Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Court Reverses Steinbeck Copyright Ruling

The son of famed author John Steinbeck who won control over some of his father's works has had the decision reversed by the US Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit Court). In mid 2006, a judge in California ruled that the rights to Steinbeck's novels should revert to the family. LATimes. (A review from a legal perspective). From the AP:

The ruling by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will leave the rights in the hands of Penguin Group Inc. and the heirs of John Steinbeck's widow, Elaine. Author John Steinbeck died in 1968; his wife in 2003. The appeals court said a lower court judge misapplied copyright law in awarding the rights in 2006 to the son, Thomas Steinbeck, and granddaughter Blake Smyle. Both already receive a portion of the proceeds of sales. The case was returned to the lower court with instructions to leave the rights with various individuals and organizations, including the publisher Penguin and Elaine Steinbeck's heirs. The heirs include her sister, four children and grandchildren.

No word on any further action that may be contemplated by either side.

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