My piece on James Joyce and the public domain in the Atlantic Wire

Update: The piece has been picked up by Techdirt, where it is being discussed at some length.

I’ve written a short piece for Atlantic Wire celebrating the first Bloomsday since James Joyce entered the public domain. In it, I bemoan the extension of copyright terms.

This weekend I am traveling to a dual celebration, of a great Irish writer and of copyright freedom. For June 16 is Bloomsday, the day in 1904 captured through the eyes of Leopold Bloom by James Joyce in his epic novel Ulysses. Each year in Dublin fans of Joyce gather to celebrate the work in a day of public readings conducted at locations across the city that are featured in the book.

2012 is a special year for these Joyceans. The 71st since Joyce’s death, it marks the first — across the EU at any rate — that his work may be shared freely among them, without needing permission — for public readings, performances, or re-interpretations — from his estate. This is no small matter: since inheriting the estate in 1982, Joyce’s grandson Stephen Joyce has gained a reputation as the most controlling literary executor in history.

Read the rest here.

Marilyn Monroe reads Ulysses

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