Harper Lee suing hometown museum over 'To Kill a Mockingbird'

By Kyle Johnson,

Harper Lee has filed a lawsuit over trademark and personality rights against a museum in Monroe County, Ala.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, she is suing the Monroe County Heritage Museum from her hometown. The museum made $500,000 in 2011 according to IRS documents.

The lawsuit alleges that "the town's desire to capitalize upon the fame of To Kill a Mockingbird is unmistakable: Monroeville's town logo features an image of a mockingbird and the cupola of the Old County Courthouse, which was the setting for the dramatic trial in To Kill a Mockingbird."

Lee argues against the museum being "historical." The lawsuit says, "Its actual work does not touch upon history."

"Rather, its primary mission is to trade upon the fictional story, settings and characters that Harper Lee created in To Kill a Mockingbird, and Harper Lee's own renown as one of the nation's most celebrated authors."

ABC News reports that an attorney for the museum, Matthew I. Goforth responded to the lawsuit. "Every single statement in the lawsuit is either false, meritless, or both."

"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."

THR notes that Lee only just finished up with another legal dispute a couple weeks ago. For that case, she claimed that a former agent "scheme[d] to dupe" in regards to the copyright for her book.

image: Amazon



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