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Harper Lee sues literary agent for copyright to her classic novel 'To Kill a Mockingbird'

Harper Lee has launched legal action against the son in-law of her former literary agent and others for the rights to her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.
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'To Kill A Mockingbird' author Harper Lee smiles before receiving the 2007 Presidential Medal of Freedom in the East Room of the White House. Harper is suing her literary agent for the copyright to her only published novel. (Chip Somodevilla/AFP/Getty Images)

Harper Lee, the 87-year-old author of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” is suing her literary agent and others over the rights to the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.

According to documents filed in a New York federal court on Friday, Lee has accused the son in-law of her former literary agent of taking advantage of her failing health seven years ago and tricking her into assigning him the copyright to her only published novel.

Lee, who lives in Monroeville, Alabama, the same town where she grew up and which inspired her classic novel, wants the rights in the book owned by Samuel Pinkus transferred to her along with any commission he earned since 2007.

"To Kill a Mockingbird" was published in 1960 and is about racial injustice. More than 30 million copies have been sold worldwide and it has been translated into more than 40 languages.

It was turned into a film starring Gregory Peck, who won an Academy Award for his role as the lawyer Atticus Finch.

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