t byfield on Sat, 28 Feb 2004 14:19:26 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> ultima thule

MSD -- Modernist Spongiform Disease -- abounds, it seems. good riddance.


< http://news.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=182392004 >

     Sun 15 Feb 2004

     Joyce grandson threatens to ban readings at festival 


     AS anyone who has ever attempted to read Finnegans Wake will
     attest, nothing is easy about James Joyce. And now the writer's
     home city of Dublin is tied up in knots over its attempts to
     celebrate the centenary of the day on which his marginally more
     readable novel Ulysses is set - June 16, 1904. 

     The city has planned a three-month festival of celebrations
     costing about £700,000. 

     Unfortunately, the only living direct descendant of Joyce has
     promised to disrupt the festival by banning any public readings
     of his work. 

     Stephen Joyce, the writer's grandson, has informed the Irish
     government he will sue for breach of copyright if any recitations
     take place. The septuagenarian who lives in Paris, has made
     millions of pounds from the proceeds of copyright of Joyce's work
     and from suing for its infringement. 

     The threat of legal action is being taken extremely seriously by
     the organisers of ReJoyce Dublin 2004, given Joyce's previous

     Already a major production of Exiles, by Ireland's National
     Theatre, has been shelved. 

     The Joyce estate has warned other organisations planning to use
     Joyce's words as part of their celebrations to tread carefully.
     These include the Irish National Library, Irish national
     television, RTE, and the James Joyce Centre in Dublin. 

     ReJoyce Dublin 2004 will commemorate the centenary of Bloomsday,
     the day on which the events of Ulysses took place, and thousands
     of Joycean scholars and fans from around the globe intend visit
     the Irish capital for the festival. 

     This week, many of them expressed disappointment at the author's
     grandson's latest stance. "Of course, the Joyce estate is
     technically within its rights, but such vigorous enforcement is
     unnecessary and distasteful," said Joycean Andrew O'Baoill. 

     "We understand some of his actions have been aimed at issues such
     as protecting the memory of Joyce's daughter Lucia, who suffered
     from mental illness, from scrutiny. 

     "But some legal actions seem solely concerned with the financial
     health of the estate and have no concern for nurturing the
     greater cultural legacy of Joyce."

     Nonetheless, Laura Weldon, national co-ordinator for ReJoyce
     2004, said the festival committee would respect copyright. 

     "Anything the government has a hand in organising there will be
     no infringement," she said. "So much can be done that doesn't
     require copyright." 

     However, Weldon said it was unfortunate that there couldn't be
     any major public reading of Joyce's work at the festival. 

     A spokesperson for the Irish government also confirmed its
     intention to comply with Joyce's wishes. "The department and the
     co-ordinating committee totally respect the rights of the James
     Joyce estate, and would neither condone nor excuse - let alone
     indemnify - any breach of copyright," said a spokesman for the
     Irish Department of Arts. 

     He also confirmed that neither the government nor the committee
     had been involved in negotiations with the estate regarding
     payment of any copyright fees. Stephen Joyce has refused to

     All of James Joyce's works published in his lifetime had gone out
     of copyright in Ireland on December 31, 1991, 50 years after his

     However, new EU regulations revived copyright in these works from
     July 1, 1995, as the rules extended the lifetime of copyright to
     70 years. 

     The EU directive was the cue for Joyce, who hadn't sued anyone
     for a number of years, to begin another series of legal battles. 

     In 1998 he successfully objected to readings of Ulysses live over
     the internet. The case was settled out of court. 

     In 2000, a musical version of Molly Bloom's famous monologue
     about masturbation in Ulysses was to be staged at the Edinburgh
     Fringe Festival, but again Joyce objected. 

     He also famously refused an Irish composer permission to use 18
     words from Finnegans Wake because "to put it politely and mildly,
     my wife and I don't like your music".

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