Sunday, June 25, 2006

More on the Joyce Estate

John Naughton had this piece in the UK Observer this weekend on the lawsuit that was recently filed against the James Joyce estate, which I wrote about here. He says that, "given that the entire publishing world has been legally intimidated by Stephen Joyce for decades, this is a landmark action. And the case will be followed with interest in every jurisdiction in which works on James Joyce are published." And ends with this prediction: "Lessig decided to take on [the] case pro bono and will be backed by the formidable resources of Stanford Law School. So the stage is set for one of the most interesting legal confrontations of our times. Stephen [Joyce] has had things his own way for many years, partly because of his implacable determination to protect his grandfather's legacy, but also because publishers have invariably backed down when confronted with the prospect of the litigation he has been willing to unleash. I have a hunch he may have finally met his match." I wouldn't back up that hunch with a lot of money; "copyright misuse," the theory under which the case has been brought, is not an easy thing to establish. But Naughton is certainly right that this is a case that will be very closely watched, here and elsewhere.