Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Malcolm X Heirs Sue to Halt Publication of Diary

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X meet bef...
Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In X Legacy, LLC v. Third World Press (Case No. 1:13-cv-07984), a copyright infringement suit filed earlier this month, United States District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Laura Taylor Swain has been asked to enjoin publication of the diaries of  Malcolm X by an Illinois-based publisher.

Diaries, photographs and other papers of Malcolm X, a Muslim minister and civil rights advocate who was 39 when he was assassinated in 1965, were donated by his heirs in 2003 to the Schomburg Center for Research of Black Culture, a division of the New York Public Library, according to the 10-page complaint. The complaint alleges copyright infringement in that Third World Press purportedly plans to publish all, or a portion of Malcolm X's diaries this month without his family's permission.

Complicating matters, according to a post by the JD legal web site, is that one of Malcolm X's daughters is serving as editor of the project for Third World Press.  "TUOL" has not seen the loan agreement between the heirs and the Schomburg Center, but  donating materials in and of itself does not transfer copyright ownership.

The defendant has yet to articulate its position regarding why it believes it can publish and distribute the diaries without running afoul of Title 17 of the U.S. Code.
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