Monday, August 17, 2009

Cather in the Rye Part 2: Electric Boogaloo

Most of us have read J.D. Salinger's classic novel The Catcher in the Rye.

Not many of us ever tried to write a sequel to it.

(As a side note: In high school, I had an English class in which our assignment was to write a continuation of To Kill a Mockingbird, and I am sure that Harper Lee would never have approved of my sense of humor in that assignment.)

Frederik Colting is a novelist who wrote 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye, which is a sequel to Salinger's novel.

Oops. The problem with this idea is that it is a straightforward case of copyright infringement, as said in the last link.

This is a derivative work. Just like any "Weird Al" Yankovich song, any "Mystery Science 3000 Episode," The Wind Done Gone (maybe Scarlett was more appropriate in this analogy) or any of the "Star Trek" sequels in television and movies.

The characters are from Salinger's creation, and any story that follows from those characters are only allowed to come from Salinger (or anyone he appoints). He controls any derivative work.

Now, there are some arguments to be made for the sequel's right to exist and it might fall under Fair Use, but I think they are weak.

I think it's an interesting case, because we, as a society, have become used to freely taking and using characters (do a search on Google for "star trek fan fiction" or "x-files fan fiction" to see how some people use another's characters). However, only the copyright holder of the original work is allowed to control sequels to that work.

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Sunday, August 02, 2009


I have some housekeeping to take care of and will write something of substance later on this week.

I have joined the law firm of Weiss Imbesi PLLC. You can view their website at for more information. For those of you who are clients of mine, this changes nothing. I will soon contact you personally to discuss this. What it means for everyone is that we can help you with a greater range of legal needs - from intellectual property (cradle-to-grave intellectual property protection) to commercial litigation to real estate law to employment law, we can help you.

Don't hesitate to contact me at for more information on Weiss Imbesi PLLC.

We are holding a live trademark seminar to mark my beginning there. For those of you in the New York City area, please come! Please forward this to all your business contacts, too!

Trademark 101: Basics of Trademark Registration for Businesses

Weiss Imbesi PLLC

Join Weiss Imbesi PLLC for a seminar on the Basics of Trademark Registration for Businesses. Learn what a trademark is, how the registration process works, the importance for registration, and keys that an attorney looks for in clients’ trademarks.

We will have drinks and light snacks at a convenient time after work.

Join us. We will do some networking for the first 15 minutes and then start the seminar.

When: August 10, 2009 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM

Where: Weiss Imbesi PLLC

462 Seventh Avenue, 12th Floor

New York, NY 10018

Cost: $50 for the entire seminar



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