More Evil Copyright Abuse

This summer markes the 100th anniverary of Bloomsday, which you have to be pretty damn geeky to even understand. You see, James Joyce’s Ulysses takes place on a single day. The day in question is June 16, 1904, making this summer a wonderful opportunity for literary celebration, or at least an excuse to swill an awful lot of Guiness at highbrow events.

But never mind that, at least in Dublin. The Joyce estate is preparing to sue over any public readings from his work, however, thanks to (you guessed it!) copyright extensions brought on by EU legislation. Under the original copyright, Joyce’s book passed into the public domain 50 years after his death in 1941 (i.e., in 1991). The EU-mandated extension put it back in the bottle in 1995, and the estate intends to keep it there (EU copyrights are death-plus-75, not 50). So much for shared literary history. You’d think they’d see this as free marketing.

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