The SJ Mercury News ran a story on the Schloss v. Joyce case today.
For decades, scholars and publishers have been intimidated by Stephen Joyce, 74, who threatens suit against anyone he believes is trespassing on the Joyce canon. Heirs of Bertolt Brecht, T.S. Eliot, Samuel Beckett and J.D. Salinger are also vigilant, experts say.
The article explains that Schloss tried to rely on fair use to present her thesis that Lucia was sane and misunderstood, rather than insane. She had to delete material because of the threats from the Joyce estate. Now, she seeks to place that material on a website. The article explains,
And in Lessig and Olson, she has formidable resources. Their new Fair Use Project is bankrolled by Google.
Attorney David Olsen (at CIS) explained,
Beyond supporting Shloss' book, he said, a larger goal of the suit ``is to make the world safer for scholarship.''
He worries that by exerting so much influence, literary heirs become the custodians of culture. ``Estates are trying to take editorial control,'' he said. ``That is not what copyright is about.''
This is really quite remarkable. We have needed this for such a long time--for someone to take on literary executors who are exerting their powers to censor and edit scholarship. We will see what happens.