The Martin Luther King Jr. papers are set to be auctioned at Sotheby's on June 30, with many believing they will fetch over $15 million. It will be interesting to see where these papers end up, what kind of access will be given to them. See the NPR story. No mention of copyright. One assumes that they are only selling the 7000 items, and not actually the copyrights themselves. Interesting.
Well, the AALS IP conference in Vancouver was a blast. Tons of interesting speakers, meeting lots of new people, catching up with others. I think what suprised me most was how welcoming a community this seems to be. It was quite thrilling to meet, talk and even dine with all of the people whose works I have been reading over the years. It really was like meeting a cross between movie stars and old friends that have never met you. I know this probably sounds dorky, but it was a moment that was really cool. So many were welcoming -- it made for a special few days.
The Center for Internet and Society with the Fair Use Project is taking on the Estate of James Joyce in the form of Stephen Joyce, a nortious literary excutor known for limiting scholars' use of the Joyce papers, and even the reading of Joyce's work in public. The complaint, filed on June 12, details not only the current scholar/literary excutor battle, but also others' experiences with the Joyce estate.
Professor Carol Schloss wrote a biography on Lucia Joyce, one of Joyce's kids. She needed the permission of Stephen Joyce to quote from the papers. Joyce threatened legal action if Schloss did not cut significantly some of the primary sources she was using to support her argument. She agreed to cut the materials, but then her argument was made weaker, and that was reflected in reviews of the book that suggested she needed more documentary support for the arguments she was making.
Schloss then made a website containing the cut materials. The Joyce estate was not legally happy, of course. She (with the help of Lessig and CIS) filed for a declaratory judgment that the uses of the primary materials are not infringing, that is they are covered by fair use. This is the first of many fair use cases CIS hopes to support.
The complaint is really interesting, as it documents the tactics of the literary exector and how this affects scholarship.
We have arrived in Seattle... Anyone looking for a great place in London for the year, go to www.sabbaticalhomes.com. We staying in Croydon last year at a terrific house, which is still available for the year. It was really remarkable -- reasonably priced, and also was very convienent. We were about a 15 minute fast train from London Bridge. (The East Croydon train station was a lovely four-block walk). We were also two tram stops away from TONS and TONS of shopping, resturants, etc. (walkable, which we did most of the time.) It is a great house, and even can be rented out for a week's time.