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Salinger v. Colting

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
607 F.3d 68 (2010)


Facts

In 1953, J.D. Salinger (plaintiff) published The Catcher in the Rye. The Catcher in the Rye was a coming-of-age story about a sixteen-year-old boy named Holden Caulfield. The book became famous, selling millions of copies and receiving critical acclaim. Salinger holds a copyright for the book and for the book’s main character. In 2009, Fredrik Colting (defendant) published 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye (60 Years Later) in England. The book depicts a 90-year-old author who is haunted by the teenager character that he invented, Mr. C, who is now 76-years old. Mr. C shares may of Holden Caulfield’s quirks, and the novel has scenes set in identical places to key scenes in The Catcher in the Rye. 60 Years Later was described by some reviewers as a sequel to The Catcher in the Rye. Salinger sued Colting for copyright infringement and asked for a preliminary injunction. The district court: (1) found that Salinger had shown he was likely to succeed on the merits of his claim for copyright infringement, and (2) relied on that finding to presume Salinger would suffer irreparable harm without a preliminary injunction. The district court then issued a preliminary injunction against Colting. Colting appealed, arguing that under eBay Inc. v. MercExchange, L.L.C., 547 U.S. 388 (2006), the district court could not presume irreparable harm. Colting claimed that Salinger had to actually demonstrate that Salinger was likely to suffer irreparable injury without an injunction before the court could issue a preliminary injunction.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Calabresi, J.)

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