Trump Responds After Jay Leno Says He NEVER Gave Trump Permission to Use His Letter for His Dumb Book
We can now add former Tonight Show host Jay Leno to the growing list of notable people who have flatly said they did not give Donald Trump permission to use their correspondence with him in his upcoming book Letters to Trump.
The book is set for release on April 25, and according to Trump, it will contain roughly 150 private letters dating back decades. But as Newsweek notes, the former president may face lawsuits if he releases the book. It isn’t clear whether Trump legally has the right to publish the letters without the sender’s permission. One thing, however, is clear: Leno has told Newsweek he did not grant Trump permission to share any letters from him.
The book will be a virtual who’s who of celebrities and other well-known figures, including Oprah Winfrey, Princess Diana, Hillary Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, according to Newsweek. Clinton’s office has also confirmed that they didn’t give their permission for this either.
Newsweek has been reaching out to many of the people listed as being mentioned in the book, and representatives for Leno quickly confirmed they did not give Trump permission to use his letters.
“Jay did not release, nor authorize any use of any letter to Mr. Trump,” said a representative of Leno’s production company, Big Dog Productions.
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But the publishing company behind the book, Winning Team Publishing, claims there has been “actual or implied” permission from the letter senders who are private individuals.
A press release for Letters to Trump mentions Leno’s name in the list of people whose letters are reprinted in the book, although it’s not specific about when the letter was sent. Leno’s representative also said they don’t know which letter the book contains.
There have been times when Leno and Trump seemed like they might be friends, such as the time when Leno spoke on Trump’s behalf when he received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. And Trump made numerous appearances on the Tonight Show between 1997 and 2010. He was also a guest on the short-lived The Jay Leno Show.
A spokesperson for Hillary Clinton also confirmed that “of course he didn’t” seek permission from Clinton before sharing their correspondence in the upcoming book.
“Nothing says deeply-insecure-has-been quite like publishing private correspondence with the hope that people will believe you once garnered respect,” said Clinton’s spokesperson Nick Merrill to Newsweek. “Feels like the adult equivalent of when a toddler proudly presents you with what they’ve done on the potty.”
There’s been a long-held principle that letter writers, not the people who receive them, retain the copyright, and this has been “well-established in copyright law” for hundreds of years. That’s according to Jane C. Ginsburg, professor of literary and artistic property law at Columbia University School of Law in New York.
Ginsburg directed Newsweek to one particularly famous case in 1741, in which poet Alexander Pope successfully sued Edmund Curll for publishing his letters.
In a statement to Newsweek, a spokesperson for Winning Team Publishing explained how Trump was able to publish these correspondences.
“The book comprises of a unique collection of correspondence either from President Trump or from public officials both foreign and domestic, or from private individuals. For those in public office at the time, no copyright protection arises.” The spokesperson then said: “For the last category, Winning Team Publishing has either actual or implied consent for their publication.”
All I know is copyright laws are pretty specific about what you can and can’t do in these situations.
The book will also include letters from other notable people, including Arnold Palmer, Bill Clinton, Ted Kennedy, Mario Cuomo, Liza Minnelli, Regis Philbin, and several others.
Will this result in another lawsuit for Trump? Who knows? If this does, it will just join the already impressive list of lawsuits he’s dealing with.
Trump’s obviously not worried, he took to Truth Social and said, “Jay, you did when you sent it! ”
Nothing new to see here folks. Just more of the same.