Nuggets and Aphorisms

Food for thought. These first appeared in Amit Varma's blog, India Uncut

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Piss, and copyright

It is better to be pissed off than pissed on.
Stephen James Joyce, grandson of James, quoted in an excellent feature by DT Max in the New Yorker, "The Injustice Collector." Stephen Joyce controls James Joyce's estate, and the piece is about how, in his efforts to 'protect' his grandaddy's estate, he stifles a lot of legitimate scholarship.

Having copyright protection extend to 70 years after the creator's death seems a bit excessive to me. (It was 50 until the Mickey Mouse Protection Act.) I quite understand Stephen Joyce's desire to protect his family's privacy, but trying to shield his granddad from literary criticism by not allowing scholars to quote from his works is pushing it too far.

(Link via email from The Graduate, in response to this post of mine.)

Update: Ashutosh Jogalekar writes in to remind me of Lyndon Johnson's famous quote about why he kept K Edgar Hoover in the FBI. Johnson remarked that it was "better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in."

What I want to know is what the hell was a tent doing there? Brokeback Mountain or what?
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