Many know Harper Lee as the author of one of America’s most beloved classic novels, “To Kill A Mockingbird.” But they didn't know her book’s copyright and royalties were stolen from her years ago.
Lee’s story about racial injustice in Jim Crow Alabama won a Pulitzer and gained even more fame with Gregory Peck’s portrayal of lawyer Atticus Finch in the film version.
Now in her 80s, this intensely private author has made headlines with her own legal battle - first to restore her book rights - and now to regain the stolen royalties. The suit says Samuel Pinkus, the son-in-law of her former long-time literary agent, allegedly took advantage of Lee while she was recovering from a stroke and tricked her into signing over her rights to him and a company he controlled.
Pinkus should get no reward for his dirty dealing and elder abuse, and Lee should win back her royalties along with her rights.
Tell the court to return Harper Lee‘s book royalties!
We, the undersigned, are outraged at this theft of Harper Lee's copyright and royalties.
As the lawsuit points out, Samuel Pinkus, the son-in-law of Harper's original literary agent, allegedly violated the trust that is supposed to exist between agent and client. Furthermore, he took advantage of an elder woman suffering from a temporary disability.
Fortunately, according to a Bloomberg report, Lee's copyright was reassigned to her last year, but despite such unscrupulous dealings and what could be construed as elder abuse, it took legal action to get it restored.
Now Lee must sue again to ensure copyright ownership and regain the royalties stolen from her as well.
Lee should not have had to file suit. Pinkus's actions, along with others who benefited form this theft, should be considered criminal.
The very least the court should do is ensure that Lee's copyright remains in her possession and demand return of all royalties stolen from her by Pinkus and his cohorts in crime.
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