A federal court judge in New York issued a temporary restraining order on Wednesday against the U.S. publication of the book 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye, noting substantial similarities between it and J.D. Salinger’s iconic teen novel The Catcher in the Rye, the Associated Press reports. Salinger has sued to block the publication of 60 Years Later, by Swedish author Fredrik Colting, saying it is the equivalent of an unauthorized sequel; Colting’s attorney did not dispute that the central character in 60 Years Later, called Mr. C, is meant to be an older Holden Caufield, the main character in Salinger’s book. Colting’s lawyer argued, however, that 60 Years Later provides meaningful criticism of Salinger and Caulfield, and therefore should be allowed to be published. But U.S. District Judge Deborah Batts said she had “difficulty” seeing that criticism.
Following today’s order, Batts has 10 days to make a final ruling on whether to block the publication of 60 Years Later, but she can extend that deadline if necessary. According to Publishers Weekly, Batts’ ruling is the first time that the Second Circuit court has explicitly stated that a single character from a single work is protected by copyright.