Tuesday, December 30, 2014

more twists & turns from kerouac and cassady estates regarding "joan anderson letter'

last week sfgate reported on a couple of new developments in the ongoing saga of the recently discovered joan anderson letter - both involved lawyers.  in the first, lawyers in florida moved to reopen the estate of jack kerouac on behalf on paul blake, kerouac's nephew.  that's a direct consequence of a 2009 decision that held the last will and testament of gabriella kerouac - jack's mother - was a fake.  that surrogate's court decision was ultimately affirmed on appeal.  what remains to be seen is how that holding will impact the title and distribution of the joan anderson letter if it's found to be the property of jack kerouac.

in the second development, the cassady family has retained the services of marc toberoff, an intellectual property attorney. it doesn't seem to be in dispute that the estate of neal cassay owns the copyright to the contents of the joan anderson letter.  but, in a novel twist - pun intended - the joan anderson letter has been referred to as a manuscript.  in a distinction with a difference because whether it's a letter or a manuscript can lead to different outcomes with respect to ownership of the actual document (separate and apart from the contents).  it will be interesting to see how a court rules in that regard.

in any event, stay tuned because the saga will certainly continue!

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