Harper Lee Fights to Reclaim Rights to To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee, who is now 87 years old, sued her literary agent on May 3rd in an attempt to regain full copyright to her novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. Lee claims that in 2007, Samuel Pinkus plotted to trick her into signing over the ownership of all rights and royalties from Mockingbird. Lee has poor eyesight and hearing, is elderly and had suffered a stroke at the time. Pinkus is the son-in-law-of her long-time agent, Eugene Winick, who had fallen ill, resulting in Pinkus taking over a number of his clients, including Lee.
Lee understood neither what she had signed, nor the seriousness of the consequences of the signature, and is now seeking to have full rights to the classic novel return to her. Pinkus has allegedly been receiving royalties from the book as recently as this year.
The novel, which was first published in 1960, is Harper Lee’s only published book. It has remained a widely-read and celebrated classic and is still on the curriculum of many schools worldwide.