NH gov vetoes Salinger-inspired bill on identity

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CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch has vetoed a bill motivated by J.D. Salinger’s family to prevent inappropriate commercial exploitation beyond a person’s death.

The bill would have extended the state’s “common law right to control the commercial use of one’s identity” for 70 years beyond someone’s death. It was sponsored at the request of Salinger’s heirs. They said they were offended by the use of “The Catcher in the Rye” author’s image and name on items such as coffee mugs.

Salinger, who died in 2010 and rarely spoke to the media, spent the second half of his life in the remote community of Cornish.

Lynch said Tuesday the bill would potentially have a “chilling effect” on legitimate journalistic and expressive works protected by the state and federal constitutions and has no exceptions to the right to control one’s identity.

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