J.D. Salinger Prevails In Copyright Case Against Swedish Writer

In a legal case that All Things Considered and the Two-Way blog focused on a few weeks back, a federal district court judge ruled against a Swedish writer who had planned the U.S. publication of an unauthorized sequel to J.D. Salinger's classic novel "Catcher in the Rye," with the judge saying it violated the famously reclusive author's copyright.

The decision wasn't much of a surprise since Judge Deborah Batts had telegraphed earlier that she wasn't buying the plaintiff's story.

As the Associated Press reported:

NEW YORK —A federal judge ruled Wednesday that a Swedish author cannot publish in the United States a book he wrote that was advertised as a sequel to J.D. Salinger's "The Catcher In The Rye."

U.S. District Judge Deborah Batts issued her ruling in Manhattan after hearing arguments in a lawsuit brought by the 90-year-old reclusive author against the publishers of "60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye."

Batts said Swedish author Fredrik Colting's claim that he wrote the new book to critically examine Salinger's most famous character, Holden Caulfield, was "problematic and lacking in
credibility."

She also rejected arguments that a character in Colting's book that was meant to represent Caulfield 60 years later was a parody.

"The court finds that '60 Years' contains no reasonably perceived parodic character as to 'Catcher' and Holden Caulfield," Batts wrote.

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