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Author's Heir Wins Right To 'Lassie Come Home'

Law360 (July 15, 2008, 12:00 AM EDT) -- Reversing a district court ruling, an appeals court has sided with the daughter of Lassie's creator in a termination-rights copyright dispute over the fictional collie.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held Friday that Winifred Knight Mewborn, daughter of Eric Knight who wrote the novel "Lassie Come Home," had not intended to waive her termination rights in 1978 when she signed a licensing agreement with Lassie Television Inc., predecessor-in-interest of plaintiff Classic Media Inc.

Classic filed a declaratory relief action in May 2005,...
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