Remember when NEWSgrist reblogged the strange affair of James Joyce's estate and the author Carol Shloss? [Taken to Extremes: James Joyce's Grandson + Copyright Abuse, June 22, 2006 at 10:16 AM]. Happily, all is well, reports Lawrence Lessig on his blog:
Shloss v. Estate of James Joyce: Settlement
As reported at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society, Shloss v. Estate of James Joyce has settled. As you can read in the settlement agreement, we got everything we were asking for, and more (the rights to republish the book). This is an important victory for a very strong soul, Carol Shloss, and for others in her field. I am grateful to our team for their hard work. (Contrary to some news reports, while I was instrumental in bringing this case and in setting its strategy, the settlement was effected by Anthony Falzone and David Olson.) (Press Release).
But this is only the first in what I expect will be a series of cases defending the rights of academics against improperly aggressive copyright holders. I hope this is the last case against this particular defendant. But we’ve already seen others that may prove as egregious as this. One important part of the mission of the "Fair Use Project" is to defend the rights of scholars and academics, drawing more clearly and practically the boundary that "fair use" is intended to defend in theory. Stay tuned.
Here is an excerpt from the press release :
STANFORD, Calif., March 22, 2007—Stanford Law School's Fair Use Project announced today that Stanford University Acting Professor of English Carol Shloss won the right to publish her scholarship on the literary work of James Joyce online and in print based on a settlement agreement with the Joyce Estate. The landmark case Shloss v. Estate of James Joyce was filed last year on the eve of Bloomsday—the annual Joyce celebration that takes place on June 16 to memorialize the day that Leopold Bloom, the main character in Joyce's Ulysses, made his walk through Dublin. The case sought to establish Shloss's right to use copyrighted materials in her writing under the "fair use" doctrine.
Relying on many primary sources, Shloss's work focuses on the life of Lucia Joyce: her unacknowledged artistic talent, her tragic life spent mostly in mental institutions, and the unrecognized influence she exerted over her father's work. Upon learning of Shloss's scholarship, the Joyce Estate—controlled by Joyce's grandson Stephen James Joyce—denied her permission to quote from any of the materials the Joyce Estate controlled and repeatedly threatened Shloss with a copyright infringement suit.
The Fair Use Project and Cyberlaw Clinic filed a lawsuit on behalf of Shloss in June 2006, asking a federal court to find that she has the right to use quotations from published and unpublished material relating to James and Lucia Joyce on a scholarly website.
This week, Stephen James Joyce and the Joyce Estate entered into a settlement agreement enforceable by the court that lets Shloss publish this material electronically and also publish a printed supplement to her book Lucia Joyce: To Dance in the Wake. [read on...]