Publisher now wants to drop lawsuit against J.D. Salinger's kin

CONCORD, N.H. -- A publisher that sued J.D. Salinger's widow and son, saying they interfered with efforts to sell three stories written by "The Catcher in the Rye" author, said Friday that it wants to drop the lawsuit.

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Tennessee-based Devault-Graves Agency LLC, which specializes in reprinting old works, published the short stories in the United States last year in an e-book and in paperback. Written in the 1940s, they first appeared in magazines. Copyright protections had expired for "The Young Folks," "Go See Eddie," and "Once A Week Won't Kill You."

When Devault-Graves sought to publish them internationally, Colleen and Matthew Salinger objected, saying that would violate foreign copyright laws. Devault-Graves sued in March, accusing the Salingers of hindering its business relationships with foreign literary agents and publishers, some of whom ended their contracts with Devault-Graves.

Devault-Graves said the stories are in the public domain. It sought a ruling affirming that it is entitled to publish the stories in up to 168 countries that have signed an international copyright agreement.

The Salingers wanted the case dismissed, saying a judge would have to evaluate a series of complicated questions of international copyright law on a country-by-country basis. Their lawyers noted a court in Germany stopped an effort to publish a German translation of the stories, saying they still had copyright protection.

Friday's dismissal notice, subject to a judge's review, was filed in federal court in Concord, New Hampshire. Lawyers for Memphis-based Devault-Graves and the Salingers didn't immediately return messages seeking comment.

Salinger died in 2010 at age 91 in Cornish, New Hampshire.



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