More developments in the lawsuit brought by JD Salinger against “John David California” and publisher in respect of “60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye”, the allegedly unauthorised sequel to Salinger’s “Catcher in the Rye”. It has now emerged that “John David California” is indeed a pseudonym (as the plaintiffs originally claimed) — the author of the “sequel” is Fredrik Colting, the publisher is Windupbird Publishing Ltd and the US distributor is SCB Distributors, Inc. The defendants have now filed a 26-page brief [available here] arguing against the claim for a preliminary injunction to restrain publication of the “sequel” in the US. In fact, the defendants argue that “60 Years Later” is not a sequel at all, but is, instead, “a critical examination of the character Holden Caulfield and the way he is portrayed in Catcher, the relationship between Salinger and his iconic creation, and the life of a particular author as he grows old but seems imprisoned by the literary character he created”. They say that the Holden Caulfield character is not copyrightable as such, and that even if he is, then the character of Mr C in “60 Years Later” is not substantially similar to the protectable aspects of Holden Caulfield. They also go on to say that “60 Years Later” is a parody that directly comments upon and criticises “Catcher in the Rye” and Salinger, its author — thereby entitling the defendants to a defence of Fair Use.
Catcher in the Rye – again