This Is America... Why Are We Banning Books?

from the good-questions dept

Last month we wrote about how a district court banned the publication of a so-called "sequel" (written by another author) to JD Salinger's Catcher in the Rye. I had a lot of trouble with this ruling, which seemed to be a complete assault on the basics of free speech and a total misreading of copyright law. The book itself is not a copy, but something entirely new. Whether or not it's any good (and some of the reviews say it's not), it is a new creative work -- the exact type of thing that copyright was supposed to encourage. It's good to see a lot of other folks are quite concerned about this ruling as well, and the Fair Use Project at Stanford has teamed up with some other universities to file an amicus brief on behalf of the American Library Association and some other library associations, who are reasonably concerned about the free speech implications of banning the publication of a book such as this one.
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Filed Under: catcher in the rye, copyright, creativity, free speech, jd salinger, sequels


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2009 @ 2:04am

    "'banning books' is a pretty provactive term that suggests something that isn't going on here. The book isn't being banned or censored, it's distribution is being blocked by a court order. Banning books suggests a Fahrenheit 451 mentality that just isn't part of this."

    Indeed. It's yet another example of TechDirt hyperbolic pandering that would be funny were it not so depressing.

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