Harper Lee’s Copyright Battle

Harper Lee wrote a single book, To Kill a Mockingbird, that continues to sell 750,000 copies a year and earns millions of dollars in royalties, thanks to the book being required reading in schools across the country. Lee has famously refused to talk to the press, but is now waging a public courtroom battle to regain the copyright to her book, which she says she was duped to signing over to her agent in 2007. Vanity Fair’s Mark Seal looked at the story behind the court case, including why John Steinbeck’s blood heirs have been shut out of any rights to Steinbeck’s intellectual properties.

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