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Scholar Wins Right to Publish Joyce Material in Copyright Suit


— March 22, 2007

James Joyce

James Joyce Estate Agrees to Settle

STANFORD, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– 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of Shloss in June 2006, asking a federal court to find that she has the right to use quotations from published and unpublished material relating to James and Lucia Joyce on a scholarly website.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.”


James Joyce

James Joyce Estate Agrees to Settle

STANFORD, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– 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.”

“The Joyce Estate has been extremely aggressive in enforcing copyrights and has threatened scholars with lawsuits even though their work qualifies under the ‘fair use’ doctrine of copyright law,” explained Anthony Falzone, who is the executive director of the Fair Use Project and who led the litigation team that included lawyers from Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society and Cyberlaw Clinic, as well as the law firms of Howard Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk & Rabkin, and Keker & Van Nest. “Our client got exactly what she asked for in her complaint, and more.”

“I am extraordinarily happy that Stanford’s Fair Use Project has enabled an academic to do her work,” said Lawrence Lessig, Stanford Law professor and director of the Stanford Center for Information and Society (CIS). “But this is just the first of a series of cases that will be necessary to establish the reality of creative freedom that the ‘fair use’ doctrine is intended to protect in theory. We will continue to defend academics threatened by overly aggressive copyright holders, as well as other creators for whom the intended protections of ‘fair use’ do not work in practice. I am hopeful that this is the last time this defendant will be involved in an action like this. But it is only the first time that we will be defending academics in these contexts.”

Details here from Business Wire. And congratulations to Anthony Falzone, who used to be a colleague of mine.

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