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Ruling in sci-fi copyright case

October 10, 2008|From the Associated Press

The woman who took care of science fiction and fantasy author Andre Norton in the final years of her life in Tennessee has been awarded the copyrights and royalties to most of her works.

In an opinion published this week, the Tennessee Court of Appeals reversed a lower court's ruling that the author of the popular "Witch World" series intended that a longtime fan get those rights and royalties.

Norton, who died in 2005 in Murfreesboro, Tenn., wrote more than 130 books over a 70-year writing career and defied gender stereotypes by becoming the first woman to win major science fiction awards.

But a court battle over her estate ensued between caregiver Sue Stewart and Victor Horadam, a fan who contended he was better suited to care for Norton's literary legacy.

The judges ruled that Stewart would control copyrights to books published during Norton's life, but Horadam would retain royalties on works published after her death. Stewart also will get the royalties for reprints.

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