Law360 Reports – Judge Backs ‘Mockingbird’ Filmmaker Heirs’ Arbitral Award
News Mark S. Lee · August 24, 2022
An Alabama federal judge has agreed to confirm an arbitral award granting film copyrights to the successors of “To Kill a Mockingbird” filmmakers in a dispute with author Harper Lee’s estate over rights to the American drama.
U.S. District Judge Kristi K. DuBose’s Friday order enforces a January award in arbitration proceedings launched against heirs of the film by the late novelist’s estate and Harper Lee LLC over rights to “To Kill a Mockingbird” and the sequel “Go Set A Watchman.” Under the enforced settlement, successors to the 1962 movie adaptation have film copyrights to the novel and its sequel, while the author’s representatives retain the rights to the printed version of the book, including audiobooks, e-books and play adaptations.
On the decision, Mark said:
“We are grateful that the arbitrator, and now the court, have recognized the merits of our clients’ position, and that this matter has been finally resolved.”
Congratulations to our client and to Mark on this win.
Working at the intersection of intellectual property and entertainment, Mark Lee advises celebrities and celebrity estates, studios, and high-tech companies in copyright, trademark, and right of publicity matters. Mark’s litigation record spans federal district and appeals courts across the country, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of California. He has successfully tried five copyright, trademark or unfair competition actions to juries and argued more than 18 appeals.