When J.D. Salinger sued to stop the publication of Swedish author Fredrik Colting’s book 60 Years Later: Coming through the Rye alleging it infringed his copyrights in the 1951 classic The Catcher in the Rye, a federal district court in New York agreed and issued a preliminary injunction banning the publication of Colting’s book. The injunction followed almost automatically from the court’s finding of likely infringement. Along with colleagues at Georgetown and the University of California, Berkeley, we submitted an amicus brief on behalf of the American Library Association, the Association of Research Libraries, the Association of College and Research Libraries, The Organization for Transformative Works and the Right to Write Fund, which explained why injunctions cannot issue so easily; many more factors have to be considered, including the speech rights at stake, and the public interest. We argued that an injunction cannot issue without proof that the plaintiff would suffer irreparable harm. And we argued that in issuing the injunction, the court applied a unduly restrictive standard of “fair use” because the decision centerd on a very narrow conception of “parody.”
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