French Publisher of 50 Shades of Grey Sends Warning Letters to Publisher of Similar Titles

Posted on November 23, 2012

The French publisher of E.L. James' bestselling 50 Shades of Grey is fiercely defending the copyright and trademarked name of the series after a plethora of books similar sounding titles have been springing up. The Telegraph reports that French publisher Latte trademarked the title of the book, which has already sold 250,000 copies in the one month that it has been in bookshelves.

Lattes has sent warning letters to two other publishers which have published allegedly infringing works. Les Editions First published a book called Decoding Fifty Shades of Grey by Ana de Lis and is planning to released the Fifty Shades of Grey Cookbook. Publisher Contre-dires has released 50 Ways to Play: BDSM for Nice People, which is a "a practical guide to bondage, dominance, sadism and masochism."

Numerous other spin off titles are being released. Laurent Laffont, editorial director at Lattes, tells The Telegraph, "Some of these titles, which pick up on elements of the book, are clearly parasitical. We would like those planning new releases next year to know that we are watching very closely to ensure they are not parasitical. We will be very vigilant."

In the U.S. there have been all kinds of parody titles released, such as Fifty Shades of Chicken, a cookbook that has a hilarious book trailer. As parodies, these works are allowed under U.S. copyright law. But things are different in France and Lattes isn't fooling around on enforcing the copyright.

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