Harper Lee, author of the classic novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” is suing the Monroe County Heritage Museum, in her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama. Trademark infringement, she says.
According to Lee the museum seeks to profit from the unauthorized use of the protected names and trademarks of Lee and ‘To Kill a Mockingbird. We are talking about substantial business that generated over $500,000 in revenue for 2011.
References to Lee’s novel are found throughout the museum’s website, from the URL (www.tokillamockingbird.com) to links promoting a Harper Lee exhibit and a theatrical production of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Furthermore, the museum’s gift shop sells T-shirts, souvenirs and other memorabilia related to the book, which is Lee’s main point of contention.
The museum merely states the sale of “Mockingbird”-related merchandise is essential to its survival. “It is sad that Harper Lee’s greedy handlers have seen fit to attack the non-profit museum in her hometown that has been honoring her legacy and the town’s rich history associated with that legacy for over 20 years.”, the museum’s attorney says.
The whole point of this law suit according to MarkMatters.com? Money, of course. As often is the case. If the museum was earning $1.000 a year in revenue instead of half a million, we would not be writing this post.
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