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To Cheat Mockingbird

Posted on: | by Christine Anne George |

Harper Lee

Oh for the love of Maycomb, what’s going on here? Harper Lee, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and creator of the character who won this year’s Millie for Best Lawyer, brought a lawsuit against Samuel Pinkus, the son-in-law of her long-time literary agent, Eugene Winicik.  In the suit, Lee claims that Pinkus, who took over as Lee’s agent when Winick became ill years ago, did not properly protect the copyright to her work, To Kill a Mockingbird; failed to respond to licensing requests; and took advantage of her failing health (her hearing and eyesight are on the decline) to transfer the copyright of the book to a company under his control.

The 87-year-old Lee has become a bit of a Boo Radley over the years, refusing interviews and leading a life on the DL.  Now she is in the headlines and one hopes that justice—as it is embodied in her memorable character—will be served. Under normal circumstances, I’d end with some quip along the lines of how one shouldn’t mess with Atticus (or his creator) because I’ve heard tell that even Chuck Norris wears Atticus pajamas, but instead I’ll leave you with a quote from Ms. Lee’s novel:

“Mockingbirds don’t do one thing except make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corn cribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”

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