Malcolm X children file lawsuit to stop publication of their father’s diary
Family members of Malcolm X have filed a lawsuit, to postpone the publication of the late leader’s diary which he kept during the year before his assassination. The diary was reproduced for mass publication by Third World Press and even though one of Malcolm’s children Ilyasah Shabazz, is listed as one of the editor’s, other family members argue that the publication was reproduced in poor taste and that Third World Press, does not own the rights to Malcolm’s memoirs.
According to the trademark infringement suit filed on Friday in Manhattan federal court, Malcolm X’s family “claims an entity that Malcolm X’s children created called “Legacy X” has exclusive rights to publish, reproduce and distribute the diaries worldwide and that Third World Press is snubbing the exclusive copyrights by planning to publish “The Diary of Malcolm X.”
“Legacy X has made repeated efforts to communicate to TWP that its publications of these works is improper — these efforts have fallen on deaf ears; TWP continues to act if it is entitled to exploit intellectual property which it does not own — without this court’s immediate assistance, the value of these timeless writings will be lost forever.”
Vice President of Third World Press, Bennett Johnson, shot back claiming that they do indeed own the right’s to Malcolm X’s dairy as Ilyasah Shabazz, daughter of the legendary civil rights leader and activist signed away the families rights in a tight contract well before reproduction of his memoirs.
“His memoir describes deep emotional connections developed during a period that was constantly colored by his prophetic sense of impending tragedy — It promotes a unique blueprint for African American history.” continued Third World Press.
The diary which was scheduled to be published on November 14th, has now been delayed pending judgement. Legacy X has plans to release the diaries in February 2015 just in time for the 50th anniversary of Malcolm X’s assassination and is seeking an unspecified amount of relief from Third World Press. – ruthie hawkins/@ruubabie