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U.S. District Judge Upholds Copyright for Penguin Random House

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U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff has found that the unauthorized children’s editions of Truman Capote’sBreakfast at Tiffany’s, Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001, A Space Odyssey and Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea published by Moppet Books infringe the copyrights in the original works. 

Judge Rakoff issued the ruling late Friday, July 28 regarding Penguin Random House et al. v Colting, 1:17-cv-00386-JSR. In the July 28 order, Judge Rakoff explicitly rejected defendants’ fair use defense. Penguin Random House LLC and the estates of Truman Capote, Jack Kerouac and Arthur C. Clarke, together with Simon & Schuster LLC and the estate of Ernest Hemingway, initiated the infringement suit in January after defendants refused to stop publishing their infringing books. The order vindicates the important rights of authors to control and license at their sole discretion derivative editions of their original works. 

 The plaintiffs issued the following statement in response to the ruling: “Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster and the Estates of the authors whose books were involved are pleased by the court’s ruling in favor of their joint motion for summary judgment. The ruling recognizes the clearly infringing nature of the Kinderguides Books and unambiguously supports copyright holders’ ability to exercise control over the publication of their works.”

Penguin Random House, the world’s largest trade book publisher, is dedicated to its mission of nourishing a universal passion for reading by connecting authors and their writing with readers everywhere. The company, which employs more than 10,000 people globally, was formed on July 1, 2013, by Bertelsmann and Pearson, who own 53 percent and 47 percent, respectively. With nearly 250 independent imprints and brands on five continents, Penguin Random House comprises adult and children’s fiction and nonfiction print and digital trade book publishing businesses in more than 20 countries worldwide, including the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, China, India, South Africa, Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Portugal, and Uruguay. With over 15,000 new titles, and close to 800 million print, audio and eBooks sold annually, Penguin Random House’s publishing lists include more than 60 Nobel Prize laureates and hundreds of the world’s most widely read authors.  

Simon & Schuster, a part of CBS Corporation, is a global leader in general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for readers of all ages, and in all printed, digital and audio formats. Its distinguished roster of authors includes many of the world’s most popular and widely recognized writers, and winners of the most prestigious literary honors and awards. It is home to numerous well-known imprints and divisions such as Simon & Schuster, Scribner, Atria Books, Gallery Books, Pocket Books, Touchstone, Adams Media, Threshold Editions, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing and Simon & Schuster Audio, and international companies in Australia, Canada, India and the United Kingdom, and proudly brings the works of its authors to readers in more than 200 countries and territories. For more information visit the website at www.simonandschuster.com