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Kickstarter nixes “Where the Wild Things Are” sequel over copyright concerns

The original book’s publisher, HarperCollins, said the proposed project constituted infringement

HarperCollins has kicked up a wild rumpus in response to an unauthorized sequel to Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are.”

Last month, U.K. author Geoffrey Todd and illustrator Rich Berner announced plans to publish the sequel, “Back to the Wild,” in honor of the original’s 50th anniversary. The pair launched a Kickstarter to raise $40,000 for the cause, assuring potential donors that they had been “very careful not to impinge on Mr. Sendak’s copyright,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

But that wasn’t the case, according to the original book’s publisher, HarperCollins, which sent a copyright infringement notice to Kickstarter. The publisher claimed that “Back to the Wild” would “clearly violate the estate’s right to create derivative works.” Kickstarter subsequently pulled the project.

It’s a fair bet that Sendak wouldn’t have approved of the proposal either. Before his death in 2012, the author said in an interview that writing a sequel was “the most boring idea imaginable.”

For more InsideCounsel coverage of literary lawsuits, see:

Harper Lee sues agent over copyright

Faulkner’s estate sues Sony Pictures Classics over quote

Judge puts a literary twist on copyright infringement case

2nd Circuit finds agreement over Ghost Rider copyright “ambiguous”

Alanna Byrne

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