Thursday, June 07, 2007

James Joyce and Copyright

Here's a fascinating article from the Los Angles Times about the efforts by James Joyce's estate to keep authors from making fair use of Joyce's works. The article discusses a "trend in intellectual property: As copyright becomes harder to defend, many copyright holders are becoming less realistic about the limitations of their ownership." Things came to a head when a Stanford University English professor, Carol Loeb Shloss, in a suit argued by Lawrence Lessig alleged that the Joyce estate "unreasonably prevent[ed] Shloss from making fair use of the author's published works or quoting from Joyce family letters" for a biography she wrote of Joyce's tragic daughter, Lucia. Without the materials the estate withheld, Shloss's book was criticized for lack of documentation for its theory that Lucia was her father's muse and an unacknowledged collaborator on such works as Finnegans Wake.

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