Thursday, June 15, 2006

More on the James Joyce copyright

Soon after posting yesterday's piece about the saintly Stephen Joyce and his good work on behalf of humanity, I found a reference in Publishers Lunch to a recent legal challenge to Stephen Joyce's behaviour.

You can read all about it in a press release from Stanford Law School. Basically, the Fair Use Project and Cyberlaw Clinic at Stanford is assisting the well known Joyce scholar Carol Shloss in her struggle to establish the right to quote from published and unpublished material relating to James Joyce on a scholarly web site about him.
According to the lawsuit, the Estate and its agent, Stephen Joyce, have a history of threatening and pursuing litigation against persons using Joyce's works. As examples, the lawsuit states that the Estate sued sponsors of a global Internet webcast reading of Ulysses that took place on Bloomsday 1998; that event was supported by the Prime Minister, the President, and other politicians in the Republic of Ireland. In addition, the lawsuit contends that although the Estate does not hold copyright over medical records of Lucia Joyce and many letters relating to her, it has consistently leveraged the threat of denying permission to use James Joyce's works if material relating to Lucia Joyce -- of which the Estate does not approve -- is published.
Thank the Lord for Lawrence Lessig, is all I can say.

1 comment:

St. Anthony said...

While I can understand Stephen Joyce wishing to grab any revenue coming his way, acting as a rather brutal censor is somewhat unJoycean ... and not something his grandfather would have approved of.
Joyce himself famously gave the nod to the Joyce industry - I've read more books of Joycean criticism than any sane man, and while not necessarily agreeing with any of them, found them all a fascinating intellectual exercise - and that's the way St James would have wanted it.