A few more bits to share on this case. In reviewing the full complaint filed by JD Salinger’s attorneys seeking to stop publication of JD California’s unauthorized sequel, it is noted that last October Salinger created a literary trust and assigned to it the copyright for all of his works.
The true story on “California” remains elusive. Salinger’s attorneys believed him to be living in New York, but the AP contacts him by telephone in Sweden. When they ask “he declined to offer his real name”–but a few days ago he insisted to the Telegraph “My initials really are JD, my first names are John David and I changed my last name to California. That’s what’s in my passport.”
California now maintains “this is a story about an old man. It’s a love story, a story about an author and his character.” He calls the suit “a little bit insance” and says of Salinger, he claims, “I did not mean to cause him any trouble.”
Publisher Fredrik Colting, who runs Nicotext in Sweden, which is behind the start-up UK publisher Windupbird (said in the lawsuit to have an official address that is a box at Mailboxes), calls the lawsuit “ludicrous.” He may not have helped the legal defense when he told the Telegraph “this is no spoof.”
President of SCB Distributors Aaron Silverman persuades PW that “he never expected to wind up in court over the matter.” But much more about his story doesn’t make sense. While admitting “I got eight or nine e-mails from Salinger’s lawyers,” Silverman laments that “anyone else in the world would have just called us and asked us not to publish the book.” So he was waiting on a personal call from the world’s most reclusive author? Silverman needs to retain an attorney and then “we’ll answer the complaint and get advice on making changes to conform to copyright law.”