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Judges upset Steinbeck rights ruling

August 14, 2008|From the Associated Press

A federal appeals court has reversed a ruling that awarded John Steinbeck's son and granddaughter publishing rights to 10 of the author's early works, including "The Grapes of Wrath."

The appeals court said Wednesday that a judge made a mistake when he ruled the works belonged to the son, Thomas Steinbeck, and granddaughter Blake Smyle.

The two had won rights previously held by various individuals and organizations, including Penguin Group Inc. and the heirs of John Steinbeck's widow, Elaine.

The appeals court ordered the lower court judge to rule in favor of Penguin and the heirs of Elaine Steinbeck. Steinbeck's third wife died in 2003.

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