College Librarians v. J.D. Salinger

August 5, 2009

Two groups that represent academic libraries -- the Association of Research Libraries and the Association of College and University Libraries -- have joined an appeal to an injunction banning the publication of 60 Years Later, a planned sequel to Catcher in the Rye. J.D. Salinger sees the sequel -- written under the pen name Mr. C., and telling the story of what happened later in life to Holden Caulfield -- as infringing on his copyright, and a federal judge agreed. But the college library groups, along with other library organizations and civil liberties groups, view the injunction as unfair. In a brief filed with a federal appeals court, they argue that the injunction doesn't recognize the extent to which the new work is -- whatever its merits as a work of art -- a distinct literary work. Allowing the injunction to stand infringes on free expression of the sort that college libraries rely on, the brief argues.

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