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Bill supported by J.D. Salinger's family is vetoed in New Hampshire

Gov. John Lynch vetoed a bill that would have allowed J.D. Salinger's family to control his identity for 70 years after his death.

By Staff Writer / June 14, 2012

The driveway of author J.D. Salinger had a sign warning visitors not to trespass.

Edmund Fountain/Valley News/AP

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A bill titled Senate Bill 175 which aimed to control the use of a person’s identity for 70 years after his or her death – and which was spearheaded by the family of author J.D. Salinger – was vetoed by New Hampshire governor John Lynch.

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Lynch called the bill "overly broad" and said that it "would potentially have a chilling effect on legitimate journalistic and expressive works that are protected by the New Hampshire and United States constitutions,” according to the Concord Monitor.

Under the bill, control over a person’s identity was a right that could be inherited by family or other heirs.

The "Catcher in the Rye" author’s son, Matt Salinger, said he and his family had worked to bring the legislation into being after his father’s image began popping up on t-shirts, coffee mug,s and other souvenirs without their permission.

“My father moved [to New Hampshire] in the ‘50s because it was beautiful but also because of a certain kind of respect for individual rights,” Salinger said in an interview with the Associated Press speaking about his father’s decision to live most of his life in the Granite State. “He basically wanted to be left alone and do his work, and New Hampshire, he quickly sensed, respected that.”

Salinger said he was extremely unhappy with the verdict.

“I’m stunned and just hugely disappointed that Gov. [John] Lynch saw fit to veto something that was the result of thousands of hours of well-intentioned, diligent, bipartisan work,” he told the AP.

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