Appeals court reverses Steinbeck copyrights ruling - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

Appeals court reverses Steinbeck copyrights ruling

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Posted: Wednesday, August 13, 2008 10:29 am | Updated: 10:46 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

NEW YORK - A federal appeals court has reversed a ruling that awarded John Steinbeck's son and granddaughter publishing rights to 10 of the author's early works, including "The Grapes of Wrath."

The appeals court said Wednesday that a judge made a mistake when he ruled the works belonged to the son, Thomas Steinbeck, and granddaughter Blake Smyle (SMILE'-ee).

A lawyer for the two didn't return a telephone message seeking comment Wednesday.

The two had won rights previously held by various individuals and organizations, including Penguin Group Inc. and the heirs of John Steinbeck's widow, Elaine.

The appeals court ordered the lower court judge to rule in favor of Penguin and the heirs of Elaine Steinbeck. Steinbeck's widow died in April 2003.

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