US Banning Books: Unauthorized Catcher In The Rye Sequel Permanently Banned
from the burn-'em dept
We were among those who were absolutely horrified when a US district court banned the US publication of a book called Coming Through the Rye by Fredrik Colting (using the pseudonym JD California), which was an attempt (a poor one, by many reviewers’ accounts) to write a sequel to JD Salinger’s iconic Catcher in the Rye. In the US, which is supposed to believe in free speech and be against things like banning books, it’s somewhat scary that a judge would okay the banning of a book. The ruling appeared to disagree with previous rulings, and a bunch of powerful forces concerned about the free speech implications of banning books had lined up to support an appeal.
However, THResq reports that a permanent injunction has been issued, as the author and publisher of the book have settled the case and agreed not to pursue it any further. This is really unfortunate, because now the original book banning ruling stays valid and on the books for others to point to. Yet another example of copyright being misinterpreted, and censorship resulting. Copyright law is quite clear that there’s supposed to be a separation between “idea” and “expression.” Only the expression is protectable. Colting did not copy the expression — he used the idea to create a brand new expression, and even if it sucked, it should not be banned. It’s too bad that this is as far as this case will go.