Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Girl with the Valuable Laptop

After the 60-cigarette a day, 50-year-old Swedish author died n 2004 of a heart attack, his works became international best sellers, selling more than 12 million copies. Stieg Larrson's best seller "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" has a plot that centers on computer hacking and a neo-punk heroine called Lisbeth Salander. The other's are "The Girl Who Played with Fire" and "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest." The three titles comprise what is known as the "Millennium Series." Big name Hollywood types are vying to act and produce a film based on the works - George Clooney, Johnny Depp, and Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese.

The big problem, however, is that Larsson's estate in in dispute. The author died suddenly and without a will so the estate goes to his immediate family by law. His immediate relatives were a father and brother, from whom he was reportedly estranged.

It's complicated by his 30-year common law wife, Eva Gabrielsson. She has made a bid for the estate based on their long-term relationship. She also supported through all of the lean years and helped him in his research for the books.

She is trying to get the literary rights, but the family says no deal. The case has caused quite a stir in Sweden and many have called for a change in the law that would recognize common-law spouses in cases like this. "Support Eva" protests have erupted online from all parts of the world.

Ms Gabrielsson, has a big bargaining chip. She has this laptop that has a 200-page draft manuscript of a fourth novel. It is property now worth millions. There are rumors that it might contain plots for another six books.

More at the Guardian.

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