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Posts Tagged: Harper Lee

But Is It A Sin to Kill Her Agent?

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In November, we posted a link to a story about To Kill a Mockingbird’s Harper Lee suing her hometown museum.

But it turns out the aging author has an even bigger fish to fry in the courtroom: her literary agent who “duped” her into signing over the copyright to her Pulitzer Prize–winning novel. As the LA Times reported in July:

That’s no small thing: A half century after its publication, “To Kill a Mockingbird” still sells more than 750,000 copies a year.

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A Different Kind of Courtroom Battle for Harper Lee

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Well, this is all rather awkward: Harper Lee, who is now 87 and in an assisted-living facility, is suing the gift shop of a museum in her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, for trademark infringement.

The museum, “built around a refurbished version of the courtroom” from To Kill A Mockingbird, already got rid of gift-shop items like “Calpurnia’s Cookbook,” but retains other “unlicensed Mockingbird-related merchandise, ranging from T-shirts to tote bags to packages of ‘Mockingbird Lemonade Mix.’”

The whole story highlights a queasy give-and-take between crass commercialization, tradition, and a much-needed source of jobs and revenue in a small town.

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