delineated by words, that is a portrait by words," Judge Batts told the lawyers, adding, "It would seem that Holden Caulfield is copyrighted." But the judge said she would take some time to reflect on whether the new book was sufficiently different from "The Catcher in the Rye" to fall under the protection of the fair use provision.
The knockoff book's author's pen name is "John David California" and it seems likely that his book will be derivative and may indeed suck a big one, but so what? Hard to believe Holden Caufield, of all fictional people, would go pleading for The Man to stop people from writing things. Salinger, stop being so phony.
[City Room, AP]