HomeFocus AreasCourt CasesSalinger v. Colting (2011)

Salinger v. Colting (2011)

On August 3, 2009, ARL, ALA, and ACRL joined the Organization for Transformative Works and the Right To Write Fund in filing an amici curiae brief (PDF) asking the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to reverse the Federal District Court judge’s ruling in Salinger v. Colting.

In July 2009, the District Court ruled in favor of author J.D. Salinger, who claimed that Fredrik Colting, the author of “60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye,” infringed his copyright on “Catcher in the Rye.” The District Court’s preliminary injunction prohibits the publication and distribution of the book in the US, which the groups believe implicates free speech rights of authors, publishers, and the public protected by the First Amendment. In their “friend of the court” filing, the groups also assert that the judge applied too narrow an interpretation of the “fair use” doctrine, which permits new, transformative works into the marketplace. The brief was written by Anthony Falzone, Executive Director, Fair Use Project, Stanford Law School.

Colting filed an appeal in July 2009, and it was heard in the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in September 2009. The case was settled in 2011 when Colting agreed not to publish or otherwise distribute the book, e-book, or any other editions of 60 Years Later in the U.S. or Canada until The Catcher in the Rye enters the public domain, while also refraining from using the title “Coming through the Rye”, dedicating the book to Salinger or referring to the title "The Catcher in the Rye", while Colting remains free to sell the book in other international territories without fear of interference.

 
 
 

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