by Pamela Chestek • October 14, 2008 • copyright
Martin Luther King’s heirs are arguing over the ownership of the love letters Dr. King wrote to his wife Coretta. The King couple’s daughter, Bernice, is refusing to turn them over to her brother, Dexter, for use in a book to be published by Penguin Group. Penguin has threatened to pull out of the book deal if it doesn’t get the letters.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that in 1997 Mrs. King assigned the rights to any tangible or intellectual property involving Dr. King to King, Inc., the corporation that handles the rights to Dr. King’s works. While Mrs. King was presumably the owner of the physical letters and could give ownership to King, Inc., the article does not say how she would have become the owner of the copyright, which would have originally vested with the author, Dr. King.
HT to WSJ.com.
© 2008 Pamela Chestek